Introduction to Duggan Dental Studies
Main Duggan Dental Studies website: DentistCEProgram.com!
The Canadian Board Assessment of Clinical Skills for foreign graduates is one of the more challenging manikin-based exams in North America. Duggan Dental Studies has now, for the first time, developed a preparation program specifically for this exam. This program has evolved from our successful courses offered for patient-based exams and the U.S. school admission tests, and it is unique in the field. There is no one and no institution anywhere with more experience teaching every aspect of the Assessment of Clinical Skills exam.
Our Canadian ACS program consists of two major parts – preparations and restorations. The first half concentrates on concepts and skill development for class II amalgam, class III composite, endodontic access, full gold crown and ceramometal crown preparations. In the second major section we work with composite and amalgam to restore a variety of preparations, including class II, III and IV restorations, and with acrylic and composite materials for provisionalization of crown preparations. Additional topics include rubber dam placement, infection control and record keeping.
This very complete and comprehensive program is designed to last for 18, seven-hour work days, with strong emphasis on understanding WHY we do what we do and HOW to execute the work with the greatest precision and finesse.
Some of the learning materials used for this course are currently available on-line from our Duggan Dental Studies eLearning website. You will be encouraged to spend time studying the lectures that Dr. Duggan has recorded covering class II, class III and crown restorations, and you can also observe on-line his demonstrations of each type of preparation and also see him working with students, through his close-up “point-of-view” camera system. This will put you in a very good position for starting the all-important hands-on portion of the course.
During the course, on a daily basis, Dr. Duggan will go over all of the concepts and principles of design and execution of each procedure, answer any questions you might have, demonstrate each procedure, and work with each student individually at every step to provide the most efficient learning process. Class size is limited so there is always ample access to your teacher. Dr. Duggan is one of the rare dental educators that will actually SHOW you how to do things – when you get stuck and don’t know exactly how to proceed, he will pick up your handpiece and show you what you can do to get back on track.
Special and Unique Aspects of the DDS Assessment of Clinical Skills Program
At DDS we are primarily concerned with what each student learns from us – what they take home with them that will give them the best short-term and especially long-term benefit. Often this is not just in the skills area, but involves working with how people think and reason, and to work with these areas requires the most efficient program, the most dedication of the teaching and administrative staff, and attention to every student’s needs. To this end, we provide many special offerings to our students, most of which are clearly seen to be unique to us, and uniquely effective!
Notes to Examiners and Progress Notes for Preparations – Strategies
During the ACS examination, you will be asked to provide progress notes for each procedure – simulating what might be appropriate in a dental practice – and for grading, you will have the option of making certain comments, directed to the examiners, that might be advantageous to you. The development of strategies for these Progress Notes and Examiner Notes can be critical to your success!
Since operative procedures are performed on teeth with simulated caries, we practice on similar many different types of similar teeth, so that you will have the broadest range of experience developing not just the approach to the preparation and caries removal, but ALSO developing appropriate notes! For example, if you are performing a class II amalgam preparation but the caries is very deep and the removal could have compromised the pulp, it is best to write the notes to indicate such and that appropriate liners, or even a direct or indirect pulp cap was performed – followed by the appropriate filling. If you are doing a DO preparation on a lower molar, you could either remove the occlusal undermined enamel between the outline and the DB groove, with appropriate comments in the progress notes, or indicate to the examiners that it SHOULD be done – either way demonstrating that you are aware of the problem.
These subtle variations from tooth to tooth need to be practiced and carefully worked out during the course, so that a reasonable response to various situations can be presented during the actual examination! We emphasize this strongly during the course and for our Mock Board Examinations!
Point-of-view Camera System
At Duggan Dental Studies we use a special camera system, which Dr. Duggan developed specifically for dental hands-on teaching, where a miniature video camera is mounted on Dr. Duggan’s loupes, so you can see real-time on a monitor exactly what HE sees when doing the work. You can see how the use of the mirror helps see what needs to be seen at every step, because you are looking into the mirror WITH Dr. Duggan. This is the Point-of-View camera system referred to above. There are only two universities in the world using this system, and Dr. Duggan made both systems for their enhanced teaching needs.
