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Regulatory Compliance Checklist

March 24, 2022 2586

This checklist provides an overview of what dental practices need to do to comply with the Dental Board, occupational safety, employment, environmental, radiation safety, patient privacy, information security, and general business requirements. This list offers general information and does not take the place of legal advice. This list is not exhaustive, and each item may not be applicable to every situation.

Dental Board

The mission of the Dental Board is to protect and promote the health and safety of consumers of the state of California.

It does this primarily through enforcement of the Dental Practice Act (DPA). Individuals can view the DPA online or order a printed copy at dbc.ca.gov. CDA's “Guide to Dental Practice Act Compliance,” summarizes portions of the DPA and organizes information in alphabetical order by subject.

  • Practice Address. Notify the board of a new practice address, or that there is no practice address, using breeze.ca.gov or the Change of Address form on the board website. Every licensed dentist must report a place of practice, any change or additional place of practice, or that they have no place of practice to the board within 30 days of the change. If not reported within the specified time, a penalty will be assessed. If a fictitious name permit or additional office permit is held, a new application is required because these permits are address specific. 
  • Name Change. Notify the Dental Board of a legal name change within 10 days using breeze.ca.gov or the Notification of Name Change form on the board website. 
  • Dental Corporation. The name of a dental corporation must contain and be restricted to the name or the last name of one or more of the present, prospective, or former shareholders and shall include the words “dental corporation” or other wording or abbreviations denoting corporate existence. A dental corporation must maintain minutes of annual shareholder meetings and file annually a statement of interest with the California Secretary of State. Read CDA's resource “Dental Incorporations–What You Need to Know” for more information. 
  • Fictitious Name. A fictitious name is a name other than the name under which a license is issued or a dental corporation name. Apply for a fictitious name permit, if applicable, and then file a fictitious business name statement with the county clerk. Review CDA's resource “Fictitious Business Name” for more information. 
  • Additional Office. Apply for an additional office permit if the dentist has a proprietary interest of any nature or any right to participate in the management or control of more than one place of practice. Permit holders must post at each office a sign with the dentist’s name, address, telephone number, and dental license number.
  • Mobile Dental Clinic. A mobile dental clinic/unit is a self-contained facility, which may include a trailer or van, in which dentistry is practiced that may be moved, towed, or transported from one location to another. It must be registered with the board and operated in accordance with regulations. The permit application is on the board website here
  • Portable Dental Unit. A portable dental unit is a self-contained unit housing equipment used for providing dental treatment that is transported to and used on a temporary basis at nondental office locations. A portable dental unit must be registered and operated in accordance with regulations (pending at the time of this writing). The permit requirements will be on the board website once regulations are fixed.
  • Sedation/Anesthesia Permits. Review CDA's resource “Sedation and Anesthesia Permits” to determine if a dentist needs an adult oral conscious sedation permit, pediatric minimal sedation permit, moderate sedation permit, or general anesthesia permit. Information and permit applications are available on the board website here. A new law took effect on January 1, 2022, with implementing regulations to take effect later in the year.
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Permit. A California-licensed physician who is board-certified in oral surgery and wants to practice oral and maxillofacial surgery must have this permit
  • Elective Facial Cosmetic Surgery Permit. Only a licensed dentist with this permit may perform elective facial cosmetic surgery. 
  • Notice of Licensure. Licensed dentists are required to ensure notice is posted in a facility where dental services are provided. Details on the required notice can be accessed here
  • Posting of Auxiliary Duties. Included in the CDA-provided required poster set is the “Combined Table of Permitted Duties.” It also can be downloaded from cda.org.
  • Advertising and Marketing. Be aware of federal, state, and local rules governing dental practice advertising and marketing. The laws, in general, promote truth-in-advertising and govern endorsements, referrals, discounts, social couponing, and more. Read “Dental Practice Marketing and Advertising 101” and other marketing resources on cda.org.
