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Licensure by Credentials

The ADA believes that states should have provisions for licensure of dentists who demonstrate they are currently licensed in good standing and also have not been the subject of final or pending disciplinary action in any state or jurisdiction in which they have been licensed. This should also apply to experienced, internationally-trained dentists, who have been licensed in a U.S. jurisdiction, and who may or may not have graduated from a CODA-accredited dental school. 

Appropriate credentials may include: 

  • DDS or DMD degree from a dental education program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation 
  • Specialty certificate/master’s degree from accredited program 
  • Specialty Board certification 
  • GPR/AEGD certificate from accredited program 
  • Current license in good standing 
  • Passing grade on an initial clinical licensure exam, unless initial license was granted via completion of PGY1, Portfolio examination, or other state-approved pathway for assessment of clinical competency. 
  • Documentation of completion of continuing education 

For dentists who hold a current dental license in good standing in any jurisdiction, state dental boards should:

  • Accept pathways that allow for licensure without completing an additional clinical examination, e.g., by credentials, reciprocity, and/or endorsement. 
  • Consider participation in licensure compacts 
  • Implement specialty licensure by credentials and/or specialty licensure to facilitate licensure portability of dental specialists. 
  • Make provisions available for a limited or volunteer license for dentists who wish to provide services without compensation to critical needs populations within a state in which they are not already licensed.
  • Make provisions available for limited teaching permits for faculty members at teaching facilities and dental programs accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.  
*Disclaimer: This information reflects ADA policy; you should check with specific state licensing authorities to get complete and up-to-date information regarding their licensure by credentials requirements. Select a state from the Dental Licensure Map for additional state licensure requirement information.