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California Board of Dentistry: A Complete Guide For Licensing

April 2, 2024

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As of 2022, the California Dentistry Board oversees the regulation of approximately 43,500 dentists (DDS). Additionally, it regulates around 44,500 registered dental assistants (RDA) and 1,700 registered dental assistants in extended functions (RDAEF). 

The California Board of Dentistry defines the roles and responsibilities of dental professionals. It oversees the regulation, licensing, and supervision of dentists in the state. Understanding the board’s role is crucial for anyone looking to practice legally and comply with California regulations.

This guide will outline the steps for acquiring, renewing, and verifying your dentist license in California. Moreover, we will introduce Heartbeat AI, a tool that simplifies the entire licensing and renewal process. Continue reading to learn more.

California Board of Dentistry

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California Board of Dentistry: At A Glance

The Board of Dentistry California is a regulatory body responsible for licensing, monitoring, and enforcing standards among dental professionals in California.

It regulates dentists, dental hygienists, and assistants to protect public health and safety. This ensures compliance with state laws and ethics through exams and licensure.

Contact Information

What is the California Board of Dentistry Responsible for?

The California Board of Dentistry is responsible for:

  • Issuing Licenses: Granting licenses to dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants who meet educational and examination criteria.
  • Enforcement: Investigating complaints and enforcing laws and regulations to ensure public safety and professional conduct.
  • Examinations: They manage or approve the tests that people need to pass to get their dental licenses.
  • Consumer Protection: They give information and help to people so they can make good decisions about their dental care. They also show how to report a problem or complaint.
  • Professional Standards: Setting and enforcing standards for professional conduct and competence in dental care.
  • Continuing Education: Overseeing continuing education requirements for dental professionals to ensure they remain knowledgeable about current practices.
  • Regulation and Policy Development: Creating regulations and policies to guide the practice of dentistry in California, adapting to changing healthcare needs.

California Board of Dentistry License Lookup

To look up a dentist’s license in California, visit the Dental Board of California’s website and use the “License Verification” feature. You’ll need the dentist’s name or license number to search. 

The results will show the dentist’s license status, including validity, expiration dates, and any disciplinary actions. This tool is essential for verifying a dentist’s credentials accurately.

Additionally, Heartbeat offers an efficient solution for verifying the licensing status of California dentists. This platform makes it easy to find up-to-date information about medical professionals, helping you check if a dentist has the right qualifications.

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Are You Eligible for a California Board of Dentistry License?

To be eligible for a dentistry license in California, you must meet several requirements. First, graduate from an accredited dental program. Second, pass the National Board Dental Examinations and a California-specific clinical exam. 

This includes the California Law and Ethics Exam. A criminal background check is also mandatory. Additional requirements include CPR certification and courses in infection control. 

Finally, submit a completed application and fees to the California Board of Dentistry. Always check the board’s website for the latest details and requirements.

California Board of Dentistry License Requirements

The California Dental Board mandates various prerequisites for the licensure of dentists, dental hygienists, and Registered Dental Assistants (RDAs). 

To be eligible, applicants are required to:

  • Submit a completed application along with the necessary fees.
  • Hold a current, unrestricted dental practice license from another state.
  • Demonstrate proof of active clinical practice or being a full-time faculty member.
  • Achieve fingerprint clearance.
  • Successfully navigate through the application procedure.
  • Clear the California Registered Dental Hygienist Written Law and Ethics Examination.
  • Finish a course certified by the California board.
  • Undertake and pass the Central Regional Dental Testing Service (CRDTS) examination again.
  • Undertake a minimum of 12 months in a general practice residency or pursue advanced education in general dentistry.
  • Complete four essential courses.
  • Accumulate a minimum of 50 units of education, with 25 units obtainable through home study.
  • Fulfill at least 2 of the 50 hours in infection control and another 2 hours dedicated to the California Dental Practice Act.

How to Get a California Board of Dentistry License?

How to Get a California Board of Dentistry Licenses

This guide explains how to get a dentist, dental hygienist, or dental assistant license in California. To get a California Board of Dentistry license, follow these steps. 

Step 1: Complete Your Dental Education

In California, dentists must complete a 4-year degree from a CODA-accredited school. Dental hygienists require a program lasting 2-4 years, also accredited by CODA. Dental assistants have two options: completing a CODA-accredited program or fulfilling specified on-the-job training.

Step 2: Pass National Dental Examinations

After dental school, dentists need to pass the NBDE Parts I and II, covering dental sciences. Dental hygienists must clear the NBDHE, focusing on hygiene and care. Dental assistants in California are required to pass duty-specific exams, like the RDA and a law and ethics test.