  • Commercial Credit and Financing. If you offer patients commercial credit and financing, you must provide them with written notice of their rights. Read CDA's resource “Offering Commercial Credit to Patients” for more information. 
  • Continuing Education and License Renewal. A license renewal period is two years. Fifty continuing education units are required to renew a dental license. Permit holders may have additional continuing education requirements. Twenty-five units are required to renew all allied dental health personnel licenses and permits, except for RDHAPs. RDHAPs require 35 units for license renewal. Units must be earned from courses provided by board-approved or accepted providers. All licensees are required to complete three courses each renewal period: (1) a 2-hour board-approved California infection control course, (2) a 2-hour board-approved California Dental Practice Act course, and (3) a basic life support course that meets the board’s requirements. Read CDA's resource “Continuing Education Requirements” for more information. 
  • Dental Assistant Education. The employer of an unlicensed dental assistant hired on or after Jan. 1, 2010, is responsible for ensuring that the dental assistant, who has been in continuous employment for 120 days or more, has successfully completed all the following within a year of employment: (1) a board-approved course in the Dental Practice Act, (2) a board-approved 8-hour course in infection control and (3) a course in basic life support that meets the board’s requirements. The employer of a dental assistant shall be responsible for ensuring that the dental assistant maintains certification in basic life support. Information, including a list of board-approved 8-hour infection control courses, is available on the board website here.
  • Dental Materials Fact Sheet. Must be provided to a patient at least once prior to performing a restorative procedure. The current fact sheet is dated 2004 and is available on the board website here. The fact sheet may not be changed but a dental practice may provide supplemental information.
  • Denture Identification. Every complete upper or lower denture fabricated by a licensed dentist or fabricated pursuant to the dentist’s work order shall be marked with the patient’s name unless the patient objects. Information is available in the “Guide to Dental Practice Act Compliance” resource. 
  • Infection Control. All licensees must comply with specified infection control practices. Weekly biological testing (spore test) of sterilizers is required. Written protocols for instrument processing, operatory cleanliness, and management of injuries must be developed and periodically updated. When performing procedures that will expose the dental pulp, sterile water or other solutions containing recognized disinfecting or antibacterial properties must be used for irrigation. A copy of the infection control regulations and sample written protocols are available here
  • Patient Records. The DPA, HIPAA, federal information blocking rule, and state privacy laws regulate the use and accessibility of patient records and information. Read CDA's resource “Patient Records: Requirements and Best Practices” for more information. 
  • Controlled Substances, DEA Registration, and CURES. Obtain DEA registration number only if prescribing, dispensing, or administering controlled substances. Register online with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Diversion Control Program. Administering or dispensing controlled substances at more than one location requires a DEA registration for each location. All prescriptions must be submitted to California pharmacies via electronic data. Prescribers with DEA registration must register to access CURES, the state’s prescription drug monitoring program. Prescribers, under specified conditions, are required to consult CURES when writing the prescription of a controlled substance for more than a five-day supply and for refills. Prescribers are required to offer a patient a prescription for naloxone hydrochloride or another FDA-approved drug for complete or partial reversal of opioid depression. For more information, read “Prescribing and Dispensing Q&A.”
  • Opioid Consent for Minor Patients. Before issuing the first opioid prescription to a minor in a single course of treatment, you must discuss specified risks with the minor or minor’s parent or guardian. Use CDA's resource “Consent to Prescribe Opioid to a Minor,” to document the discussion.
  • Medication Prescribing and Dispensing. Follow rules to administer, prescribe and dispense non-controlled substances. All prescriptions, including non-controlled substances, must be submitted to California pharmacies via electronic data. For more information, read “Prescribing and Dispensing Q&A.”
  • Radiation Safety. All personnel who operate radiographic equipment in a dental practice must have successfully completed a board-approved radiation safety course. Unlicensed dental assistants should have their certificates displayed.