The Comprehensive Manual
Dr. Duggan developed, as part of a program in restorative dentistry at a major university, a comprehensive series of 1500 descriptive powerpoint slides and drawings, describing the fundamentals and clinical realities of this field. These Gateway materials are used as the foundation of the ACS Program as well – selected segments as directly apply to this examination. The emphasis on clinical application gives each student a far better perspective as to the reasons WHY we do certain preparations the way we do ideally, and how these preparations are often modified to take into account existing conditions. This provides a level or maturity in thinking that allows a more confident and understanding execution of the procedures for the ACS examination. This unique set of materials is available only through DDS.
Use of Loupes
It has been clear for many years that the use of magnification loupes in dentistry is expected! In most if not all dental schools in the U.S., for example, all students are expected to purchase loupes and use them on a regular basis, so they may better see what they are doing, and to improve their positioning as they work on patients. Dr. Duggan was one of the first students in the country to wear loupes on a regular basis when he was in dental school, and he probably has more experience with many different types of loupes than anyone else. He has had close to 2000 students that have bought loupes while in his courses, and has provided advice to all on the appropriate choice of loupes and their use. At DDS we have many sets of loupes that our STUDENTS CAN USE. In this way, you have the opportunity to experience the advantages of loupes and to make sure that you understand the relationship between magnification, working distance, and patient positioning – which is critical to the successful use of loupes, but rarely taught. A loupe-mounted headlight is also available for you to try!
Our students generally have the opportunity provided to them for practicing, before and/or after class, the procedures that they have been working on with Dr. Duggan. Since the emphasis in our course is HANDS-ON work, we provide as much opportunity as possible for students to practice on their own, and then in the next class session, Dr. Duggan will evaluate their “homework” with each student to point out where there are errors in execution or comprehension or judgment.
Use of Dental Mirror
Dr. Duggan has found that the vast majority of his students have not developed an understanding or a practical skill in using the dental mirror effectively. If you cannot perform a DO class II preparation just as easily on a maxillary second molar as on a maxillary first premolar, then you do not have a useful knowledge of mirror usage. The ACS Program specifically addresses the way that restorative dentistry can be done much more efficiently, effectively, quickly and safely, with judicious use of the mirror. Certainly there are quadrants and procedures where the mirror cannot be used well – but this does not apply to all or even most procedures! Our students complete the ACS Program with a much more profound understanding of mirror use, and the practical skill to do better work with the mirror, which will last the rest of their lives!
Optimizing the Learning Experience – Accommodations and Meals
To illustrate our continuing mandate to provide the absolute BEST learning experience available, DDS has made available an apartment for student living – it accommodates four students, and it is often found that great new friends are made, and communal cooking and studying and “brain-storming” redoubles the effectiveness of our programs. Also – we provide a complete kitchen in our teaching facility, so that students don’t have to go outside looking for their lunches, but can make everything in-office, and WE PROVIDE MUCH OF THE FOOD.
At DDS we have workstations for eleven students, either for class work or for practicing. Each workstation is equipped with a complete manikin, light, air-control box and ample table space for the arrangement of instruments and materials. Generally we keep our class size lower than the available spaces so that other students can practice between classes. We also have a two-chair clinic, where students can practice with water and suction on manikins with a built-in throat – we generally find that the skill development for all of the procedures is best on the dry typodont, and then, toward the end of the course, students rotate through the clinical chairs to broaden their experience to simulate the actual exam more closely – this does not take too much time to accomplish, once the skills and understanding of the procedures is already in place! We have a sales and copying room, a library, laboratory and the kitchen, as well as administrative offices. Our students are generally very comfortable in our facility, not only because of the physical offerings and layout, but because of the ambiance of intense learning and, of course, the congeniality of the staff!
