About the ALD Certification Programs

 

ALD Certification

ALD Dental Laser Standard Level Course -
A Certificate Program

 

Fellowship and Mastership Programs

are coming soon!

 

Learn about the ALD Curriculum Guidelines and Standards for Dental Laser Education.

 
ALD CERTIFICATION INFORMATION BOOKLET

 

Becoming an Academy of Laser Dentistry certified professional can help you differentiate yourself from your competitors, attract and win new patients, build loyalty and improve patient, and team satisfaction.  The ALD program is a professional certificate that ALD offers to dentists and hygienists who demonstrate proficiency in basic and advanced aspects of laser use in dentistry. The ALD certification program allows individuals to demonstrate that ALD recognizes them as a skilled professional in laser dentistry. 

 

Be prepared to learn and understand through distance learning, lecture, discussion, and hands-on participation. 

 

ALD Dental Laser Standard Level Course - A Certificate Program
The ALD Dental Laser Standard Level Course Certificate Program is a peer-reviewed, hands-on training, comprehensive laser certificate course for the entire dental team.  This program provides candidates with a strong foundational understanding of laser physics, laser tissue interaction, characteristics of various laser wavelengths, clinical case studies, safety and regulatory information.


Educational Objectives - These 12 CEU hours include:

  • An understanding of the basic principles of laser physics and laser-tissue interaction.
  • How variations in the laser’s wavelength, power, and temporal modes can be used to alter desired clinical outcomes.
  • An understanding of laser operation and safety features in a hands-on learning assessment exercise.
  • Practical hands-on exercises in laser-assisted clinical procedures on porcine tissue under controlled supervision.
  • Fulfillment of the Dental Laser Licensure Requirements.
  • Part 1 - Foundations in Laser Dentistry - Self-paced Digital Learning (6 CEU hours at your leisure)
    • Chapter: 1 Fundamentals of Light
    • Chapter: 2 Production of Light
    • Chapter: 3 Laser-Tissue and Laser-Material Interactions
    • Chapter: 4 Clinical Applications in Laser Dentistry
    • Chapter: 5 Laser Safety in Dentistry
  • Part 2 - Hands-on (in person) Clinical Simulation Training Program - provided by an approved ALD Trainer. This part includes a Clinical Simulation Oral Exam on the specific laser you are using in your practice (6 CE hours from training program).
  • Part 3 - ALD Dental Laser Standard Level Online Exam - Timed 1-hour exam with 75 question multiple-choice questions. The online exam is administered by the Academy of Laser Dentistry (1 CE from ALD).

The ALD Dental Laser Standard Level Course - A Certificate Program is the basic level of education in dental laser usage, including specific laser proficiency and laboratory knowledge. Candidates for the Standard Level Course must demonstrate a basic understanding of all wavelengths via an online 75-question multiple-choice examination and an oral clinical simulation exam, with at least one wavelength. The Standard Level Course defines the standard of care for the dental professional. These courses are a minimum of 12 hours: 6 CEUs are self-paced online including the examination and a full day 6 CEUs in-person hands-on learning. This program is taught by ALD Trainers who are recognized by the Academy of Laser Dentistry.  The Standard Level Course also forms the base credential for progressing to the Advanced Proficiency Level. Successful candidates at the Standard Level can submit for the advanced examination immediately after obtaining their Standard Level Course Certification. Standard Level Courses are held throughout the year by approved ALD Trainers.


Successful Standard Level Course Completion

In order to successfully complete the ALD Dental Laser Standard Level Course in its entirety, you must successfully complete all 3 Parts (as described above) within 90 days of your Part 2 Hands-on course date. After the 90 days have passed, the course will be closed, and anyone who has successfully completed the course will receive their continuing education record of completion and Standard Level Course certificate within 4-6 weeks from that close date.  


 


Practitioners are advised to investigate and consider which medical devices and materials are cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for safety and efficacy and which are considered experimental, and which procedures are considered within the applicable scope of their license, competence, skills, and abilities, as established by their education, training, and experience. Clinicians are advised to review the specific indications for use of their devices and to review their operator manuals for guidance on operating parameters before attempting similar techniques on their patients.


Curriculum Guidelines and Standards

CERTIFICATION PROGRAM BACKGROUND

OVERALL EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

CURRICULUM GUIDELINES AND STANDARD FOR DENTAL LASER EDUCATION

 

The educational objective for ALD's Certification Program is to provide candidates with an overview of the scientific fundamentals of lasers, the instruments used, safety issues, and clinical guidelines in accordance with a soon to be released 2021 Academy of Laser Dentistry Curriculum Guidelines and Standards for Dental Laser Education, planned for release in 4th Q 2021. ALD's main objective 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. This educational emphasis shifts from device characteristics to laser-tissue and laser-material interactions along with a deep dive understanding of absorption spectrum and chromophores. Biologic effects of laser interaction are critical concepts to understand the safety and effectiveness of clinical procedures. 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. This certificate program does not authorize the holder to practice outside the scope of his or her license. The Academy of Laser Dentistry Education Committee began a comprehensive review of the 1998 Curriculum Guidelines and Standards for Dental Laser Education in 2019. Through a consensus process with members from dental academia, industry and private practice, ALD will publish an update to the 1998 Curriculum Guidelines document in 2021.  

 

The 2021 Academy of Laser Dentistry Curriculum Guidelines and Standards for Dental Laser Education is planned to publish in Q4 2021. 

 

Certification FAQs

Why is laser certification important? It is a mechanism to demonstrate an understanding of laser light and tissue interaction for ultimate clinical efficacy, efficiency and patient safety. Some licensing bodies require a demonstration of continuing education is lasers.

 

What is a certificate program? A certificate program typically indicates attendance or completion of a course or series of courses with a specific focus. They are open to newcomers and experienced professionals alike. The result demonstrates knowledge of content at the end of a specific period of time.  Associations create certification programs by gathering experts to discuss and determine content and criteria that improves or changes behavior.

 

What sets ALD above any others? Let the buyer beware. ALD’s certificate program includes an education and experience component and requires passing exams.  Depending upon the level, at least 2 and up to 3 examinations are required.  It is a peer-reviewed and approved educational standard. It does not require re-certification although ALD’s programs encourage practitioners to stay current through continuing education.

 

What does it mean to be an ALD Certified Professional? An ALD Certified dentist or hygienist demonstrates expertise in understanding laser use in everyday patient care.  The more practical the chair-side experience you have, and the more training you complete, the better your chances are to pass the test.

 

Why are the ALD Certification Exams essential? Certification exams measure your skill and proficiency with laser use in dentistry.  They are a psychometric instrument intended to demonstrate your ability to meet challenges with a mastery that comes with training and everyday laser use. The ALD examinations are fair but challenging, designed to assess the ability of test-takers to apply fundamental dental laser knowledge and more advanced knowledge, depending upon the program.  ALD exam content is updated every three years and is based on research and input from subject-matter experts and changes in dentistry conducted in 2019. 

 

What are the benefits of an ALD Certification?

  • ALD certified professionals demonstrate safety and proficiency.
  • They have taken a peer-reviewed dental laser foundation course.
  • They have passed a 75-question psychometric multiple-choice exam covering 5 distinct areas of laser use.
  • They have demonstrated safe hand skills in a clinical simulation hands-on examination by well-experienced examiners.
  • They understand the purpose and role of dental lasers in everyday treatment.
  • They have participated in a recognized professional program.  The Academy of Laser Dentistry is the standard-setting organization for dental laser education and certificate programs. 
  • The Standard Level Certification Course fee includes your first year of ALD Membership.