Government Benefit Programs

Certain requirements apply to dentists who receive payment from government benefit programs, who treat or refer patients with Medicare coverage, or who have patients with prescription coverage through Medicare.

  • Opt-in/Opt-out. Healthcare providers are required to enroll in or formally opt out of Medicare if providing Medicare-covered items or services or if ordering covered clinical laboratory services, imaging services, or durable medical equipment for patients on Medicare. Read Medicare Enrollment FAQ” on ada.org.
  • Nondiscrimination Requirements. Dental practices that receive payments from certain types of government programs, such as Medi-Cal Dental, Healthy Families, Medicare, or electronic health records incentive (“meaningful use”), must comply with rules adopted under the Affordable Care Act Section 1557 that protect individuals from discrimination in health care based on race, color, national origin, age, disability, and sex, including discrimination based on pregnancy, gender identity and sex stereotyping. Refer to CDA's resource “Nondiscrimination Requirements Under the Affordable Care Act Section 1557.”

Patient Communication

A dental practice must comply with federal laws when using certain communication methods with patients. For communicating with, or marketing to, future patients, refer to CDA's “Dental Practice Marketing and Advertising 101” and other marketing resources on cda.org.

  • Cell phone – calls and texts. The Federal Communications Commission implements the Telephone Consumer Protection Act in part by requiring an entity to obtain an individual’s consent prior to calling or sending certain types of communication. TCPA does not prohibit returning an individual’s call but does require consent prior to sending, for example, a text reminder about an overdue bill. Patients must be provided with opt-out opportunities. Read CDA's resource “Rules for Communicating via Telephone, Cellphone, and Email.” 
  • E-mail. It is a best practice to obtain patient consent prior to sending emails to a patient. Any email containing protected health information must be sent securely unless the dental practice has obtained the patient’s informed consent. Read CDA's resource “Rules for Communicating via Telephone, Cellphone, and Email.” 
  • Appointment Reminders. Use the minimum patient information necessary for appointment reminders via postcard, text, email, or voicemail message. The remainder need not be communicated securely when doing so.
  • Voicemail Messages. Determine whether others can access the voicemail message left at the telephone number provided by the patient. If others can access it, obtain patient acknowledgment of that situation, or have the patient provide a phone number that is only accessible by the patient.
  • Patient Access to Records. Both federal and state laws govern a patient’s right to access their health information. Patients may not be required to submit a written request for access or to present in person. Develop your office policy, procedures, and form. Review CDA's resources “Patient Request to Access Records (Records Release) Form and Q&A” and “Patient Records—Requirements and Best Practices” for more information. 
  • Patient Portal. The portal must meet HIPAA security rule standards. If the portal can provide a patient with access to their records, that feature must be turned on and available. The federal information blocking rule prohibits all health care providers from blocking a patient’s access to their electronic health information. Read CDA's resource “Information Blocking Rule Q&A” for more information. 

