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Certification

The Academy of Laser Dentistry has formally adopted the Curriculum Guidelines and Standards for Dental Laser Education, initially developed in July 1992 and revised in 1998, through a consensus process with members from dental academia, industry and private practice. These guidelines establish standards of education for the demonstration of safe and effective use of lasers by dental professionals. The education committee of the Academy of Laser Dentistry regularly reviews and interprets these educational standards.

Levels of Dental Laser Education

The Academy formally recognizes four levels of dental laser certification: 

  1. Introductory
  2. Standard Proficiency
  3. Advanced Proficiency
  4. Educator Status

Introductory Level 

This certification level encompasses an understanding of laser physics and the uses of lasers in dentistry. It is intended to be informational and primarily didactic. There is no examination. This is a pre-requisite for the standard level of recognition.  The ALD offers an Introduction to Lasers Course online. Currently this is a free course requiting only that you register.  If you wish to receive CE credit, there is a fee.  This level may be attained by particating in any ADA CERP or AGD PACE laser course with proper completion documentation. 

To Register visit this direct link: Online Introductory Course.


Standard Proficiency 

Components of Standard Proficiency include:

  • A Lecture and Hands On Course provided by an ALD Recognized Course Provider (RCP)
  • A Clinical Simulation Exam administered by the RCP
  • An online 75 question written exam administered by the Academy of Laser Dentistry (to be taken within 90 days of course)

Standard Proficiency is the basic level of education in dental laser usage, including specific laser proficiency and laboratory knowledge. Candidates for standard proficiency must demonstrate basic understanding of all wavelengths via an online 75 question multiple choice examination and a clinical simulation proficiency exam, with at least one wavelength. The standard proficiency level defines the standard of care for the dental professional. The standard level of proficiency also forms the base credential for progressing to the Advanced Proficiency level. Successful candidates at the Standard Proficiency level can submit for the advanced examination immediately after obtaining their Standard Proficiency.  Standard Proficiency courses are held throughout the year by speakers who are ALD Recognized Course Providers.  During any SP course, attendees will take the Clinical Simulation Exam.  The Online 75 question multiple choice examination is only administered through the ALD website and may require an additional exam registration fee. Check with your recognized course provider to determine if the exam fees are included in the course registration or not included. You must complete the Standard Proficiency online exam within 90 days of the course date. 

Pre-Requisites for Standard Proficiency Application

  1. Successful completion of a recognized introduction to lasers course is a mandatory prerequisite for ALD Standard Proficiency Certification. The required hours needed to satisfy this prerequisite are equal to or greater than 2.5 credit hours. The introductory material should be approved at the discretion of the Academy or the Recognize Standard Proficiency Course Provider.
     
  2. A basic understanding of Lasers in Dentistry.

Pre-Requisite for the Standard Proficiency Online Exam

  1. Successful completion of an Academy of Laser Dentistry Recognized Standard Proficiency Course and Clinical Simulation Exam provided by an ALD Recognized Course Provider.

IF YOU'VE COMPLETED A STANDARD PROFICIENCY COURSE FROM A RECOGNIZED COURSE PROVIDER AND WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THE ALD ON-LINE EXAMINATION, please click this direct link: Online Standard Proficiency Exam.  You will need to provide your course code and clinical simulation exam wavelength details.

Successful Standard Proficiency Completion
Upon successful completion of the online exam you will receive a letter from the
Academy of Laser Dentistry (within 6-8 weeks) indicating your Continuing Education Credits for the exam. ALD members will also receive a Certificate of Successful Completion noting the specific course participation and clinical simulation wavelength. To find out more about membership in the Academy of Laser Dentistry, or to join online, click here.

Overall Expected Learner Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the Standard Proficiency Examination expected learner outcomes include demonstration of the basic level of education in dental laser usage, including specific laser proficiency and laboratory knowledge. Successful learners demonstrate an understanding of all wavelengths via a 75-question multiple choice written examination and clinical proficiency simulation examination with at least one wavelength. Participants in the Standard Proficiency Online Examination are required to have successfully completed a 12-hour standard proficiency course and clinical simulation examination with an ALD Recognized Course Provider. This level defines the standard of care for the dental professional.

ALD Policy and Procedure for Recognition of Standard Proficiency Dental Laser Courses
A list of
Academy of Laser Dentistry Recognized Standard Proficiency Course Providers (RCPs) can be found here. The Academy of Laser Dentistry initially launched the process for renewal and recognition of dental laser course providers in October 1999. This process follows the standards of education set forth in the Curriculum Guidelines and Standards for Dental Laser Education. Only an ALD certificate from an Academy-recognized Standard Proficiency Course can be used to make application for the Advanced Proficiency examination. An applicant who has taken a non-recognized course would not be accepted.


Advanced Proficiency

There are 3 parts to attaining Advanced Proficiency recognition from the Academy of Laser Dentistry.  Advanced Proficiency is taken over a 2-3 year period to successful completion.  To apply for the Advanced Proficiency Review and Online Exam, you must register for the next annual meeting and select Advanced Proficiency on your conference registration application.  Please ensure your meet the application requirements before applying. 

