Licensure Information for Dental Students
Licensure is a multifaceted system and can take time to fully understand. The ADA can help.
This overview is a great start and we strongly recommend you review the licensure laws and regulations from the individual state board websites for real-time information about which examinations are accepted in the state(s) where licensure is sought. Dental hygiene licensure requirements also differ; consult the state regulations for specific dental hygiene information.
The information provided here is subject to change and was updated in the fall of 2015. It is essential to read the licensure requirements as published by the state board of dentistry, prior to taking an examination or applying.
Download the table below for a summary of which clinical examinations are accepted by state dental boards for initial dental licensure:
Download the matrix document below for a summary of state laws regarding licensure by exam and licensure by credentials (Note – this document was developed in 2015 and is being updated for 2016):
Clinical Testing Agencies
The five clinical testing agencies are listed below. Visit each testing agency website for more information about their clinical examinations. Please note: Delaware and New York do not use the services of a clinical testing agency. Find out how to pursue licensure in those areas.
Council of Interstate Testing Agencies (CITA)
Central Regional Dental Testing Services, Inc. (CRDTS)
The Commission for Dental Competency Assessments (formerly the Northeast Regional Board of Dental Examiners (NERB))
Southern Regional Testing Agency, Inc. (SRTA)
Western Regional Examining Board (WREB)
Two states do not use the services of a clinical testing agency:
- Delaware conducts its own practical clinical examination and requires other post graduate education or practice experience as defined by the Delaware licensure board.
- New York requires a doctoral degree in dentistry, plus completion of a clinically-based postdoctoral general practice or specialty dental residency program, of at least one year's duration, in a hospital or dental facility.