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The Dental Board of California met August 18-19, 2016, in Sacramento. The following report summarizes actions and issues coming before the Board pertinent to pediatric oral health. CSPD is represented at each meeting of the Dental Board. and updated reports are posted in the Advocacy, Legislation and Regulatory Matters (ALARM) section of the CSPD Website. Members having questions or comments should contact CSPD’s Public Policy Advocate, Dr. Paul Reggiardo, at

In February of this year the Dental Board of California (DBC) received a request from Senator Jerry Hill (Chair of the Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development which has jurisdiction over the DBC) to form a subcommittee to investigate whether California’s present laws, regulations, and policies are sufficient to provide adequate protection of pediatric patients undergoing sedation or general anesthesia when dental services are performed and to make any recommendations for necessary change to better protect patients. The letter specified the investigation should include a review of the following:

  1. All incident reports to the Board related to pediatric sedation, including conscious sedation, oral conscious sedation, and general anesthesia, as well as administration of local anesthetic in California for the past six years (2010-2015).
  2. Present laws, regulations, and relevant policies in California and a comparison of these laws, regulations and policies to those of other states and to the guidelines and recommendations of professional dental and medical organizations.
  3. Pertinent dental and medical literature.

A preliminary working draft (, absent any recommendations, was released July 21, followed by a public workshop held July 28 in Sacramento. The meeting of the Board afforded another opportunity for public comment, where CSPD provided both written and oral testimony commending the subcommittee on the depth, breadth, attention to important detail, impartiality, and transparency of process by which it is moving to identify any statutory or other changes to the administration of office-based sedation which would improve the margin of safety for pediatric patients. The final report by the Dental Board to the legislature is due January 1, 2017.

Comment: Since the August meeting, the subcommittee has stated that it has received sufficient input to add preliminary recommendations to the report, which it will release before a special meeting of the DBC on October 13 in Sacramento. Final recommendations of the subcommittee will be made to the Dental Board December 1-2 in San Francisco. Public and stakeholder comment to the Dental Board on the preliminary recommendations of the subcommittee must be submitted by October 28 to be considered in the final report.

The Dental Board of California currently offers three pathways by which pre-doctoral dental students may obtain initial licensure:

  • A clinical and simulation examination administered by the Western Regional Examining Board
  • A minimum of 12 months of a general practice residency (GPR) or advanced education in general dentistry (AEGD) program approved by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation
  • A portfolio assessment (examination) of the fitness of a student enrolled in a California Dental School to practice dentistry, utilizing uniform standards of minimal clinical experiences and competencies.

In June of 2015 the Board received the first applications for licensure from candidates who had completed the requirements for the Board’s Portfolio Examination pathway. Six applications were received from students at UOP/Dugoni and one from UCSF. All seven candidates successfully passed and were issued licenses.

This year, 30 dental students applied for licensure through the portfolio pathway. Sixteen applications were received from UOP, twelve from UCSF and two from USC. Board staff is currently processing the last remaining Portfolio Examination applications received in 2016. All applications are expected to be processed by the beginning of September.

Comment: Once the final applications are processed, the Board will release the pass statistics at each school. 

The Board, working with the Office of Professional Examination Services, has developed a Registered Dental Assistant Candidate Guide which will be released August 15 and available on the Board’s website. The Guide will be distributed to candidates when scheduling letters are mailed.

Comment: The intent is assist candidates in preparing for the written and practical examination with the goal of increasing the pass rates.

The statutory deadline for dentists, RDAs and RDAEFs to register an email address with the Board was July 1st. To date the Board has collected over 30,000 email addresses. The Board continues to remind licensees of this requirement by inclusion of an insert in the license renewal form. 

Comment: The Board so far has not utilized mass email contact to increase communication with licensees, but this remains a possibility.

The Board continues to struggle with adequate “customer service” to the public and licentiates alike. Karen Fischer, the Executive Officer, reports the current goal is that staff  return phone calls “in one to two business days”

Comment: This speaks for itself.

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