The map highlights the varying requirements for dental licensure in the 50 states and Puerto Rico, while also demonstrating the complexity of dental licensure and the need for licensure reform, said Dr. Linda Niessen, council chair.
When it comes to initial licensure requirements, some states — such as Florida, Louisiana and North Carolina — only accept results from the ADEX Dental Licensing Examination, which is administered by the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments and the Council of Interstate Testing Agencies, Inc.
Meanwhile neighboring Georgia only accepts results from the Central Regional Dental Testing Service Inc.; and other states accept results from the Southern Regional Testing Agency Inc and the Western Regional Examining Board.
Many of the states accept results from all five clinical test administration agencies, while some require Post-Graduate Year Residency and/or the Objective Structured Clinical Examination.
“I believe the dental licensure map will help dentists address the challenges of licensure reform by having a better understanding of the complexity and licensure requirements in each state,” Dr. Niessen said.
The map, she added, may identify that there are more similarities among states for certain requirements than differences.
“If this is the case, can licensure reform build on these similarities?” Dr. Niessen asked.
For example, she said, if a dentist submits his or her credentials and documents in one state and receives a dental license, then decides to relocate to another state with similar requirements, wouldn’t licensure by credentials or reciprocity makes sense between these states as part of licensure reform?
The map provides information on initial licensure requirements by state based on current information available from state dental boards.
ADA members may use the map by selecting or hovering over a state to see which exams or credentials are accepted. Dentists can also select a state and download a PDF that contains the regulatory licensure provisions for dentists, including both licensure by examination and licensure by credentials. The map includes contact information of each state dental board and where to find their detailed requirements.
“Dentists are not only more mobile today than in the past but two career families (with one member being a dentist or even two members being dentists) can require relocation for career advancement,” Dr. Niessen said. “The [map] enables dentists to easily review the dental licensure requirements of each state so dentists and their families can make a more informed decision about a relocation or an initial practice location.”
To use the map, visit ADA.org/en/education-careers/licensure.