Friday, March 25, 2005

Dentist Licensure in the Unites States: The Licensure Process

This is first in a series on dentist licensure in the USA:

The American Dental Association (membership and registration required, I have been a member for over 25 years) has a booklet that summarizes the challenges of dental licensure, particularly for the new graduate. It is:
  • Dental Boards and Licensure Information for the New Graduate handbook | PDF file/390k
For those reading this blog and that do not have access directly to the ADA site I will incorporate materials from it and other sites.

So, here we go:

"In the United States, each state has the right to set its own requirements for professional licensure. In addition to health professionals such as dentists, physicians, nurses, and dental hygienists, etc., states also license realtors, attorneys, and a myriad of other licensure categories. Although each state has a dental board, its level of autonomy varies. Even the independent boards, which exercise all licensingand disciplinary powers, are often functionally housed within other governmental departments.

In rare cases board members may be elected but are most frequently appointed by the
state’s governor. Generally, standards for licensure are set by statute and can be changed only by an action of the state legislature."

In other words, each state of the union regulates the ability of a person to practice dentistry in their state. There is no national standard.

This is unlike medicine licensure which will be discussed as we progress.

Is this appropriate? Is it fair?

Why was licensure established in this manner?

Hold on..... the questions will be answered.

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