Licensure FAQ

Applying for and renewing a license in Pennsylvania can be stressful and complicated. We have answered some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from members. For more information on licensure, you can contact the State Board of Dentistry at 717-783-7162.

Download an initial license application

Download a license renewal application

How Often Do I Need to Renew My License?

All dental licenses must be renewed by April 1 every two years on odd numbered years. For instance, license renewal years are 2021, 2023, 2025, and so on. 

How Much Does It Cost to Renew My License?

The State Board of Dentistry sets the fees associated with licensure renewal. Currently, the rates are:

Dentist $263
Dental Hygienist $42
Expanded Function Dental Assistant $26
Anesthesia Unrestricted Permit $210
Anesthesia Restricted Permit I $210
Anesthesia Restricted Permit II $53
Dental Hygiene Local Anesthesia Permit   $42
Public Health Dental Hygienist   $42

How Many CE Credits Do I Need for Licensure?

Continuing Education Credits are required for each biennial period. The biennial period runs from April 1 to March 31 of the odd-numbered years. The requirements are as follows:

Dentist  30 hours
Dental Hygienist  20 hours
EFDA 10 hours
Unrestricted Permit* 15 hours
Restricted Permit I* 15 hours
Restricted Permit II*   none
Dental Hygiene Local Anesthesia   3 hours
Public Health Dental Hygienist 5 hours

*Dentists who practice in an office where there are other individuals who administer general anesthesia, deep sedation or conscious sedation who do not hold an Anesthesia Unrestricted or Restricted Permit I are required to complete five hours of anesthesia related courses in accordance with the Board's regulations.
NOTE: The 15 hours of continuing education required to maintain the Anesthesia Unrestricted or Restricted Permit I and the 5 hours of continuing education required for dentists who do not hold the Unrestricted or Restricted Permit I who practice in an office where other individuals administer general anesthesia, deep sedation or conscious sedation can be applied to the 30 hour continuing education requirements to maintain the license to practice dentistry.
The State Board of Dentistry will accept your AGD transcript as proof of the CE courses you have taken. To download your transcript visit the AGD web site or contact them at 1-888-AGD-DENT.

Is My CE Provider Accepted by the State Board of Dentistry?

There are a lot of CE courses on the market providing education to dentists. But if they are not an approved provider from the State Board of Dentistry, then those credits won't go towards your licensure renewal. Here is a listing of the approved providers:

The Board has approved the following as program sponsors:

  1. An accredited dental, dental hygiene or expanded function dental assisting school or program.
  2. The medical or osteopathic medical school or college accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the State Board of Medicine, State Board of Osteopathic Medicine or State Board of Nursing.
  3. The American Dental Association Continuing Education Review Program, the American Dental Association’s specialty associations, the American Dental Hygienists Association and the American Dental Assistants Association.
  4. The National Dental Association and its specialty societies and the National Dental Hygienists Association.
  5. The American Medical Association, American Osteopathic Medical Association and the American Nursing Association.
  6. The Pennsylvania Academy of Dental Hygiene Studies.
  7. The Academy of General Dentistry National Sponsor Approval Program.
  8. The Veterans’ Administration.
  9. The United States military services.
  10. The National Institutes of Health.
  11. The United States Public Health Services.

Here is an easy way to know if the provider is accepted by the State Board of Dentistry. Look for these logos:


What Subject Areas are Accepted by the State Board for CE Credit?

Here are the educational subject areas that the State Board of Dentistry will accept for licensure:

1. Diagnosis and treatment of oral pathosis
2. Clinical and technological subjects
3. Emergency procedures excluding hours required for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification
4. Infection Control
5. Abuse and neglect
6. Medical and scientific subjects
7. Laws and regulations pertaining to dentists, dental hygienists and EFDAs

Credit hours will not be awarded in non-clinical subjects, including:
1. Billing
2. Office management
3. Practice management
4. Insurance reimbursement

Is Act 31 Child Abuse Training Required for Licensure?

Yes. Under Act 31 of 2014, dental licensees are among those who are considered to be mandatory reporters of child abuse. Effective January 1, 2015, all persons applying for an initial license are required to complete three hours of approved training in child abuse recognition and reporting requirements as a condition of licensure. All licensees applying for the renewal of a license  shall be required to complete at least two hours of approved continuing education in child abuse recognition and reporting requirements as a condition of renewal.

PAGD has been approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to offer this training online through live webinars and in person. Visit our Course Schedule to register for a training today.

If you are not able to attend any of the sessions offered, the University of Pittsburgh Child Welfare Resource Center offers free on-demand online education. Visit their web site to register for this course.

Is Radiology Continuing Education Required for Licensure?

No, but it is required to operate X-ray equipment. Anyone who operates X-ray equipment in your dental office must take two hours of contact CE credit (hands-on) or four hours of lecture CE credit every four years to meet the requirements. When DEP inspects your X-ray equipment they will look for a certificate to verify that your operators have taken the required continuing education.

Courses offering this training must cover the following topics:

  1. Basic Properties of Radiation
  2. Units of Measurement
  3. Sources of Radiation Exposure
  4. Methods of Radiation Protection
  5. Biological Effects of Radiation Exposure
  6. X-ray Equipment
  7. Imaging Recording and Processing
  8. Patient Exposure and Positioning
  9. Procedures
  10. Quality Assurance Program
  11. Regulations
  12. X-ray Equipment
PAGD periodically offers this training in a lecture setting.