Dentist and Dental Hygienist Compact
The Council of State Governments (CSG) is partnering with the Department of Defense (DoD), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) to support the mobility of licensed dentists and dental hygienists through the development of a new interstate compact. This compact will create reciprocity among participant states, and reduce the barriers to license portability.
The Dentist and Dental Hygienist Compact has been finalized and is available for enactment. See which states have joined with DDH Compact website’s map.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Dentist and Dental Hygienist Compact is an interstate agreement that provides a pathway through which dentists and dental hygienists can obtain authorization to practice in states where they are not licensed. A state must enact the compact model legislation via a state’s legislative process in order to join. Compacts are constitutionally authorized and legally binding.
The Dentist and Dental Hygienist Compact is a mutual recognition model compact similar in form and function to occupational licensure compacts for nurses, physical therapists and psychologists. Dentists and dental hygienists who are licensed in one compact member state can practice in other participating states through a compact privilege.
A compact privilege is the authorization for a dentist or dental hygienist to practice in a compact participating state other than the state in which they are licensed. A dentist or dental hygienist must hold an active and unencumbered license and meet other eligibility criteria in a state that participates in the compact to be eligible for a compact privilege. A dentist or dental hygienist receives the compact privilege and may begin legally working in the new state when eligibility is verified, jurisprudence requirements are met and all fees are paid.
Once 7 states enact the compact, an application process will be established. See the compact map to see which states have enacted the compact.
A qualifying license is a license to practice dentistry or dental hygiene that has been issued by a state participating in the compact. The license may not have any current encumbrances related to an adverse action.
Dentists and dental hygienists must have:
An unencumbered license in a compact state.
Graduated from an education program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
Passed the National Board Examination.
Completed a clinical assessment.
No disqualifying criminal history.
The compact covers dentists and dental hygienists. Other allied oral health professionals, such as dental assistants and dental therapists, are not included in this compact.
States can become members of the compact by enacting the compact model legislation through the state’s legislature and governor. See the compact map to see which states have enacted the compact.
Facilitates multistate practice.
Enhances license portability when changing state of residence.
Expands employment opportunities into new markets.
Improves continuity of care when patients or providers relocate.
Supports relocating military spouses.
Reduces burden of maintaining multiple licenses.
Practitioners only need to complete continuing education units in the state where they hold a qualifying license to maintain their qualifying license. They do not need to complete units for states where they hold compact privileges.
Practitioners will need to complete jurisprudence examinations in each state where they are required.
Along with the American Dental Association and American Dental Hygienists’ Association, the following organizations contributed to the compact development process.
- American Student Dental Association
- Alaska Board of Dental Examiners
- Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners
- Idaho Board of Dentistry
- Iowa Dental Board
- Louisiana State Board of Dentistry
- Minnesota Board of Dentistry
- North Carolina Dental Board of Dental Examiners
- Ohio State Dental Board
- University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine
- University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine