Recent updates on California dental regulations

| Sep 1, 2020 | Dentistry

Much has changed in the past year in the world at large, and in California dentistry. As a dentist, you have a duty to stay up-to-date on changes to rules and regulations regarding your profession. Here are a few highlights regarding changes that all dentists should know.

Changes to requirements for licensure started on January 1, 2020

Even before Covid-19 hit California, the law had made some revisions to licensure for dentists. An applicant for licensure using the residency pathway must complete certification within two years prior to the application date. In addition, the law made some changes to the approval process for foreign dental schools.

A new law also required applicants to meet standards through the Western Regional Examining Board (WREB) exam, passing all of the competencies required by law. Applicants could also use the results of an American Board of Dental Examiners (ADEX) exam taken after November 15, 2019.

Due to Covid-19, the Dental Board of California (DBC) is now accepting the WREB and ADEX manikin-based exams. The DBC has extended the use of manikins to the Comprehensive Treatment Planning Examination and the Periodontal Scaling Examination.

Updates regarding Covid-19

Covid-19 has obviously caused the most upheaval to dentistry this year. The DBC has been issuing guidance and changes throughout the pandemic. Part of that guidance included an interpretation of the governor’s initial Executive Order N-39-20 issued on March 30, 2020. In May, the California Department of Public Health allowed dentists to resume preventative care.

Changes to licensing and renewals

The most fluctuation in the regulations has centered around licensing renewals and testing for new dentistry professionals. Many different exams were postponed, canceled or waived. As of July 3, 2020, if your license was set to expire between March 31, 2020, and August 31, 2020, you do not have to complete continuing education training for your license renewal, in most cases.

In addition to changes for dentists, the DBC has also canceled the August examination for registered dental assistants in extended function. They are not waiving the exam, however. They hope to reschedule them in the near future.

If you have any concerns regarding the regulations that apply to your practice, reach out to a legal professional for guidance. That way, you can keep your focus on caring for your patients.