General Business

  • Local Permits, Licenses, and Taxes. Check the websites of both the city and county where your practice is located for information on required local permits, licenses, taxes and fees. A city or county may collect a tax for each licensed professional working in an office, require a permit for the outdoor signs, require a permit for security alarms, and collect business property tax. You can also check CalGold, a state website with permit information for all types of businesses. If you are building new or remodeling space, ensure your contractors obtain the necessary permits.
  • Required Employment Notices and Posters. Dental employers must post several notices and provide specific information for the benefit of their employees. Refer to “Required Postings in a Dental Office” on cda.org for a list of the required notices and posters and online links. To be compliant, some notices contained in the poster set require the employer to provide additional information. One poster set at no cost is available to each member who has confirmed practice ownership. Additional sets will be available for purchase. Be sure to review your cda.org profile to ensure it reflects your status as a practice owner. Note: Individual cities and counties across California have passed local ordinances relating to minimum wage and paid sick leave laws with eligibility rules and posting requirements varying from city to city. Check with the local city government as to whether any additional local ordinances and posting requirements apply to employees in your practice.
  • Record Retention. There are recommendations and requirements for retaining business, employee, patient, and regulatory compliance records. Refer to CDA's resource “Records and Documents Retention Guidelines” for more information. 
  • Seller’s Permit. If you sell items to patients, obtain a seller’s permit from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. Refer to CDA's article “Sales and Use Tax.” 
  • Use Tax Registration. Once your practice generates $100,000 in a year, you must register with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration for report use tax. Refer to CDA's article “Sales and Use Tax.” 
  • Americans With Disabilities Act and State Disability Laws. Dental practices are considered places of public accommodation and have an obligation to ensure their services are available to the disabled. Refer to CDA's article on “Best Defense Against Disability Lawsuits” for more information. 
  • CalSavers Retirement Savings Program: Employers of five or more employees who do not sponsor a retirement program must register and facilitate program activities on behalf of their employees who opt into the program. The registration deadline for all employers is June 30, 2022. For more information and to register, refer to the CalSavers website

Employment

  • Employer Identification Number. Obtain from the IRS website.
  • Payroll Taxes. Register as an employer with the state Employee Development Department and review California Employers Guide (DE44) for information on employee taxes and withholdings. Complete Registration Form for Commercial Employers (DE 1) no later than 15 days after the first $100 in wages is paid. California Employers Guide can be found online at edd.ca.gov/pdf_pub_ctr/de44.pdf. You can also go to the EDD website, to learn how to submit payroll taxes.
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Obtain mandatory coverage.
  •  Employee Brochures. Have required brochures on sexual harassment, disability insurance, paid family leave, and workers’ compensation available to give to newly hired employees. See “Required Postings in a Dental Office” for online links to the required brochures.
  • Employee Manual. An employee manual provides your employees with information about and a reference regarding their rights and obligations in your practice. While an employee manual isn’t required by law, compliance with certain laws in California requires written policies, (e.g.  Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act of 2014). Use CDA's “Sample Employee Manual Template.”
  • New Employee. Refer to CDA's “New Employee Orientation and Onboarding Checklist” for a list of required and recommended items to collect and distribute when hiring a new employee.
  • Employee Records. Set up separate employee files for confidential records* and standard onboarding and employment records. *Examples include records that contain medical information, medical screening results, injury reports, background check documents, etc. Refer to the “Employee Personnel Files” resource for specific requirements and best practices.
  • Earned Income Tax Credit. California employers are required to annually notify all their employees of the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credit..  Federal Earned Income Tax Credit. https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/earned-income-tax-credit California Earned Income Tax Credit (Cal EITC) www.ftb.ca.gov/about-ftb/newsroom/caleitc/index.html
  • Alternative Workweek. The law allows nonexempt employees to “approve” an alternative workweek schedule (AWS) of up to 10-hours a day, and up to 40 hours in a workweek, without the payment of overtime.  For an AWS to be valid, the employer must follow very specific steps and guidelines, which are outlined in the  Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order #4-2001. Such a schedule can be implemented after a vote of all employees in a work unit following proper disclosure and procedures. Resources to guide you through the process and a sample letter to send to the state are in CDA's “Alternative Workweek Resources.” 
  • Sexual Harassment Training. Employers with five or more employees must provide sexual harassment prevention training to all employees in California every two years. Employers are required to provide at least two hours of classroom or other effective interactive training and education regarding sexual harassment to all managerial employees and at least one hour of classroom or other effective interactive training and education regarding sexual harassment to all nonmanagerial employees within six months of their hire or promotion date. Get more information on harassment prevention training requirements. 

Cal/OSHA

Cal/OSHA relies on documentation of effective written plans outlining the employer’s safety program, communication of hazards to employees, and employee training for enforcement of its regulations. These written plans should be in place before hiring an employee.

