Dental Practice

Information on dental-related laws and regulations: the Dental Practice Act, prescribing laws, medical device regulations, and mandated reporting.

ADA files complaint with Federal Trade Commission against SmileDirectClub
08/20/2019
The American Dental Association has asked the Federal Trade Commission to “investigate false and misleading claims made by SmileDirectClub, LLC to entice consumers to purchase products and services.” The ADA is concerned specifically with SmileDirectClub’s marketing and direct-to-consumer sales of plastic teeth aligners, which it says do not follow the adequate safeguards required by law.
Dentists' use of Botox requires appropriate dental treatment plan documentation
08/05/2019
At the direction of the 2018 CDA House of Delegates, CDA has been working with the Dental Board of California to better understand the scope of practice for general dentists as it relates to the use of cosmetic agents such as Botox and dermal fillers. The house directed CDA to take this action to clear up confusion that arose from the creation of the Elective Facial Cosmetic Surgery permit as it relates to the scope of cosmetic services general dentists may provide.
Surety bonds required for dentists enrolled as DMEPOS suppliers
07/22/2019
Beginning June 1, the National Supplier Clearinghouse began sending letters to Medicare-enrolled dentists notifying them that a surety bond of at least $50,000 per office location may be required to initiate or continue their Medicare enrollment as a supplier of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthodontics and supplies. Prior to 2019, dentists were exempt from this rule.
Pathway to California RDA license clarified in new CDA resource
06/19/2019
Dentists who have hired an out-of-state-trained dental assistant and would like to enable that assistant to become a licensed RDA in California now have a simplified resource to help with that process. The new resource, available at cda.org/practicesupport, clearly defines the two paths that a dental assistant can follow to become a California-licensed dental assistant.
Dental board’s sunset review bill includes clarifications on licensure
05/28/2019
The Dental Board of California is undergoing its sunset review in the state Legislature. In Assembly Bill 1519, authored by the Assembly Business and Professions Committee, the dental board provides a status update to the Legislature and identifies opportunities for improvement. CDA has particular interest in three areas of the dental board’s sunset review bill, including clarifying how an applicant can obtain a new license after their initial license has expired.
Dental hygiene regulatory entity becomes board in 2018 sunset review
10/15/2018
This year, the Dental Hygiene Committee of California underwent its second sunset review, which was signed into law Sept. 17 by Gov. Jerry Brown, extending the committee’s regulatory authority until Jan. 1, 2023. The DHCC underwent two major changes during the sunset review. In addition to a formal name change to the Dental Hygiene Board of California, the DHCC will no longer be officially under the jurisdiction of the dental board.
RDA written and RDA law and ethics exams to be combined
04/30/2018
On May 24, 2018, the Registered Dental Assistant Written and Registered Dental Assistant Law and Ethics examinations are expected to launch as a single combined exam. The Dental Board of California and the Dental Assisting Council in a December 2016 meeting agreed to take this action to “ensure that the combined examination is legally defensible and meets the requirements of Business and Professions Code Section 139.”
Updated Legal Reference Guide for California Dentists features all-CDA content
02/26/2018
In their day-to-day practice, dentists and their teams must know and comply with federal, state and local laws — from the layered requirements of federal and state employment laws to the dentistry-specific California Dental Practice Act to local laws that enforce building codes. A first resource for dentists to help them navigate these laws is the Legal Reference Guide for California Dentists, updated and published in January by the CDA Practice Support experts.
Practical examination no longer a requirement for RDA licensure
12/19/2017
After years of low pass rates on the RDA practical examination, a professional analysis that raised questions of exam validity and reliability, and a temporary exam suspension, the Dental Board of California decided to permanently eliminate the practical examination as a requirement for RDA licensure.
Dental board licensure fee increases to take effect Oct. 19
10/04/2017
The Dental Board of California on Oct. 19, 2017, will implement a new set of fee increases to licentiates. These fee increases were approved by the state Office of Administrative Law Aug. 24, 2017, and their implementation comes ahead of the date previously reported.
Planning made easy with C.E. course calendar
09/26/2017
CDA provides an online continuing education course calendar that includes pages of course offerings for dentists who want to enhance their practice and professional development or simply need credits for license renewal.
RDA practical exam suspended, licensure will continue
08/08/2017
Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday, Aug. 7, 2017, signed AB 1707 (Low, D-Silicon Valley) into law, which authorizes the Dental Board of California to resume issuing new RDA licenses and to extend the suspension of the RDA practical examination. AB 1707 contains an urgency clause, which makes the legislation effective now, rather than in 2018.