Our Business Manager
Meghan Brown probably knows more about dentistry than anyone in the world who has not attended dental school! She also knows and understands the needs of the international dentist far more than most – even more than the dentist themselves, often times! She spends most of her time on the phone counseling prospective students about what will be the best for them, in terms of immediate needs, but also in terms of long-term benefits. She has worked closely with many hundreds of dentists from all over the world, gotten to know them and their family situations prior to attending our class, and helped them through the actual course so that they can most effectively learn all that is here to learn – and that is a lot!
Emphasis on Decision-Making and Judgment
During the ACS Program, there are many times that Dr. Duggan will find that students have become a little too complacent in their learning experiences, and it is difficult for them to make decisions and judgments for themselves, relying too much on the judgment of faculty. In our programs Dr. Duggan will do everything possible to provide each student with the BASIS for making good decisions – including gathering adequate information and knowing it is adequate, knowing what the critical issues are, having the will to actually MAKE a decision, and then taking a firm stand based on conviction and confidence. One must remember that the career of dentistry is all about decision-making! In fact, this is the most interesting part of a career in dentistry for many practitioners – solving interesting and often challenging problems that patients present to you on a daily basis! Dr. Duggan has successfully been able to take many students who have problems in this area, and helped them to become much more self-sufficient and self-reliant – what a valuable gift!
Price and Cost compared to other centers!
If the practice time is included in the tuition, that means that for part of the scheduled hours of the “course” there is no instructor there to work with you. It is not clear for each center exactly what the situation is, but it should be checked carefully.
Location Hours Hours includes Price Cost per hour
Center 1 56 yes $3500 $62.50
Center 2 24 no $1140 $47.50
Center 3 72 no $3120 $44.00
Center 4 84 yes? $2500 $30.00
Center 5 63 yes? $4995 $79.30
DDS 135 no $4995 $37.00
From this table, evaluating ONLY the value on a dollars-and-cents basis, DDS has the lowest cost per hour, and for each and every hour Dr. Duggan is working personally with each student.
Summary of Benefits
Dr. Duggan has devoted himself and his business largely to the needs of the foreign-trained dentist for over 18 years. He has worked with more candidates for the very demanding (and now discontinued) California Restorative Technique Exam than any other instructor or school, and his students have had an enviable passing rate over the years. There are more than 3500 dentists in California that studied with him for both the RT and the patient-based California Clinical Exam. More recently he has been working with candidates from around the US taking a variety of regional clinical exams, and has developed segments, for example the endo access segment, that relate directly to what is required on the Canadian ASC Exam. The advantage of the clinical exam preparation to the candidate is that the restoration must be done! Dr. Duggan has found that there is far too little emphasis on working with restorative materials in many courses and examinations. The extensive penetration of composite restorations in the dental community often does not reflect that they are done with adequate skill, and the much more long-lived and less technique-sensitive amalgam restoration is becoming a lost art! There are few places where you can learn to do these restorations really well – and hence become a credit to your chosen field and a blessing to your patients. Dr. Duggan ensures that DDS is the learning venue of choice!
The design of this course has been done by Dr. Duggan, taking advantage of his vast experience teaching all of these procedures to graduates of non-accredited dental schools from around the world. With the complex combination of required procedures for this examination, there is a great need to spend significant time and effort in preparation. You will find that your skills and insights are so much enhanced by participation in this program that your pleasure of doing dentistry will be manifestly bolstered for many years to come – and, of course, your ability to successfully negotiate this demanding examination will be vastly increased as well.
Dr. Duggan has your dental career in mind, not just passing the exam. He will provide you with a maturity of thought that will help you through any challenges you face in the future. You will be far “ahead of the curve” in terms of getting through challenging examinations, and you will be the dentist on the block who really does the work that his advertising claims! All of this for a more reasonable cost to you than for other places you might think to go!