  • Injury and Illness Prevention Plan. Develop this written plan that serves as an umbrella plan to the other Cal/OSHA-required plans. The plan may include elements to exempt a dental practice from the Aerosol Transmissible Disease regulation. It should include a section or addendum on COVID-19 prevention. See CDA's Regulatory Compliance Manual for a sample plan. 
  • Exposure Control Plan. Develop this written plan that explains the employer’s policies for preventing cross-contamination and employee exposure to blood and saliva. Implement policies on personal protective equipment, sharps evaluation, and more. See CDA's Regulatory Compliance Manual for a sample plan. 
  • Hazard Communication Plan. Develop this written plan to describe how the employer communicates to employees about workplace hazards. Develop an inventory list of hazardous substances, ensure containers are appropriately labeled and collect and organize safety data sheets (SDS). See CDA's Regulatory Compliance Manual for a sample plan. 
  • Ergonomics/Repetitive Motion Injury Prevention Program. An employer must have an ergonomics program to minimize repetitive motion injury (RMI) when an RMI has occurred to more than one employee under certain conditions. See CDA's Regulatory Compliance Manual for a sample plan. 
  • Fire/Emergency Plan. This plan describes what employees should do in case of a fire or emergency. See CDA's Regulatory Compliance Manual for a sample plan. 
  • General Office Safety Plan. This plan describes procedures for employees to follow to prevent accidents, such as those caused by improperly stored items, damaged equipment, or working around electric-powered devices. See CDA's Regulatory Compliance Manual for a sample plan. 
  • Aerosol Transmissible Disease. Health care providers, first responders, and other employers are required to comply with this regulation. Most dental practices and many specialty medical practices can be exempt from the regulation as long as the practices comply with specific conditions. Read CDA's resource “Cal/OSHA Regulation on Aerosol Transmissible Diseases” for more information. 
  • COVID-19 Prevention. A plan with required elements should be a section of, or an addendum to, the practice injury and illness prevention plan. See CDA's Regulatory Compliance Manual for a sample plan. 
  • Respiratory Protection Program. A written program is required when employees wear respirators, such as N95, for their protection. See CDA's Regulatory Compliance Manual for a sample plan. 
  • Air Compressor/Tank. A permit is required for any air tank that is 1.5 cubic feet in volume or larger or when the safety valve is set greater than 150 psi. Read CDA's resource “Air Compressor/Tank Permits” for more information. 
  • Eyewash Stations. Plumbed or self-contained eyewash stations must be located where it takes no more than 10 seconds for an injured person to reach. Eyewash stations must meet the ANSI standard cited in the Cal/OSHA regulation
  • First Aid Kit. Employers are required to maintain a first aid kit that contains supplies suitable for typical employee injuries. Contents of the kit must be approved by a consulting physician, kept in a sanitary condition, checked on a regular basis, and replenished as necessary.
  • Formaldehyde. If the substance in any form is used in the workplace, the employer must provide employee training, except where the employer can show, using objective data, that employees are not exposed to formaldehyde at or above 0.1 ppm. Use of the substance must be reported to Cal/OSHA. Read CDA's resource “Cal/OSHA Regulations on Formaldehyde” for more information. 
  • Permissible Exposure Levels. Cal/OSHA has set permissible exposure levels (PEL) for hundreds of substances, including nitrous oxide, formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, and mercury. If an employee complains or has questions about exposure to these chemicals, the employer must provide data that employee exposure is less than the PEL or else monitor to demonstrate that exposure is less than the PEL. See CDA's resource "Air Contaminants in Dentistry." 
  • HBV Vaccination. Offer vaccination to employees who are potentially exposed to blood-borne pathogens. Document action as required. Refer to CDA's “Hepatitis B Vaccination: Requirement and Recommendations” resource. 
  • Laundry. If an employee or employees launder personal protective equipment or other items as a work assignment, the employer must provide appropriate personal protective equipment and training on potential hazards of the task and safe practices.
  • Medical and Exposure Records. Inform employees of the existence, location, and availability of their medical and exposure records and of their rights to see them and to have a copy of the regulation. See Appendix 2 of CDA's Regulatory Compliance Manual for a sample plan. 
  • Train Employees on All Safety Plans. Use the “Cal/OSHA Training Requirements for Dental Practices” checklist.
  • Smoking Prohibited at the Workplace. Smoking is prohibited in enclosed areas at the workplace. Employers must notify workplace visitors of the prohibition by posting clear and prominent signs stating, “No smoking,” at the building entrances. Signs stating, “Smoking is prohibited except in designated areas,” also may be posted at building entrances if smoking is permitted in designated areas. Employers may purchase ready-made signs or create their own signs

