Whatever our age and experience, learning opportunities come in many guises

It struck me recently how extraordinarily well equipped those new to the workforce are – understanding as they do the complexities of a world in which the internet plays an enormous role and provides endless opportunities for education. Communication at its most sophisticated may not be for everyone – but, for the older and more experienced among us, an understanding of it is essential if we are to compete in a workplace. Learning, in essence, should never cease and we must all be prepared to embrace a changing environment that benefits our colleagues, the business and the patient as well as us.

In dentistry, every cohort of dental professionals will experience a career that expects them to engage with exciting innovations, equipment and new thinking all honed and designed for the purpose of delivering dentistry more predictably.

Dental professionals should strive to seek that which helps them solve complex cases more safely, make patients more comfortable, educate and engage more openly and successfully, ultimately, prolong the lifespan of a healthy mouth.

An essential thirst for such knowledge lies at the root of what you do – CPD is, after all, designed to feed and facilitate this. Many commentators remind us frequently that CPD should enhance and expand a skillset – not stifle it.

Therefore, there is a need to be mindful of how you ‘overfloweth’ that ‘cup’ of learning.


Dental shows, such as this month’s BDIA Showcase (19-21 October at NEC Birmingham) offers learning opportunities – and some are less obvious than others. At one end of the scale, there are the live demonstrations, interactive lectures and panel discussions throughout the show floor, that offer boundless chances to expand your knowledge of a vast range of subjects – including medical emergencies, ergonomics, innovations in X-rays, 3D printing, purchasing, IRMER and much more – and top up on your CPD hours in the process.

At the other end, the three days offer a chance to catch up with old dental friends and colleagues as well as meet new ones – especially at the stands of the Society of British Dental Nurses and the British Association of Dental Nurses, where you can seek expert support specifically geared up to your profession. So put away your mobile and grab a coffee with a friend or two – who knows where that cappuccino might take you! Where will you next experience an unexpected but important lesson?