Course Info |4 min read

The CMS Dental CE Courses: What Order Should You Take Them In?

As you make your way through the Clinical Mastery Series curriculum dental CE courses, you will inevitably grow and deepen your learning. That part’s a given! But what’s the best order to take courses in and why?

Everyone’s path is unique, yet there are good reasons for taking certain dental CE courses in a specific sequence. Keep reading for advice you can use to maximize the value you get out of the CMS courses and your dental continuing education.

We’ve also included some first hand advice from CMS alumni and educators Dr. Lee Gary and Dr. Chris Kerns.

Ultimate Occlusion Series

Ultimate Occlusion 1: Mastering Functional Dentistry

  • Style: Hands-on
  • Pre-reqs: None
  • Length: 2 days

The best place to start if you’ve never taken a CMS course before is our ‘Ultimate Occlusion 1: Mastering Functional Dentistry’ course. It has a lot of group activities where dentists can meet and network.

UO1 provides a great introduction to applying occlusion philosophies practically in the dental practice, and is the basis for moving from single tooth dentistry to full mouth treatment. You’ll meet all of the CMS instructors, and you’ll have plenty of time to work and network with your peers. The relationships created in a UO1 course can last a lifetime, and are extremely valuable as your dentistry career progresses.

Ultimate Occlusion 2: Mastering Complex Cases

  • Style: Hands-on
  • Pre-reqs: UO1
  • Length: 2.5 days

Ultimate Occlusion 3: Treatment Planning & Case Presentation 

  • Style: Hands-on
  • No pre-reqs
  • Length: 2 days

UO2: Mastering Complex Cases’ and ‘UO3: Treatment Planning & Case Presentation’ are scheduled in such a way that dentists can complete the entire series in a convenient time frame. Level 2 teaches essential skills to incorporate aesthetic full mouth treatments.  Level 4 is designed for clinicians who want to elevate their prosthetic skills.

Here are Dr. Lee Gary’s thoughts on his experience with UO1 and later courses:

I started with UO1 and after the first day knew that I would be signing up for UO2 as soon as it was available. I took UO2 within approximately 2 months of UO1 and I was really glad I did. From there I branched into the over the shoulder courses and the photography course the following year. I then repeated UO1, UO2, and Photography before proceeding to Treatment Planning and taking my team through the team training course.

What surprised me most was how much value I got out of repeating those courses! Hearing the information for a second time after implementing those ideas in my practice really allowed me to absorb it more deeply.


Team Training

  • Style: Team focus
  • Pre-reqs: None
  • Length: 2 days

Team Training is another course that is best to take after UO1 or UO2. Learn vital communication skills from Dr. Lee Gary, Dr. Chris Kerns, and CMS Executive Director Jenn Janicki.

Below is Dr. Chris Kerns’ perspective on getting the most out of your CMS learning:

First and foremost, I recommend taking the courses as quickly as possible in any order as opposed to planning a sequence. Action always wins over intention for me. However, I believe the most logical foundational sequence would be: UO1, UO2, Photography, then Team Training.

I would then do the following: FMR, Anterior Aesthetics, and U03. I think it is much more beneficial to take Dr. Nosti’s Full Mouth Rehab course prior to Dr. Olitsky’s Anterior Aesthetics, and both prior to UO3. After that, Mike’s TMJ/TMD course can be added for interested clinicians.

Full Mouth Rehabilitation: Live in the Op

  • Style: Side-by-side learning with Dr. John Nosti
  • Pre-reqs: None
  • Length: 4 days (2 weekends)

Full Mouth Rehab is a more advanced course that is often taken later on. Observe Dr. Nosti as together you go through the process of diagnosing, treating, prepping, and seating 20 units of a full-mouth rehab.

Anterior Aesthetics: Live in the Op

  • Style: Live patient with Dr. Olitsky
  • Pre-reqs: None
  • Length: 2 days

Anterior Aesthetics fits in well at multiple points in your CMS journey. You’ll want to make sure you take the Occlusion courses before jumping into smile design, so your patients don’t end up wearing down their beautiful restoration due to occlusion problems.

TMD Workshop

  • Style: Hands-on
  • Pre-reqs: None
  • Length: 2 days

The TMD Workshop is a unique course from Dr. John Nosti and Dr. Mike Smith that demystifies one of the most confusing topics in dentistry. It reviews diagnostic modalities and key treatment rationales.

Let us know what courses you’ve taken and why or any advice you have for clinicians looking to join the CMS family!


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