What is the Dental Licensure Compact?

Navigating through the realm of dental licensure is complex. The dental licensure compact is a novel framework that simplifies licensure for dental professionals.

The Compact Explained

The dental licensure compact seeks to streamline licensure for qualified dental professionals. It increases accessibility to dental services by allowing providers to offer services across different participating states. Obtaining individual licenses for each state comes at a steep cost. This initiative hopes to alleviate the shortage of dental services in underserved areas, establishing standardized requirements for licensure to ensure consistent provision of dental care. As such, the dental licensure compact offers several benefits:

  • License Portability: The compact enables licensed dentists and dental hygienists to practice in all states participating in the compact. This eliminates the need to obtain an individual license for each state.
  • Increased Access to Care: A licensure compact can benefit the public by increasing access to dental care, particularly in areas with fewer dental professionals.
  • Professional Mobility: The compact seeks to provide dental professionals with opportunities for multi-state practice. This can be particularly advantageous for individuals relocating for personal or professional reasons.
  • Strengthening Labor Markets: States may experience benefits such as workforce development and a fortified labor market due to the enhanced mobility of dental professionals.
  • Expanding Consumer Access: The compact can expand consumer access to high-quality dental care services. This ensures that a wider range of patients receive the care they need.

Legislative Landscape

The following states have already enacted legislation to join the dental licensure compact: Washington, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Tennessee. At this time, Minnesota, Kansas, New Jersey, Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, Indiana, Virginia, Maine, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ohio are mid-legislature.

For the DDH compact to go into effect, seven states must enact the compact into law through their legislative process. At that point, a commission consisting of one representative from each state will be formed to create the rules and application process.

To be eligible for the compact, an individual must possess an active license in any state that participates in the compact. The individual must have passed the national board examination or other exam accepted by the compact commission. The applicant should have completed a clinical assessment and graduated from an education program accredited by CODA with no disqualifying criminal history.

The DDH compact reduces the administrative and financial burden of applying for and maintaining multiple state licenses. There will no longer be a need to keep track of different licensure renewal dates and continuing education requirements and no multiple licensure fees paid. The compact also eliminates arbitrary requirements or credentials needed for dental licensure (such as reciprocity rules). While some states can individual take months to process a licensure application, the compact verifies requirements within one business day and eliminates board approval.

For up-to-date information, monitor the official website dedicated to the Dental and Dental Hygiene Compact or the respective state legislatures for real-time updates.

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