Step 3: Gain Clinical Experience

In California, dentists and dental hygienists are required to pass clinical exams to demonstrate their practical skills in dental care and hygiene. Dental assistants aiming for advanced certification need to show their practical abilities either through specific exams or verified work experience

Step 4: Submit the California Board of Dentistry License Application

Submit your application and exam scores to the California Dental Board for a dentist or dental hygienist license, including dental school transcripts. For dental assistants, apply with your education proof, exam results, and any state-specific requirements.

Step 5: Pass the California Law and Ethics Examination

Dentists and dental hygienists in California are required to pass a law and ethics exam related to their professions. Dental assistants may also need to pass this exam, depending on their certification level, to prove their understanding of legal and ethical guidelines.

Step 6: Complete Fingerprinting and Background Check

All applicants for a dental license in California are required to submit to fingerprinting and complete a background investigation. This step ensures that all dental professionals can safely work with patients.

Step 7: Receive Your License

Once you have completed all the previous steps and your application has been approved by the California Dental Board, you will receive your license or certification. This allows you to legally work as a dental professional in California.

California Board of Dentistry Licensure Time Frame

The California Board of Dentistry typically processes and issues licenses within two weeks after receiving a completed application and the required initial license fee. For updates to license status made online, the average processing time is 48 hours. 

Then, your pocket license will be mailed to you and should reach you within 2 to 3 weeks. If you update your license status by mail, it’ll take 6 to 8 weeks for the update, plus another 6 to 8 weeks for your pocket license to arrive. 

Remember, you need to renew your license by December 31 every odd-numbered year, no matter when you first got it.

Cost of California Board of Dentistry License?

The California Board of Dentistry establishes various fees for dental licensing, as follows:

  • Application Fee: $525
  • Fingerprint Processing Fee: $49
  • Renewal Fee for Active Dentists: $650
  • Renewal Fee for Inactive Dentists: $650
  • Renewal Fee for Retired or Disabled Dentists: $347, or $325 if delinquent
  • DHCC Clinical Examination Application Fee: $50
  • Examination Fee: $525
  • License Issuance Fee: $100
  • Radiation Safety Course Fee: $475

For license renewal, additional fees include:

  • Delinquent Fee for Active Dentists: $325 (30 days after expiration)
  • Delinquent Fee for Retired or Disabled Dentists: $162.50 (30 days after expiration)
  • RDA Renewal Fee: $100, with a $50 delinquency fee for renewals more than 30 days after expiration.

California Board of Dentistry License Renewal

California Board of Dentistry License Renewal

Renewing your license in California is an important process to ensure you can continue practicing without any legal issues. Here’s a simplified guide to help you understand each step of the renewal process.

Step 1: Check Your Renewal Notice

First, you’ll receive a renewal notice from the California Board of Dentistry about 60 days before your license is due to expire. This notice will have important information, including your renewal deadline and any specific requirements you need to meet this time around.

Step 2: Complete Continuing Education

Before you can renew your license, you must complete the required continuing education (CE) hours. The specific number of hours and the types of courses you need can vary, so check the Board’s requirements. Make sure to keep records of your CE completion as you’ll need to report this information.

Step 3: Visit the Board’s Website

Go to the California Dental Board’s official website. Look for the section on license renewal, which should provide detailed instructions and the option to renew online. 

Step 4: Sign In or Register a New Account

If it’s your first time using the online system, you’ll have to set up an account by providing some simple details about yourself and your license. If you already have an account, just sign in with your login info.

Step 5: Complete the Renewal Application

Once logged in, find the renewal application section. You’ll need to fill out the application form with your current information and report your completed CE hours. Additionally, answer any questions related to your practice and conduct.

Step 6: Pay the Renewal Fee

After completing the application, you’ll be directed to pay the renewal fee. The fee amount should be listed on your renewal notice and on the website. Most of the time, paying this fee online is possible using your credit or debit card through a secure payment system.

Step 7: Confirm and Submit

Before submitting your renewal application, double-check all the information you’ve entered for accuracy. After checking that all is in order, go ahead and send in your application. You’ll get a confirmation saying it’s been received and is under review.

Step 8: Keep a Record

After submitting your renewal application, make sure to keep a copy of the confirmation for your records. You might also want to note the date you submitted the renewal, just in case you need to follow up.

Step 9: Check Your License Status

Finally, you can check the status of your license renewal on the Board’s website. It might take some time for your renewal to be processed, but once it’s done, your license status should be updated online.

