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Background and Description


The Board of Dentistry is the second oldest licensing board in Oregon, created by an act of the Legislature passed February 23, 1887.
The Mission of the Oregon Board of Dentistry is to promote high quality oral health care in the State of  Oregon by equitably regulating dental professionals.
The authority and responsibilities of the Board are contained in Oregon Revised Statutes.
Statutes regarding Dentists: ORS Chapter 679
Click here to link to this statute.
Statutes regarding Dental Hygienists: ORS Chapter 680.010 to 680.205
Click h​ere to link to this statute.
Oregon Administrative Rules: Chapter 818
Cl​ick here​ to link to these rules.

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The goals of the Board are to protect the public from unsafe, incompetent or fraudulent practitioners and to encourage licensees to practice safely and competently in the best interests of their patients.
The Board does this through:
  • Setting education standards;
  • Testing the competency of applicants through written and clinical examinations;
  • Requiring continuing education of all licensees;
  • Investigating complaints and enforcing the provisions of the Dental Practice Act and Rules of the Board;
  • Communicating Board policies and other pertinent information to all licensees on a regular basis;
  • Providing clear interpretation of Board statutes and rules to licensees and members of the public;
  • Acting as a resource to dental consumers in determining the adequacy of their dental treatment;
  • Working with other health care licensing boards, professional associations (both local, state and at the national level) and the educational system to develop partnerships for forging a viable health care delivery system.

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The activities of the Board are funded from license application, renewal, examination and permit fees paid by dentists and dental hygienists. No state General Funds (tax revenue) are allocated to the Board for its operations. The Board´s budget for the period July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019 is approximately $3 million.

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Primary Activities

The Board’s primary activities are examination, licensure and enforcement.
  • Licensing, Permits and Endorsements
  • General Dentists
  • Specialty​ Dentists
  • Dental Faculty
  • Dental Hygienists
    • Expanded Function Endorsements
      • Administration of local anesthesia
  • Dental Hygienists - Expanded Practice Permit (unsupervised practice in certain settings)
  • Anesthesia Permits
    • Nitrous Oxide — Dentists and Dental Hygienists
    • Minimal Sedation — Dentist
    • Moderate Sedation — Dentist
    • Deep Sedation — Dentist
    • General Anesthesia —  Dentist

  • Examinations
    General Dentists and Dental Hygienists: As of November 1, 2005, a clinical examination for initial licensure conducted by any state board or regional testing agency is accepted as long as the examination was taken within five years from the date the applicant applies for an Oregon license.
Dental Specialists: The Board conducts its own examination for specialty licensure in nine specialty areas
  • Dental Public Health
  • Endodontics​ 
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
  • Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Periodontics
  • Prosthodontics
Jurisprudence — all applicants are required to pass the State’s Jurisprudence examination.
  • License Statistics — July 2017               
    • 3,794 dentists (of whom approximately 705 are specialists)
    • 4,369 dental hygienists
  • Enforcement The Board investigates complaints submitted alleging misconduct or unacceptable patient care by licensees of the Board. Details of complaints are confidential and not available as public information. If a licensee has been disciplined by the Board, the details of the disciplinary action (but not of the investigation) become public. Approximately 250 complaints are filed with the Board every year. Between 15% and 20% result in disciplinary action being taken.

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