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How internationally trained dentists are licensed to practice in the U.S.

For dentists trained outside the U.S. who wish to obtain the training required to become U.S.-licensure eligible, there are several options.

(For information on U.S. licensure for internationally trained dentists, visit

Internationally trained dentists can complete a U.S.-based predoctoral program and earn a DDS or DMD degree, sometimes in less time than it takes U.S. students. There are many predoctoral programs in the U.S. that offer advanced standing for international dentists, meaning students can receive credit for some of their dental education obtained in another country. A DDS or DMD degree from an accredited predoctoral program satisfies the educational requirements for licensure in all states. Individual program requirements vary.

In some states, a general practice residency or other advanced education program (advanced education in general dentistry or specialty training) is accepted in lieu of a dental degree or certificate of completion. Minnesota is another unique case, as the state dental board determines educational credentials of international dentists on a case-by-case basis.

International Dentist Programs offer yet another alternative to dentists trained outside the U.S. Separate from other dental education programs, International Dentist Programs grant either DDS or DMD degrees or a certificate of completion. However, earning a certificate may only satisfy licensure eligibility requirements in the state where the program is located.

International Dentist Programs are designed to ensure that the students attain the same knowledge and skills as graduates of an accredited program. In an IDP, internationally trained dentists are familiarized with the oral health delivery system in the U.S., techniques and procedures used by U.S. dentists, oral health standards and the oral health needs of U.S. citizens.

U.S. dental schools offering International Dentist Programs are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, but Universidad De La Salle is not.