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About Us

The Board of Dentistry is the second oldest licensing Board in Oregon, created by an act of the Legislature passed in February 23, 1887.

The Mission of the Oregon Board of Dentistry is to promote quality oral health care and protect all communities in the State of Oregon by equitably and ethically regulating dental professionals.

The authority and responsibilities of the Board are contained in Oregon Revised Statutes. Statutes regarding Dentists and Dental Therapists: ORS Chapter 679.  Statutes regarding Dental Hygienists: ORS Chapter 680.010 to 680.205.  Oregon Administrative Rules: Chapter 818.


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 (at the local, state and the national level) and the educational system to develop partnerships for forging a viable health care delivery system.

2023-25 Affirmative Action Plan
2022-2025 OBD Strategic Plan
2017-2020 OBD Strategic Plan


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, 2023 through June 30, 2025 is approximately $4.1 million. 

Primary Activities

OBD Annual Performance Progress Reports
The Board’s primary activities are examination, licensure and enforcement.
  • Licensing, Permits and Endorsements
  • General Dentists
  • Specialty Dentists
  • Dental Faculty
  • Dental Therapists
  • Dental Hygienists
    • Expanded Function Endorsements
      • Administration of local anesthesia
      • Restorative Functions
  • 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

Dental Specialists:

  • Dental Public Health
  • Endodontics
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
  • Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Periodontics
  • Prosthodontics
  • License Statistics — April 2024
    • 3,544 dentists (of whom approximately 726 are specialists)
    • 4,256 dental hygienists
    • 20 dental therapists
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.