CDA updates guide to the California Dental Practice Act
03/22/2017
“Your Guide to California Dental Practice Act Compliance” was updated in January 2017 to reflect new laws concerning adverse event reporting, scope of practice, required language in the anesthesia informed consent form, online advertising through Groupon, notice of licensure, prescriber dispensing of controlled substances and several other areas of practice.
First USC dental student completes licensure by portfolio
06/23/2016
The first dental student at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC has completed the licensure by portfolio process. Alexandra Chamberlain, DDS, completed the school's Certification of Clinical Experiences for licensure through portfolio by passing seven clinical competency examinations.
Licensure renewal mailing contains incorrect information
02/19/2016
Licensure renewal notices recently mailed by the Dental Board of California to dentists who need to renew their license provided the incorrect web address for online renewal. The new BreEZe online license renewal website is accessed at www.breeze.ca.gov, rather than the website provided in the notice.
New online licensure renewal system goes live Jan. 19
01/12/2016
The scheduled "go-live" date for the new online license renewal system known as BreEZe is Jan. 19. The BreEZe system (breeze.ca.gov) allows dental professionals to apply for or renew their licenses online, pay with a credit card, track the status of an application or licensing request, submit address changes and obtain proof of license status. BreEZe also enables consumers to verify a professional license and file consumer complaints.
Dental board urges immediate action on license renewal
12/02/2015
The Dental Board of California and the Department of Consumer Affairs have launched a campaign to reach dentists and registered dental assistants whose licenses expire in January 2016, and urge them to renew their professional licenses as soon as possible. This comes as a result of the transition to a new online licensure renewal system known as BreEZe.
Online license renewal begins early next year
10/20/2015
The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is anticipating the launch of a new computer licensing system for dentists, hygienists and assistants in January. Known as the BreEZe system, it will allow dental professionals to apply for or renew their licenses online, pay with a credit card, track the status of an application or licensing request, submit address changes and obtain proof of license status. BreEZe also enables consumers to verify a professional license and file consumer complaints.
New dental licensure fee cap set
10/08/2015
The governor has signed a bill that includes an increase in the cap on dental licensure fees, along with cap increases for most other fees, as part of the Dental Board of California’s sunset review. The proposed cap for initial and biennial renewal fees was part of AB 179 and will increase to $650 as of Jan. 1, 2016, and rise to $800 in 2018.
Local hazardous waste programs available for dentists
10/01/2015
Dentists should be aware that many counties across the state allow small businesses to use their household hazardous waste collection programs. CDA recently updated its Household Hazardous Waste and Small Quantity Generator Programs resource that outlines the availability of local household hazardous waste programs for the disposal of hazardous waste. A household hazardous waste program is a good alternative to hazardous waste pickup, especially due to the fact that dental practices generate small quantities of the waste.
Online license renewal system to go live this year
08/11/2015
The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is set to launch a new computer licensing system for dentists, hygienists and assistants in 2015. Known as the BreEZe system, it will allow dental professionals to apply for or renew their licenses online, pay with a credit card, track the status of an application or licensing request, submit address changes and obtain proof of license status.
First UCSF student completes licensure by portfolio
07/27/2015
The first student to complete the licensure by portfolio process at the UCSF School of Dentistry has graduated. Jose Molina, DDS, who is now practicing as an associate dentist in Fresno, chose to obtain his licensure through this process because he felt it was a more “complete assessment” of his competency as a dentist. He also appreciated the fact that he was able to work on his own patients, providing follow-up care as needed.
07/14/2015
Dentists with licenses/permits that expire in August need to check their mail for renewal notices mistakenly sent in envelopes with a return address for the “Bureau of Automotive Repair.” The Dental Board of California confirmed that a vendor inadvertently mailed August renewals in the wrong envelopes, which could lead dentists to mistakenly discard their renewal notices.
07/01/2015
CDA is making dentists aware of an issue that is occurring with license renewal notices being sent in the mail. A member recently notified CDA that she received her renewal notice in an envelope that had a return address for the “Bureau of Automotive Repair,” and nearly disposed of the unopened envelope. Subsequently, CDA confirmed that some notices might have been sent out by accident with the wrong return address.
First dental students complete licensure by portfolio
06/11/2015
The first two dental students in the country have now completed the licensure by portfolio process. The University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry students, Daniel Feldman and Dan Beroukhim, accomplished this by building a portfolio of completed clinical experiences and clinical competency examinations in six subject areas over the normal course of their clinical training. Calibrated UOP faculty evaluated the examinations.
Dentists must comply with new medical waste law
06/01/2015
California’s Medical Waste Management Act (MWMA) was amended earlier this year. As a result of this amendment, there are changes dental practices need to make. It has come to CDA’s attention that there has been some misinformation circulated which is causing confusion. Here are the facts of the MWMA changes that impact dental practices.
