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Columbia Board of Dentistry: Critical Licensing Insights

May 25, 2024

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The District of Columbia is home to a growing community of dental professionals, with approximately 800 dental assistants employed across various practices. 

Whether you’re a new applicant or due for renewal, understanding the requirements set by the Columbia Board of Dentistry can be quite challenging.

But you don’t have to go it alone – this guide is here to light the way.

As the governing body over D.C. dentists, the Columbia Board’s role is to uphold professional standards through overseeing licensure, from earning that initial credential to fulfilling continuing education. 

Their mission is to ensure every dentist practicing in the District meets qualifications for safe, skilled patient care.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the board’s procedures for renewing licenses, reviewing applications, and verifying credentials. Additionally, we’ll see how Heartbeat AI can simplify these processes.

Let’s explore!

Columbia Board of Dentistry

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Columbia Board of Dentistry: At A Glance

The Columbia Board of Dentistry governs the licensure and regulation of dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants in Columbia. This board plays a crucial role in maintaining the highest standards of dental practice, ensuring public health and safety in oral care.

Their primary responsibilities include the issuance of licenses, monitoring of continuing education, enforcement of dental standards, and discipline of professionals who fail to comply with regulations. Additionally, the board processes complaints and adapts regulations to reflect current dental practices and technologies.

Contact Information

  • Address: Columbia Board of Dentistry, 123 Dental St, Suite 100, Columbia, City, Postal Code
  • Phone: (555) 123-4567
  • Website: Columbia Board of Dentistry

What is the Columbia Board of Dentistry Responsible for?

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the key responsibilities of the Columbia Board of Dentistry:

  • Licensing: The board issues licenses to dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants in the District of Columbia. This ensures that only qualified and competent individuals practice dentistry and dental hygiene in the district.
  • Regulation of Practice: The board establishes and enforces rules and regulations that govern the practice of dentistry and dental hygiene. This includes setting the scope of practice, standards of care, and ethical guidelines that all dental professionals must follow.
  • Disciplinary Actions: The board has the authority to take disciplinary actions against dental professionals who violate the laws, rules, or regulations governing their profession. Actions can include fines, suspension, or revocation of licenses.
  • Public Safety and Protection: A key role of the board is to protect the health and safety of the public by ensuring that dental care providers practice safely and ethically. It also provides a mechanism for the public to file complaints against dental professionals.
  • Continuing Education: The board mandates that licensed dental professionals complete a certain amount of continuing education to renew their licenses. This requirement helps ensure that practitioners stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in dental science and technology.
  • Oversight and Monitoring: The board may conduct inspections or audits of dental practices to ensure compliance with applicable laws and standards.

Columbia Board of Dentistry Lookup

To verify a dentist’s licensure with the Columbia Board of Dentistry, you can access their official online portal. This resource allows you to search for dental professionals by name or license number, providing essential information. This includes the status of the license, expiration dates, and any disciplinary actions that have been recorded. 

This tool plays a crucial role in making sure that all dentists practicing in the area meet the necessary standards for providing dental care. Also, platforms like Heartbeat AI simplify the process of accessing current licensing information, making it easier to verify the credentials of dental care providers in Columbia.

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Columbia Board of Dentistry License Requirements

To be licensed as a dentist in Columbia, applicants must follow these criteria:

  • Must be at least 18 years old to apply.
  • Completion of a dental or dental hygiene program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).
  • Dentists are required to pass both parts of the National Board Dental Examinations (NBDE), while dental hygienists must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE).
  • Successful completion of a clinical examination that is recognized and approved by the District of Columbia Board of Dentistry.
  • Application submission must include the necessary fee to the DC Board of Dentistry for processing.
  • A thorough criminal background check is mandatory for all applicants.
  • Applicants must hold current CPR certification from a recognized provider.
  • All applicants are required to complete a certified course on HIV/AIDS as part of their licensing requirements.

How to Get a Columbia Board of Dentistry License

How to Get a Columbia Board of Dentistry License

Here are the steps to obtain a dentistry license in Columbia:

Step 1: Complete an Accredited Dental Program

Enroll in and graduate from a dental program that is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). This program should provide both theoretical knowledge and practical clinical skills.

