Licensure at Your Fingertips

Aspen: Aspen Dental

Date:January 7, 2018 

Graduates of accredited U.S. and Canadian dental education programs are eligible for licensure in the United States

Graduates of accredited U.S. and Canadian dental education programs are eligible for licensure in the United States. Although specific requirements vary among jurisdictions, virtually all U.S. states require a candidate to show evidence that he or she passed Parts I and II of the written National Board Dental Examinations. Part I of the NBDE covers the basic biomedical sciences, dental anatomy and ethics tests; the NBDE Part II addresses clinical dental subjects. In most U.S. states, candidates for initial dental licensure must also pass a clinical examination conducted by either an individual state or a regional testing agency.

In addition to the educational, written examination and clinical examination requirements, state boards may have additional requirements, such as: a minimum age of 18 or 21 years; good moral character; examination on the state practice ad (jurisprudence); proof of malpractice insurance; current basic life support (BLS) or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification; specialty examination results or certificate; background check; fingerprint verification; interview; documentation of hepatitis B vaccination; or a course in infection control, radiation safety, or other specified topics. 

There are five clinical testing agencies responsible for the clinical examination. Depending on where you are located in the country, it's important to get an idea of the licensure protocols in your state.

1. The Commission on Dental Competency Assessments (CDCA)

Formerly known as the NERB, the CDCA participating states are Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

2. Council of Interstate Testing Agencies (CITA)

CITA participating states: Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

3. Central Regional Dental Testing Services (CRDTS)

CRDTS participating states: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Virgin Islands, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

4. Southern Regional Testing Agency (SRTA)

SRTA participating states: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

5. Western Regional Examining Board (WREB)

WREB participating states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Planning to practice in Delaware or New York? The process differs for candidates in these independent states. In Delaware, all applicants for dental licensure, regardless of their years in practice, are required to pass the Delaware Practical Board Examination in dentistry and the Delaware Jurisprudence Exam. Candidates in NY are required to complete a doctoral degree as well as one year in a clinically based postdoctoral general practice or residency program. Florida candidates (after October 2011) who have taken the ADEX exam (administered by NERB) in other states can apply for licensure in Florida for one year. After that, they will be required to undergo additional requirements to maintain licensure such as a jurisprudence exam.

Conclusion

Since state boards can change requirements at any time, be sure to check with the state board in which you wish to obtain licensure for the most current information. Stay on track, ace the exam, and be on your way to becoming a dentist in whichever state you decide to practice!

Testing Agencies Websites

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