Dental board proposal includes new license fee cap
05/28/2015
The Dental Board of California is proposing an increase in the cap on dental licensure fees, along with cap increases for most other fees, as part of its sunset review. The proposed cap for initial and biennial renewal fees, recently approved by a legislative committee as a part of AB 179 (Dental Board Sunset Review), would increase to $650 as of Jan. 1, 2016, and rise to $800 in 2018.
Pharmacies rejecting dentist prescription forms
05/04/2015
CDA reminds dentists who write controlled substance prescriptions that they must ensure their tamper-resistant forms are up-to-date. CDA has learned prescriptions are being rejected by pharmacies because the forms do not include all of the required elements. One of those required elements is that tamper-resistant forms used for controlled substance prescriptions must have the prescriber’s address preprinted on them.
CDA updates guide to Dental Practice Act
04/17/2015
CDA provides a guide to its members that is intended for use by dentists and allied dental health professionals to assist them in complying with the California Dental Practice Act. Some of changes in the 2015 edition of Your Guide to California Dental Practice Act Compliance are listed in this story.
04/03/2015
The Assembly and Senate Committees on Business and Professions recently held a “sunset review” hearing for a variety of professional licensing boards, including the Dental Board of California. At the hearing, CDA acknowledged the board’s recent fee audit and, given recent increases in licensure renewal fees, urged the board to establish a structurally sound budget and a clear and evidenced-based process for future licensure fee increases.
03/20/2015
In preparation for its Sunset Review this year, the Dental Board of California initiated a fee audit in December that examined, in detail, how much of the board's budget is spent on each board function - something that CDA strongly advocated for during discussions with the board on recent dental licensure fee increases. The completed audit revealed that the board spends significantly more on enforcement than for all other functions, predicts the board will run a $4.3 million deficit this fiscal year.
Dental board conducting C.E. audits for license renewal
03/10/2015
The Dental Board of California is currently in the process of auditing random dental practices to ensure that licensees are meeting the continuing education (C.E.) requirements necessary for license renewal. Over the last year, the dental board has been auditing approximately 60 dentists per month. Two issues identified during these audits are that licensees are unable to produce the appropriate certificate of completion for C.E. courses, and licensees are taking classes that are not dental-related.
New licensure by portfolio set to be implemented
12/12/2014
Dental students in California will soon officially be able to graduate with a “portfolio” model exam process over the course of their final year in dental school. In November, the Dental Board of California finalized the regulatory process of approval for the portfolio examination model and California’s dental schools can now begin the implementation process (it is not a requirement for the schools, however). This is the first licensure-by-portfolio-exam program in the nation.
12/11/2014
The Dental Board of California has released its 2014 Sunset Review Report to the state legislative bodies responsible for analyzing and approving the document. Areas of particular interest to CDA during the Dental Board’s sunset review process are ensuring the addition of statutory language that exempts treatment of a spouse or domestic partner from the definition of sexual misconduct and alternative licensure options, including regional and national examinations.
Prepare for dental code changes in 2015
11/18/2014
Dentists need to ensure that their practices are prepared for dental procedure code changes that go into effect Jan. 1. There are 73 code changes, including 16 new procedure codes. The ADA released the latest version of the Current Dental Terminology (CDT) Codes earlier this year.
Dental licensure fees rising
07/01/2014
Dental licensure fees are on the rise as the Dental Board of California struggles with rising costs that have led to a significant budget deficit. An increase in initial licensure and biennial renewal fees from $365 to $450 took effect July 1, the current maximum allowed under law, which the Dental Board approved last fall. However, the board still projects a deficit even with the increase to $450. Consequently, the board sponsored SB 1416 (Block) this year, which was signed into law last month and raises the fee to $525 effective Jan. 1, 2015 - the amount the Department of Consumer Affairs has determined the board needs to remain financially solvent.
03/21/2014

With the receipt last month of final approval from the state Office of Administrative Law, initial and biennial dental licensure fees will be increasing for the first time since 1998, effective July 1, 2014. A group of ancillary fees that is linked by law to the biennial renewal fee will be increasing as well.

12/13/2013
In January, dentists receiving their biennial renewal statements from the Dental Board of California (DBC) will see an increase in the total fee from $365 to $377.
08/26/2013
The Dental Board of California has released for public comment its proposed regulations that would raise the initial licensure and biennial renewal fees for dentists from $365 to $450, the maximum currently allowable by state law.  The public has until Sept. 23 to provide written comment (or in-person comment at a public testimony-only hearing to be held on that date in Sacramento).
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