Endo education with a giveback twist

Dr. Sonia Chopra’s E-school giveback program provides real life endodontic education and access to endodontic care — without the sales pitch.

Dr. Chopra with clinicians from her E-school live program getting hands-on experience

Daniel Lewis discusses a program that brings needed resources to underserved patients

From recordkeeping to materials and techniques, clinicians are always searching for efficiency in a dental practice. Similarly, continued education and humanitarian efforts are highly valued by the dental community, and clinicians are often participating in both.

So, when Dr. Sonia Chopra saw the need for both endodontic education and access to endodontic care in her Charlotte, North Carolina community, she found an efficient way to address them at the same time through her E-school giveback program.

“In my practice I see two things. Number one, patients who come in and can’t afford treatment. And they have to either defer treatment, or they have to extract their tooth because that’s the only thing they can [afford to] do,” says Dr. Chopra. “I also see patients who come in, and not that they were mistreated, but you can tell that there’s still a lack of education in the dental world.”

The gap in training is no fault of the dentists — without resources they’ve been left underserving their patients. “I talk to dentists all the time, and they just want more help because they maybe only did 2 to 3 root canals before they graduated,” Chopra says. “They maybe had a crash course for a couple weeks before they got out of dental school.”

To address the need for education and the needs of the patients, Dr. Chopra adapted her already widely respected E-school program to incorporate a live element — general dentists are able to hone their endo skills, while patients receive treatment they need at a small fraction of the normal cost. “They are so grateful,” she says of the patients in this program. “They just can’t believe that something like this exists, and I feel like more of it should exist.”

Receiving a root canal through this program saved many patients from tooth extractions, which would be the only other financially viable alternative. “There’s a lot of practices around me who take Medicaid, but they can’t find an endo provider to take Medicaid,” Chopra says. “Or maybe one of my normal patients has insurance maxed out so they can’t afford it, and we tell them about the program and they’re ecstatic to be a part of it.”

When it comes to the course, Dr. Chopra says dentists love the training without the sales pitch. “This is completely unbiased. It’s not associated with any one company. I do like to promote the products I use because I’m so used to using them over a decade or so, but I don’t push anyone to buy a certain product … [Dentists] are excited about the type of education they get because they don’t have to just work on extracted teeth in a course that’s provided by a company that just wants them to buy their products,” Dr. Chopra says. “They’re just really happy to have that type of clinical experience because working on extracted teeth doesn’t translate well to real-world endo, and this gives them that experience but also makes them feel safe and secure to really learn the true tips and tricks that are needed to perform these treatments.”

Roughly 20 patients can be seen throughout each session of the course, totaling some $50,000 in donated dentistry. “We do a free consult on them, a free cone beam, we do the treatment, and the buildup as well,” Dr. Chopra explains. “We’re doing a lot for just that one tooth.” Several sessions of the E-school live program are held each year, with the next coming in September 2024. For more information, visit https://drsoniachopra.com/e-school-live/.

Daniel Lewis, author of this article on the E-school giveback program, is a storyteller for Ultradent Products. Read more about Ultradent’s humanitarian efforts here: https://endopracticeus.com/industry-news/ultradent-donates-10000-to-humanitarian-medical-dental-education-charity-to-kick-off-holiday-season/.

Daniel Lewis is a longtime news producer turned dental industry storyteller for Ultradent Products. He’s interviewed people on every continent plus the international space station and can usually be found eating carbohydrates in the company of his dog.

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