Dental License Applicants
How to Become a Licensed Dentist
A California dental license may be obtained by successfully completing one of the following:
- 1. Application to the Dental Board (Board) of California for licensure after successful completion of the WREB examination. Please visit the Board's web page for licensure based on the WREB examination for more information.
- 2. Application for Licensure by Credential – for dentists with a current and valid dental license in another state. Please visit our Licensure by Credential web pages for qualifications.
- 3. Application for Licensure by Residency - On February 1, 2008 the Office of Administrative Law approved the Board’s Emergency regulations implementing SB 683, qualification for dental licensure on the basis of completion of a minimum of 12 months of a general practice residency or advanced education in general dentistry program approved by the ADA’s Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Please visit our Licensure by Residency web page for more information.
- 4. Application for Licensure by Portfolio – Effective November 5, 2014 the Portfolio Examination became a viable pathway to qualify for licensure in California. The Portfolio Examination is conducted while the applicant is enrolled in a dental school program at a California Board approved dental school. Please visit our Licensure by Portfolio web page for more information.
Furthermore, a person to whom a special permit is issued shall be entitled to practice in their recognized specialty or discipline at the dental college at which he or she is employed and its affiliated institutions as approved by the board. Please visit our special permit web page for more information.
List of California approved dental schools
Below is a current listing of California dental schools accredited by Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) for Predoctoral (DDS/DMD) Dental Education Programs:
- Loma Linda University School of Dentistry
- University of California at Los Angeles School of Dentistry
- Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC
- Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine
- University of California at San Francisco School of Dentistry
- University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry
For a complete listing of all dental schools accredited by CODA, please visit www.ada.org/en/coda
Below is a current listing of dental schools that have been approved by The Dental Board of California:
De La Salle University (Next Approval: 05/2026)
The State University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Nicolae Testemitanu” of the Republic of Moldova (SUMP) – Faculty of Dentistry (Next Approval: 12/2023)*
*Graduates of the two-year international dental program are not eligible for licensure in California until August 2020
Section 1024.9 Provisional Approval of Foreign Dental School; Duration.
Provisional approval may be granted to an institution that is substantially in compliance with the requirements of this article but that has specific deficiencies or weaknesses that are of such a nature that they can be corrected in a reasonable length of time. Aprovisional approval shall remain in effect for 24 months from the date on which it was issued unless the deficiencies are removed sooner and full approval has been granted before that date.