Step 2: Pass Required Examinations

Successfully pass the National Board Dental Examinations (NBDE), Part I and Part II, or the Integrated National Board Dental Examination (INBDE). In addition, you must pass a regional clinical examination accepted by the D.C. Board of Dentistry, such as the American Board of Dental Examiners (ADEX) exam or the North East Regional Board (NERB) exam.

Step 3: Apply for Licensure

Submit your application for licensure to the District of Columbia Board of Dentistry through the Department of Health. Ensure that your application includes your educational credentials, exam results, a recent photograph, and the required application fees.

Step 4: Background Check

Undergo a criminal background check, which includes fingerprinting. This step is mandatory and helps ensure that candidates meet the professional and ethical standards required to practice dentistry.

Step 5: CPR Certification

Obtain and maintain a current certification in Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers from a recognized provider. This certification is crucial for emergency preparedness in a dental setting.

Step 6: Jurisprudence Exam

Pass the District of Columbia jurisprudence examination, which tests your knowledge of local laws and regulations pertaining to the practice of dentistry in D.C.

Step 7: Await License Issuance

Once all your documents are verified, and you have successfully passed the required exams and checks, the D.C. Board of Dentistry will issue your license, allowing you to practice dentistry in the District of Columbia.

Columbia Dentistry Board Licensure Time Frame

The licensure process for the Columbia Dentistry Board varies in duration based on several important factors. Once your complete application, including all required documentation and appropriate fees, has been submitted, the board begins its evaluation process. 

For dental hygienists, the processing time is typically four to six weeks from the date a complete application is received. For other dental professionals, this process can range from several weeks to a few months. 

The exact time frame depends on the completeness of your application, the necessity for additional information, or how frequently the board meets to review applications. This ensures a thorough review while accommodating the specific needs of different types of dental professionals.

Cost of Columbia Dentistry Board License

The Columbia Dentistry Board outlines a specific fee structure for obtaining and maintaining a dentistry license. The initial licensing fee is set at $120.00. For those already holding licenses, the renewal fee is $155.00. If the renewal is submitted late, there is an additional late renewal fee of $50.00. 

For individuals seeking to take the examination or re-examination, the fees are detailed in Section 3500.3 of the board’s regulations, indicating that these costs can vary. This fee schedule is designed to manage the licensing process within the dentistry profession in Columbia efficiently.

Columbia Board of Dentistry License Renewal

Columbia Board of Dentistry License Renewal

Here’s how the dental license renewal process typically works in the Columbia Board of Dentistry:

Step 1: Acknowledge Your Renewal Cycle

In Washington D.C., dental licenses must be renewed biennially by December 31st of odd-numbered years. Keeping track of this schedule is crucial to avoid any lapse in licensure.

Step 2: Complete Continuing Education Requirements

Dentists in D.C. are required to complete a specified amount of continuing education (CE) hours during each renewal cycle. This includes mandatory courses in subjects like infection control and ethics. Specific requirements can be found on the D.C. Board of Dentistry’s website.

Step 3: Prepare for the Renewal Fee

Renewal fees are required and should be verified for the current amount on the D.C. Board of Dentistry’s website or by contacting them directly.

Step 4: Submit Your Renewal Application

Renewal applications can usually be submitted online through the Department of Health’s licensing portal. It’s important to ensure that all personal and professional information is updated and accurate.

Step 5: Submit the Application Before the Deadline

To avoid any late fees or disruptions in your practice, make sure your completed application and the necessary fees are submitted before the end of the renewal period on December 31st of odd-numbered years.

Step 6: Confirmation of Renewal

Once your application is processed, the Board will issue a confirmation of your license renewal, which is typically available online.

Columbia Board of Dentistry License Verification

Columbia Board of Dentistry License Verification

To verify a dental license in the District of Columbia (D.C.), you can utilize the online verification system managed by the D.C. Department of Health. Here’s how you can conduct this verification:

Step 1: Visit the D.C. Department of Health Website

Begin by navigating to the official website of the D.C. Department of Health. This site provides access to a range of health-related services and licensing information.

Step 2: Access the Health Professional Licensing Administration (HPLA) Section

Within the Department of Health website, locate and access the Health Professional Licensing Administration (HPLA) section. This division is responsible for the licensing and regulation of health professionals in the district, including dentists.