HIPAA and Patient Information Privacy and Security

All California dental practices must comply with state privacy laws that sometimes overlap with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) which is applicable to “covered entities.” “Covered entities” are health care providers, health plans, and health information clearinghouses that perform certain transactions electronically. A detailed compliance guide is available from the American Dental Association. We strongly recommend you use the ADA Complete HIPAA Compliance Kit to help you develop or update your office policies and procedures. It has sample forms and policies and provides thorough discussions and considerations on how HIPAA compliance affects a dental practice. You can refer to the ADA kit for almost every item listed below. An expanded checklist for compliance with privacy laws, an overview of state and federal privacy rules, forms that comply with both federal and state privacy laws, and other resources are available on cda.org.

  • National Provider Identification (NPI) Number. Obtain an NPI number to be used for claims. Type 1 NPI number is for individuals and is used to identify a treating provider on claims. Pharmacies require prescribers to provide individual NPI numbers. Type 2 NPI number is for a business entity and is typically used on claims for the billing provider. A provider may have one individual NPI number and one or more Type 2 NPI numbers depending on the number of dental practices owned. Refer to the information posted at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website: nppes.cms.hhs.gov/ NPPES/StaticForward.do?forward=static.upstart.
  • Privacy and Security Officers. Designate one person to be both the privacy and security officer for the practice or assign two individuals the different responsibilities. The privacy officer is responsible for implementing privacy policies and procedures and for training staff on them. The privacy officer also may receive and process patient and third-party requests for patient information and for amending information. The privacy officer receives complaints regarding privacy and information requests on the practice’s Notice of Privacy Practices. The privacy officer ensures required documentation is completed and retained for specified periods. The security officer shares some responsibilities with the privacy officer about administrative policies and procedures. The security officer is responsible chiefly for the security of patient information that is stored, used, and transmitted electronically and may work with outside vendors on the administrative, technical, and physical security safeguards.
  • Risk Analysis and Risk Management Plan. Document where and how patient information is used, managed, stored, and transmitted in the practice. Identify risks to patient information, such as fire or a hacking incident, and assess the impact of that risk on the practice. Assess safeguards the practice has in place with HIPAA Security Rule specifications. Develop a risk management plan that addresses how the practice manages high-risk scenarios. Both the assessment and management plan must be thorough and documented and should be redone periodically and as needed.
  • Privacy Policies and Procedures. Develop written policies to address how the dental practice prevents the unauthorized and unintentional release of protected health information in all forms of communication — oral, written, and electronic. Also, include policies on patient access to records, disclosure of information to third parties, and steps to take after a data breach. Written documentation must include administrative, physical, and technical safeguards.
  • Notice of Privacy Practices. Develop this patient notice of your practice’s privacy policies and procedures. The notice describes patient rights about their information and the practice’s responsibilities. Obtain patient acknowledgment of receipt of the notice. See “Sample Notice of Privacy Practices” on cda.org.
  • Business Associate Agreements. Enter into an agreement with any entity that the dental practice allows having access to patient information for non-clinical purposes. The agreement is to ensure the privacy and security of the information. See “HIPAA Business Associate Agreement” on cda.org.
  • Security Policies and Procedures. Take steps to protect against unauthorized use or disclosure of electronic patient information. Must implement or address specific security safeguards included in the HIPAA Security Rule. Document the policies and procedures the practice follows to protect the accessibility, integrity, and availability of electronic patient information. See “HIPAA Security Rule — A Summary” on cda.org and “Security Rule Guidance Material” on hhs.gov.
  • Breach Assessment and Notification Procedures. Document procedures to follow a suspected breach is made known. Breach risk assessment is not required if the HIPAA-covered entity notifies the affected individual or individuals. Follow state and federal breach notification procedures. See “Data Breach Notification Requirements” on cda.org.
  • Employee Training and Discipline. Train employees on the dental practice’s privacy policies and procedures and cybersecurity awareness. Make employees aware that they will be disciplined for failing to comply with the practice’s policies and procedures and that discipline can include termination of employment.

