Dental board’s sunset review bill includes clarifications on licensure

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: clarifying how long successful completion of the WREB, ADEX or a qualified residency program will be valid for initial licensure; clarifying how an applicant can obtain a new license after their initial license has expired; and specifying the topics to be covered in all licensure examinations.

Additionally, AB 1519 seeks to establish an alternative process by which foreign dental schools can obtain approval in California in order to relieve the board of this responsibility.

The bill passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee May 16 and is expected to be heard in the Senate by early June. CDA will continue to work closely with the dental board and the committee as the bill moves through the legislative process.

The dental board was created by the California Legislature in 1885 and was originally established to regulate dentists. Today, the board’s primary responsibility is to protect the public. It is composed of 15 members, including eight practicing dentists, one registered dental hygienist, one registered dental assistant and five public members. The board is responsible for regulating the practice of approximately 91,000 licensed dental health care professionals in California, including but not limited to 43,663 dentists, 45,975 registered dental assistants and 1,778 registered dental assistants in extended functions. The board is additionally responsible for setting the duties and functions of approximately 50,000 unlicensed dental assistants.

The entire board meets at least four times throughout the year to address work completed by the various committees. Every four years, the board goes through a sunset review process to prove to the Legislature that it is functioning properly. Budgeting, staffing, customer satisfaction and the enforcement program are all part of the report and process.

CDA will keep members informed about this process in the Update and on cda.org.

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