Step 3: Use the License Search Tool

Look for a link or section titled “License Search” or “Verify a License.” This tool allows you to search for licensed professionals across various health fields.

Step 4: Enter the Required Information

You will need to enter specific details to perform the license verification. This typically involves inputting the dentist’s name or their professional license number. Be sure to enter the information accurately to retrieve the correct data.

Step 5: Submit the Search

After entering the necessary details, submit your search. The system will process your request and search the D.C. health licensing database for matching records.

Step 6: Review the Search Results

The results will display information such as the dentist’s license status, type, issue date, and expiration date. It may also provide additional details, such as any disciplinary actions taken.

How Often Do Dentistry Licenses Need to be Renewed in Columbia?

In the District of Columbia (D.C.), dentistry licenses need to be renewed biennially. Specifically, the licenses for dentists, dental hygienists, and expanded function dental assistants expire on December 31st of odd-numbered years. As part of the renewal process, dental professionals are required to meet continuing education (CE) requirements. These requirements vary depending on the specific type of dental professional:

Dentists are typically required to complete 50 hours of CE every two years.

Dental Hygienists need to complete 36 hours of CE every two years.

Expanded Function Dental Assistants are required to complete 18 hours of CE every two years.

How Does Heartbeat AI Simplify the Process of Getting & Renewing a Dentistry License in Columbia?

How Does Heartbeat AI Simplify the Process of Getting & Renewing a Dentistry License in Columbia

Heartbeat AI makes managing licensing applications and renewals simpler for dentists in Columbia by providing access to healthcare professionals’ contact details for direct support. 

Below are the primary features Heartbeat AI offers:

Access to a Vast Database

Heartbeat AI provides users access to an expansive database containing over 11 million records of healthcare professionals. This wide-reaching resource enables users to efficiently locate and connect with relevant experts and advisors in various healthcare specialties, facilitating collaborations and consultations.

Reliable Contact Information

By sourcing contact information from over 200 trusted providers, Heartbeat AI ensures that users receive accurate and verified contact details. This includes phone numbers and email addresses, which are essential for effective communication with the local dental licensing board.

High Data Accuracy

Heartbeat AI boasts high accuracy rates, with 84% for cell phone numbers and 92% for email addresses. High accuracy is vital to ensure that communications reach the intended recipients, reducing the likelihood of errors or delays in the licensing process.

Targeted Search Capabilities

The Prospector Tool allows dentists to perform searches based on specific criteria, such as location and specialty. This tool helps quickly identify the correct regulatory contacts and understand specific regional licensing requirements, streamlining the application or renewal process.

Networking Tools

With features like the Chrome Extension, dentists can network with other professionals who have navigated the licensing process in Columbia. Networking can provide valuable insights and advice, making the licensure process more manageable.

Information Verification Features

The File Upload feature enables dentists to verify and correct their contact lists, ensuring the accuracy of the information used in communications with the licensing board. This helps prevent errors in submissions and ensures that all interactions with the board are as effective as possible.


This discussion explained the Columbia Board of Dentistry’s responsibilities in monitoring dental practices in the District of Columbia. Dentists operating in Columbia are required to follow strict regulations to maintain their licenses and ensure the delivery of safe and high-quality dental care. 

Heartbeat AI is an excellent resource for dental professionals in Columbia, offering a straightforward platform for managing licensing processes and building professional connections.


Does the Columbia Board of Dentistry regulate teledentistry practices?

Yes, the dental board in Columbia typically regulates teledentistry practices along with other forms of dental practice. Teledentistry must adhere to the same standards of care and regulatory guidelines as in-person dental services.

How can I file a complaint against a dental professional in Columbia?

To file a complaint against a dental professional in Columbia, you should contact the local dental board or the agency that oversees dental professionals in that area. This usually involves filling out a complaint form with details of the issue and submitting it either online or by mail. The board will then investigate the complaint based on their protocols.

What should I do if my dental license is lost or stolen in Columbia?

If your dental license is lost or stolen in Columbia, you should promptly report it to the local dental board or the licensing authority. They will provide instructions on how to apply for a replacement license, which might include submitting specific forms, providing identification, and potentially paying a replacement fee.

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