Click here to apply
:Advanced Proficiency Review and Exam.

Review and Online Multiple Choice Exam
Clinical Simulation Exam
Clinical Case Study Presentations

This level represents advanced knowledge and clinical experience with the dental laser. Learners for advanced level recognition will demonstrate knowledge of all laser wavelengths via an online written examination, demonstrate advanced clinical proficiency using the dental laser of their choosing in the Clinical Simulation Exam, plus dental practitioners who use the laser for treatment must also prepare five (5) clinical case studies and be prepared to present a minimum of two of them at an ALD annual conference.  These should be the cases with the highest degree of difficulty following the Clinical Case Study Guidelines that are provided to candidates upon application.  Successful participation in all 3 parts of Advanced Proficiency is required to meet this level of education. Separate application fees and requirements apply for each part. Advanced Proficiency exceeds the standard of care for the dental professional. A Laser Safety Officer does not participate in the Clinical Case Presentation section.

Application Requirements for Advanced Proficiency

  • Applicant must be a licensed dentist, hygienist, dental assistant, office manager or industry representative, etc. wishing to attain Advanced Proficiency recognition.
  • Applicants must have achieved Standard level recognition approved by the Academy of Laser Dentistry.
  • Applicant must be a member of the Academy of Laser Dentistry; Candidates must maintain ALD membership during the AP process and of course we hope well beyond!
  • Candidates must attend a minimum of 2 ALD Annual Conferences during the Advanced Proficiency process before the award can be earned.
  • Successful participation in all 3 parts of Advanced Proficiency is required to meet this level of education. Passing mark of 85% is required on each part. Separate applications for each part are required.

 Advanced Proficiency Criteria  (update April 1, 2014)

  1. The Written Online Examination passing mark is 85%. The Written Online Examination is administered via computer.  Questions are set on any aspect of the Curriculum Guidelines.  The Advanced candidate is expected to have a level of knowledge above that required for the Standard level examination.  This part is administered in a proctored setting at an annual conference.  The written online exam will be administered in a proctored setting at ALD 2015, in Palm Springs, California, on Wednesday, February 4, 2015.

  2. As a courtesy to the individual study required for success, ALD provides an Online AP Review Course.  Applicants may apply for the Online Review Course and Online Written Exam and the Clinical Simulation Exam at the same time. The written online exam will be administered in a proctored setting at ALD 2015, in Palm Springs, California, on Wednesday, February 4, 2015.  

  3. The Clinical Simulation Examination passing mark is 85%. The Clinical Simulation exam is administered in person during pre-conference days annually. Please reference the Clinical Simulation Guideline documents, Exam Grade Sheets and DVD provided upon application.  Candidates should be able to address all the points on the Clinical Simulation Exam grade sheet within a 30 minute time frame.  This part is timed to 30 minutes. Candidates are notified of their time slot approximately 1 week prior to the exam date.  The next exam is by appointment at ALD 2015 in Palm Springs, California.

Clinical Case Presentation of Advanced Proficiency Criteria

  1. Clinical Case Examination (formerly called Part III) passing mark is 85%.  The Clinical Case Presentation Exam is administered in person during pre-conference days annually. Clinical Case Submission Guidelines, Checklists and Exam Grade sheets are provided upon application.
  2. Passing the Online Written Examination AND the Clinical Simulation Exam is a pre-requisite for presenting the Clinical Case Examination.
  3. Applicants may begin documenting clinical cases and obtaining the required photographs as soon as you apply for the Advanced Proficiency Program. Close contact with your assigned mentor is strongly suggested as you prepare your clinical cases.  Strict adherence to the level of difficulty of selected cases is typical. 
  4. You may present your Clinical Cases any time it is offered after 1-year of successfully completing both the online exam and the clinical simulation exam.  (This means there is a minimum of 2 year preparation period before you may present your Clinical Cases if you begin your case selections when you apply for AP. Most candidates take 3 years to complete this level of proficiency status).
  5. Clinical Case Presentations must be completed within a 3 year time limit has elapsed after completing the Online Written Exam and the Clinical Simulation exam. The next exam is by appointment at ALD 2015 in Palm Springs, California.

Educator Status

This level is only offered periodically by the Academy. Contact the Academy for future course offerings.


Certification Program Background & Overall Educational Objectives

The educational objective of the Academy's Laser Certification Program is to provide candidates with an overview of the scientific fundamentals of lasers, the instruments themselves, safety issues and clinical guidelines in accordance with the Curriculum Guidelines and Standards for Dental Laser Education. A main objective of the Academy of Laser Dentistry is to develop and uphold educational and clinical standards for the use of lasers in dentistry and to promote the safe and effective laser use on patients. Successful completion of the certification program formally demonstrates knowledge and clinical proficiency in laser dentistry. The program is a structured educational mechanism for dental practitioners wishing to demonstrate high standards of dental laser use.

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