Legislative updates from the American Student Dental Association

March 2014


Are you prepared for the licensure process? ASDA can help  

ASDA's 2013-14 Council on Education & Licensure developed a PowerPoint presentation to educate members about an important topic often left out of dental school curriculum: how to get your dental license. "A Guide to Getting Your Dental License" features commentary by Dr. Adam Shisler, 2011-12 ASDA president, and walks the viewer through the following: 

  • The purpose of dental licenses and understanding the entities that regulate them
  • An overview of the licensure process, including the National Board Dental Exams and regional exams
  • Alternative pathways for obtaining a dental license
  • The specifics for applying for a license
  • ASDA's stance on licensure
  • The ethical considerations when preparing for your licensure process
  • The evolution of the dental licensing process

For more licensure resources, visit ASDAnet.org/licensure.

Nathan Pruter, Ohio '14, accepts last year's award on behalf of his chapter.
Ideal LGN Chapter Award applications due March 14 
This award honors outstanding achievements by an ASDA chapter in serving the association on a local and national level. ASDA's Council on Advocacy will select a winner based on involvement in activities such as ADPAC drives, participation in national and state lobby days, legislative lunch & learns, legislative articles written, among others. The award will be presented at National Dental Student Lobby Day next month in Washington, D.C.  Download the 2014 application.  


From the States  

State licensure spotlight: Maryland    

Dr. Chrissy Hammer, Midwestern-Arizona '13, 2010-11 District 9 trustee and 2013 National Leadership Conference co-chair      


There are two ways to obtain a full dental license to practice in the state of Maryland: licensure by examination and licensure for a dentist already licensed in another state.  


1. Licensure by examination:

  • Graduate with a DDS or DMD from a CODA-accredited dental school
  • Pass NBDE Parts I and II 
  • Pass all sections of the ADEX/NERB (you will be asked to specify if you took the exam as curriculum integrated) 
  • Pass the Maryland State Jurisprudence Exam 
  • Submit a notarized application and fee

2. Licensure for a dentist already licensed in another state:

  • Graduate with a DDS or DMD from a CODA-accredited dental school
  • Pass NBDE Parts I and II
  • Provide a certified report from NERB that you passed the DSE*
  • Provide a certified letter from each state in which you hold a license with the                            state seal affixed stating your license was in good standing
  • Pass the Maryland State Jurisprudence Exam 
  • Submit a notarized application and fee

*A dentist licensed in another state who did not take an ADEX exam for initial licensure must:

  1. Have been actively practicing dentistry for at least five years, and during the five-year period preceding the application, have been actively engaged in practicing dentistry for at least 850 hours on average per year for a total of at least 4,250 hours.
  2. Have passed an exam with a clinical component as required for initial licensure in another state.
Read more about applying for a dental license in Maryland.
Maine bill attempts to reduce emergency room visits to treat dental pain
Maine lawmakers are considering a bill that would provide limited access to dental care for adults who receive MaineCare benefits, a proposal designed to help reduce uncompensated emergency room treatment for dental pain. Maine currently does not provide an adult dental benefit to MaineCare recipients, although children are covered. About 25 states provide at least some dental coverage for adults on Medicaid, the federally funded program that operates in Maine as MaineCare.

Under a proposal by Rep. Drew Gattine (D-Westbrook), if a medical doctor signs off on the need for dental care, an adult MaineCare recipient could visit a dentist and have the work paid for by MaineCare, rather than waiting for the problem to become so serious that it results in a visit to a hospital emergency room.  


The Legislature's Office of Fiscal and Program Review has yet to estimate the cost of the bill, which will likely be an important factor in how lawmakers react to it. Stefanie Nadeau, director of MaineCare services for the Department of Health and Human Services, testified against the bill at last week's hearing, arguing that it could be expensive and its costs would be difficult to forecast accurately. Gattine said he would be willing to amend the bill's language to address concerns that MaineCare would pay for dental care beyond the bill's intent. Gattine said he supports the eventual goal of providing a more expansive dental benefit to adult MaineCare patients, but he does not believe such a major change to MaineCare would be approved at this time.


From Portland Press Herald (Maine) (Feb. 24, 2014)

Supreme Court to examine N.C. Dental Board's claim that teeth-whitening should only be done by dentists  

The U.S. Supreme Court justices agreed to hear the North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners' challenge to a lower court ruling and an order by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC's original complaint against the dental board was issued in 2010, after letters were sent by the board telling non-dentist teeth-whitening providers that they were practicing dentistry illegally and ordering them to stop. The board also threatened or discouraged non-dentists who were considering opening teeth-whitening businesses and sent letters to mall owners and property management companies urging them not to lease space to non-dentist teeth-whitening providers, according to the FTC.


In 2011, the board filed a lawsuit against the FTC, accusing the commission of violating the U.S. Constitution in its attempts to keep the board from regulating teeth-whitening services offered by non-dentists. The FTC denied the board's motion to dismiss the FTC's complaint, rejecting the board's argument that the state action doctrine exempts it from antitrust scrutiny under the Federal Trade Commission Act.


In July 2011, a judge issued an initial decision that found that the board's actions constituted "unreasonable restraint of trade and an unfair method of competition." The board appealed that decision. The FTC then found that the board excluded non-dentist providers from the market for teeth-whitening services in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act. The board again appealed, but it was denied.


The board has lost several appeals of the FTC's decision, including a May 2013 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, N.C., which upheld the right of non-dentists to offer teeth-whitening products and services in the state.


Since 2005, at least 14 states have changed their laws or regulations to exclude all but licensed dentists, hygienists or dental assistants from offering teeth-whitening services. In addition, at least 25 state dental boards have ordered teeth-whitening businesses to shut down, while nine states have brought legal actions against such businesses.


From Dr. Bicuspid (March 3, 2014) 

Nancy Honeycutt, executive director
Nancy@ASDAnet.org | 312-440-2795
Facebook Mouthing Off Youtube Flickr