California Board of Dentistry License Verification

California Board of Dentistry License Verification

Here’s a simple guide to help you verify a dental license with the California Board of Dentistry.

Step 1: Visit the California Dental Board Website

First, you need to go to the official website of the Dental Board of California. You can do this by typing “Dental Board of California” into your internet search engine. Once you find the website, click on the link to open it.

Step 2: Look for the License Verification Section

Once you are on the Dental Board of California’s homepage, look for a section or a menu option that says “License Verification” or something similar. This might be under a menu called “Consumers” or “Licensees.”

Step 3: Enter the Dentist’s Information

In the License Verification section, you will find a search tool. Here, you can enter information about the dentist whose license you want to verify. You might need to know their name or license number. Fill in the information you have in the appropriate fields.

Step 4: Conduct the Search

After entering the dentist’s information, look for a button that says “Search,” “Submit,” or something similar. Click on this button to start the search. The website will then look for dentists that match the information you provided.

Step 5: Review the Results

The search will display a list of dentists or take you straight to the dentist’s profile you want, based on the details you provided. Click on the name of the dentist to see more details about their license status. This will include whether their license is active, expired, or has any restrictions.

Step 6: Understanding the License Details

When you’re viewing the dentist’s license details, you’ll see various pieces of information. This includes the dentist’s license number, the type of license, the status of the license, and the expiration date. Make sure that the license is active and check if there are any notes or actions that might affect their ability to practice.

Step 7: Contact the Dental Board if Needed

If you have any questions about the license verification process or the information you found, you can contact the Dental Board of California directly. Look for a “Contact Us” section on their website for phone numbers or email addresses.

How Often Do Dental Licenses Need to be Renewed in California?

California dental licenses need to be renewed every two years. This renewal happens at the end of the month when the dentist is born. For example, if a dentist’s birthday is on June 14, 1982, their license will need to be renewed by June 30 in years like 2014, 2016, and so on, whether those years are odd or even.

Dentists also have to keep learning to keep their licenses. They need to do 50 hours of extra learning, called continuing education, every two years. They can do up to half of these hours at home. Also, out of the 50 hours, at least 2 hours must be about keeping things clean and preventing infections.

How Does Heartbeat AI Simplify the Process of Getting & Renewing a Dentist License in California?

How Does Heartbeat AI Simplify the Process of Getting & Renewing a Dentist License in CaliforniaHow Does Heartbeat AI Simplify the Process of Getting & Renewing a Dentist License in California

Heartbeat AI simplifies the process of obtaining, renewing, and verifying dentistry licenses by providing comprehensive information. At Heartbeat, we provide clear and concise responses to licensing questions.

Here’s what sets Heartbeat apart:

Large Database

Heartbeat AI has a vast database. It features details on over 11 million healthcare professionals from 200 sources. The database is kept up-to-date, with phone numbers accurate about 84% of the time. Email accuracy is at 92% from the initial search.

Search Made Simple

The platform’s Prospector Tool makes finding healthcare workers easy. Users can search by location, specialty, and experience.

Quick Information Access

The Heartbeat AI Chrome Extension provides immediate access to crucial information. Users can view this information on medical websites without navigating away.

Verify Contact Information

Heartbeat’s file upload feature allows users to upload a contact list. This feature helps verify and correct any wrong or missing details. It ensures the database remains accurate and trustworthy.

Flexible Pricing

Heartbeat AI introduces various pricing plans. These plans are designed to meet the financial capabilities and needs of different healthcare organizations. This approach makes the platform accessible to a wider audience within the healthcare sector.

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In simple terms, the California Board of Dentistry is crucial for ensuring high-quality healthcare in California. It makes sure that only qualified people can take care of your oral health.

If you’re looking to get or renew your license, it’s important to know what you need to do and when. Whether it’s your first time or you’re renewing, being prepared is important. Tools like Heartbeat AI can make the whole process easier for you by providing information about healthcare professionals.

Frequently Asked Question

Can dental assistants in California perform all dental procedures?

No, dental assistants have specific tasks they can perform, as defined by the Board, and they cannot perform all dental procedures.

What is the difference between a DDS and DMD degree for dentists in California?

Both DDS and DMD degrees represent the same level of education and clinical training required to become a dentist. The distinction is merely in the name, and both are recognized equally by the California Board of Dentistry.

What actions can the California Board of Dentistry take against a licensee for professional misconduct?

The Board has the authority to enforce disciplinary actions such as issuing warnings, imposing fines, and mandating extra education to ensure public health and safety. Additionally, they can suspend or revoke licenses, among other measures, as necessary.

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