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ADA CE Online features courses by noted endodontist, lecturer Dr. Peter Zahi Tawil

November 04, 2013

By Jean Williams, ADA News staff

Clinical CE: Dr. Tawil leads a variety of endodontics lectures through ADA CE Online. 
When it comes to continuing education, he's quite popular. Dr. Peter Zahi Tawil, an endodontist, is one of the leading authors of peer-reviewed CE courses offered through ADA CE Online.

An accomplished national and international lecturer, Dr. Tawil has authored ADA CE Online courses for two years. His latest offerings include these course series:

  • Update in Modern Root Canal Instrumentation and Disinfection Techniques, Parts 1 and 2;
  • Periapical Microsurgery: An Update on Surgical Endodontics, Parts 1, 2 and 3.

What's Dr. Tawil's secret to filling up the class roster?

“I try to make it more the day-to-day of what dentists see in front of them, not theoretical, but bring the theory to their practice, so they can actually understand what I'm talking about,” Dr. Tawil said. “Then they're not bored when they see the techniques and ways to do things that they can do day-to-day in their practice, and that's supported by the literature. I bring the literature to their chair, in a way, to make it more feasible. All my lectures are very hands-on, so they're very clinically oriented. They're more relevant to the dentist than just taking CEs for the sake of taking CEs.”

Dr. Tawil studied mechanical engineering at McGill University in Montreal. Later, he earned his D.M.D. at Université de Montréal in 2004. He also earned a degree in advanced education in general dentistry. In 2008, he completed endodontics training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating with a master's degree in endodontics.

He worked as a specialist in private practice in Montreal while serving as an adjunct faculty member at McGill University. He also served as the endodontic expert witness for the quality inspection committee of the Quebec Dental Board. Among other accomplishments, he is a speaker for the American Association of Endodontists, a mentor for the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Endodontics, an examiner for the Royal College of Dentists of Canada and a clinical assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Here are details about Dr. Tawil's available ADA CE Online courses:

  • Advanced Endodontic Access: The Quest for the Extra Canal—This course examines the basic anatomy and the number of canals that a clinician should expect in each tooth of human dentition. This course clarifies the steps on how to find these extra canals, from MB2 in uppers molars to MM in lower molars.

“In school, mostly, dental students deal with the easy cases, and nobody learns how to deal with these molars,” Dr. Tawil said. “So in my lecture, I give them a lot of pictures and videos to show where those canals are hidden, how to look for them, when to stop, when to keep digging and where to keep digging. The goal is not for them to do everything, but seeing the pictures, they'll realize when it's time to send for a specialist or when it's OK for them to proceed.”

  • Update in Modern Root Canal Instrumentation and Disinfection Techniques, Part 1—Part 1 will include a review of the basic biologic and instrumentation principles and refresh the basic concepts, canal anatomy, patency, crown down concepts and working length determination.
  • Update in Modern Root Canal Instrumentation and Disinfection Techniques, Part 2—In Part 2, Dr. Tawil will present most new nickel titanium rotary systems and reciprocating systems. He will review file separation mechanisms and explain file removal techniques that most endodontists use.

A key aspect of this course is when Dr. Tawil addresses file techniques, material, design, function and cleaning. “There are so many files,” Dr. Tawil said. “A lot of dental students finish dental school, and they're only exposed to one system. Then they go into private practice, and they're overwhelmed by pure marketing courses that companies try to pitch to them. It can be overwhelming with all the brochures and ads that they get in the mail. So the course tries to demystify the files—the logic of how to go about choosing the best files that work in their hands. I always say it's almost like test driving a car. You can't decide before taking it for a test drive. So I explain the different technologies between the files and how to decide which one to take for a test drive and which one to use in their practice.”

In the series on periapical surgery, Dr. Tawil seeks to pick up where dental schools left off in teaching the technique to general dentists in training.

“The procedure is never taught in dental school,” he said. “So a lot of dentists go into practice and over the years they can get surgery experience by extracting teeth and dealing with the gums. A lot of dentists are very well capable of doing surgery of teeth in the front, but nobody ever showed them how to do it.

“This course is showing them how to do it easily and how to choose between easy cases and hard cases. Dentists should learn how to do these things pretty easily and efficiently, and it should be a nice additive to their practices, especially today in the implant era. Surgery has become like a dying art. So a lot of dentists, because they don't know how to do this procedure, end up just extracting the tooth and putting in an implant. My hope is, by teaching dentists how to do this, we'll end up saving more teeth as a dental community.”

  • Periapical Microsurgery: An Update on Surgical Endodontics, Part 1—Periradicular surgery has evolved into a precise, biologically based adjunct to nonsurgical root canal therapy. The collective goal of the three-part course is to familiarize clinicians with this procedure and make them comfortable in performing straightforward periapical microsurgery cases. Part 1 of this lecture will cover all significant improvements that have been made in the development of new instruments, materials and techniques.
  • Periapical Microsurgery: An Update on Surgical Endodontics, Part 2—Part 2 will demonstrate this procedure to clinicians with step-by step instructions and demonstrations through clinical pictures, from the initial bony access to proper root-end management. Participants should develop an understanding of how to proceed with the bony access, how to proceed with a root-end resection, and learn about the modern root-end filling materials and how to place them.
  • Periapical Microsurgery: An Update on Surgical Endodontics, Part 3—Part 3 will cover how to close the surgical site and proper post-op management. This lecture will also help the clinician decide when membranes and bone grafts are needed and how to manage possible complicationsDr. Tawil also will teach two courses in the fall, Dental Trauma and Root Canal Aesthetic.

Members may access unlimited CE online courses for $479 when they join the ADA CE Online Loyalty program, a subscription plan granting access to the entire ADA CE Online course library of more than 90 courses for one year. For more information visit ADA CE online.