Environmental & Public Health

  • Register as a medical waste generator. Check the California Department of Public Health website, to identify your local enforcement agency. The local enforcement agency can be the state DPH, the county environmental health department, or another local agency.
  • Arrange for medical waste disposal, pickup, or mail-back service. Utilize CDA's “Medical Waste Management Plan” to learn what exactly is medical waste and the requirements for its management and disposal. “Dental Office Waste Management Options” includes a list of mail-back programs.
  • Generators of hazardous waste (in a dental office this includes fixer, dental amalgam, solutions with chromium, X-ray film (silver), highly flammable solutions, and solutions with formaldehyde) must have a Hazardous Waste ID Number. To learn more and to apply, see the website of the Department of Toxic Substances Control. Refer also to this DTSC fact sheet for dental practices. 
  • Install amalgam separator(s) and complete required documentation if the federal rule is applicable to the practice. A local sanitation district may require that a dental practice obtain a wastewater discharge permit. Read CDA's  Amalgam Separator Requirement Q&A for more information.
  • Arrange for hazardous/universal waste pickup or mail-back service. Look into the possibility of using your local household hazardous waste program. See CDA's resource “Household Hazardous Waste and Small Quantity Generator Programs” for more information. 
  • Post-Proposition 65 sign or provide notice through informed consent, if applicable. Read “Proposition 65 FAQ” from CDA. 
  • Register X-ray equipment with the state Department of Public Health Radiologic Health Branch. Both Los Angeles and San Diego counties require a plan check for a facility with X-ray machines. For more information, see the Los Angeles Radiation Management Program and the San Diego Radiological Health Program
  • Complete a written radiation safety plan. A template for the plan can be found at the back of CDA’s “Radiation Safety in Dental Practice.” Inspectors will request your copy of the plan.
  • Obtain and post a copy of radiation regulations (also referred to as “Title 17 regulations”). Obtaining and making available to staff a copy of CDA’s “Radiation Safety in Dental Practice” satisfies this requirement. On the “Notice to Employees” radiation safety poster, record the location where employees can find the radiation regulations in your office.
  • Determine if you need to obtain dosimeters for staff. Read CDA's article “Personnel Radiation Monitors.” 
  • Provide employees with radiation safety instructions
  • If using a portable dental X-ray unit, obtain a copy of the California Department of Public Health exemption letter and comply with its provisions: Contact the department at  [email protected]  or 916. 327.5106

Compliance with industry standards

California dental practices may be required to comply with certain industry-imposed standards. Although these programs are not regulatory, they are included on this list because they affect most dental practices.

  • Payment Card Industry (PCI DSS). Credit card companies impose data security standards on businesses that accept and process credit card payments. Check with your credit card processor for details. For general information on the program, read “Credit Card Security Standards.”
  • Dental Benefits Plan Audits. The state requires dental benefits plans to conduct quality assurance audits on their providers. Read more about the audits in the “Dental Benefit Handbook.” 
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