Dental Board of California – Update on Impacts Related to COVID-19

March 20, 2020

Due to recommendations and guidance from local and state health officials to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), our building is closed to the public until further notice. However, our office remains open for employees during this pandemic. During this time you may experience some delays in reaching staff and we appreciate your patience. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please email us with any questions at dentalboard@dca.ca.gov.

If you need to renew your existing license, would like to apply for a new license, or make changes to your information, we strongly encourage you to log onto your BreEZe account at www.BreEZe.ca.gov. If you would like to file a complaint, we strongly encourage you to do so by visiting https://www.dca.ca.gov/consumers/complaints/consumer.shtml.

If you need to make a payment, we encourage you to do so online or send a check or money order to: Dental Board of California, 2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1550, Sacramento, CA 95815.

March 19, 2020

While California continues to navigate the uncertainty of Novell Coronavirus (COVID-19) and limit its spread, the Dental Board of California (Board) is committed to supporting our licensees, applicants, and consumers throughout the course of this pandemic and to provide continuity of service at all times. The Board is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation, coordinating with the state and local governments, and working with our partners to protect the health of Californians.

We appreciate your patience as we work on implementing new technologies to work remotely and adhere to social distancing guidelines. We apologize in advance for any delays in reaching our staff or potential delays in our processing times. If you need to renew your existing license, would like to apply for a new license, or make changes to your information, we strongly encourage you to log onto your BreEZe account at www.breeze.ca.gov. If you would like to file a complaint, we strongly encourage you to do so by visiting www.breeze.ca.gov. For assistance with your BreEZe account, password reset, or registration process, please call the Department of Consumer Affairs Help Desk at (916) 557-1208 for assistance between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

We have received a number of inquiries from our licensees. The best general guidance will continue to come from the California Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization.

However, we are providing the below responses to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in an effort to provide information.

FAQs:

1) Will Continuing Education Requirements Be Postponed?
At this time the law does not allow this.

2) Are There Fee Waivers Available?
At this time the law does not allow this.

3) Should My Business or Practice Remain Open?
The Board does not have authority to close businesses or practices. We strongly encourage you to assess whether your business is an essential job function as outlined by the Governor and follow the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Check with your local county health department to determine what activities are also considered essential and non-essential.

4) My Exam Was Canceled. What Does that Mean?
The Board recognizes examinations administered by WREB, ADEX, and PSI have been postponed. The Board will be working to ensure that expedited application processing will occur when the examinations are rescheduled and requirements are completed and will be looking at ways to mitigate delays.

We encourage any other inquiries to be sent through email to dentalboard@dca.ca.gov as response time may be faster. The Board reminds all licensees to be particularly mindful and respectful that this is a time of high anxiety for all Californians.

Sincerely,
Thomas Stewart, DDS
President, Dental Board of California


March 19, 2020

ATTENTION DENTAL BOARD APPLICANTS – UPDATE ON PSI TEST SITES

The Dental Board of California (Board) has been notified that PSI has made the difficult decision to close their owned and operated test centers to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Please see the message from the PSI CEO related to these closures here: https://www.psionline.com/blog/psi-services-ceo-owned-and-operated-test-center-closures-in-the-us.

Effective immediately, candidates can reschedule up to and including the day of testing at no penalty and no documentation required. NOTE: In most cases, candidates can reschedule their examinations on-line and they are encouraged to do so. If a candidate chooses to reschedule through the PSI candidate support call center, hold times are expected to be extensive under the current circumstances. The PSI test sites in the United States will close starting the end of day today, March 19th until April 13th. PSI will be calling all scheduled candidates that are not registered with an email address. A PSI staff person will be calling candidates starting today through Saturday. After that, an automated phone message will be used to contact candidates. The PSI toll-free line is averaging 4,000 calls per hour. Candidates should expect an unprecedented delay in reaching a live person. The online tool is available to candidates for rescheduling.

The closure of these PSI locations will impact Board applicants eligible to take the following examinations:

  • DDS Law & Ethics Written Examination
  • Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) General and Law & Ethics Written Examination
  • Registered Dental Assistant in Extended Functions (RDAEF) Written Examination
  • Dental Sedation Assistant (DSA) Permit Written Examination
  • Orthodontic Assistant (OA) Permit Written Examination.

March 16, 2020

ATTENTION DENTAL BOARD APPLICANTS – UPDATE ON PSI TEST SITES

The Dental Board of California (Board) administers written examinations for applicants for licensure through PSI. These examinations include the DDS Law & Ethics Written Examination, the Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) General and Law & Ethics Written Examination, the Registered Dental Assistant in Extended Functions (RDAEF) Written Examination, the Dental Sedation Assistant (DSA) Permit Written Examination, and the Orthodontic Assistant (OA) Permit Written Examination.

PSI is monitoring the situation with Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), and is in close communication with testing partners around the world. As a result, PSI has made some changes to rescheduling guidelines and security procedures, and has also enhanced current site-cleaning program. Candidates should contact PSI Candidate Support Services if they need to reschedule an exam due to illness, are exhibiting flu like symptoms, or have been directed to self-quarantine by their local health authority. If a candidate arrives at a testing center and is exhibiting flu-like symptoms, the candidate will be denied admission to the test center and may be required to reschedule. PSI is monitoring Test Center Capacity so that they can increase availability once COVID19 has been contained.


March 13, 2020

The Dental Board of California (Board) is aware Governor Gavin Newsom recently issued a State of Emergency regarding COVID-19 Coronavirus. The Board and the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) are committed to protecting consumers, applicants, and licensees regarding the spread of the Coronavirus. Board staff is working closely with DCA and monitoring updates from the Governor’s Office and the California Department of Public Health to determine the best course of action for applicants or licensees affected by cancellations related to the Coronavirus.

The Board has received inquiries regarding continuing education course providers cancelling courses and the impact on our licensee’s ability to complete the continuing education requirements for upcoming licensure renewal. Pursuant to California Code of Regulations, Title 16, Section 1017, licensees may utilize correspondence courses (tape recorded courses, home study materials, video courses, and computer courses) to meet up to, but not exceed 50% of the licensee’s total required continuing education units. All remaining units can be obtained through live interactive course study, with the option to obtain 100% of the total required units by way of interactive instruction courses. Such courses are defined as live lecture, live telephone conferencing, live video conferencing, live workshop demonstration, or live classroom study. In addition to Board-approved continuing education providers, licensees may take continuing education courses given by providers approved by the American Dental Association’s Continuing Education Recognition Program (CERP) or the Academy of General Dentistry’s Program Approval for Continuing Education (PACE). For additional information on the Board’s continuing education requirements, please visit our website at: https://dbc.ca.gov/licensees/continuing_education.shtml#ce_ureq

Additionally, the Board has received inquiries from Board-approved dental assisting programs and courses facing potential campus closures and whether didactic instruction may be shifted to a temporary online delivery system. Pursuant to California Code of Regulations, Title 16, Section 1070.1, the faculty or instructional staff of an educational institution or approved provider may provide didactic instruction via electronic media, home study materials, or live lecture modality.

The Board continues to monitor interruptions to the administration of licensure examinations due to Coronavirus. Please be aware, the Board is not able to issue temporary licenses to applicants who have not fulfilled licensure requirements.

At this time, our ability to process applications and renewals has not been impacted. The Board encourages applicants and licensees to utilize the BreEZe (breeze.ca.gov) web site for all of their application and licensing needs.

The Board’s website will be updated as new information becomes available.

For up to date information and news on the coronavirus, please visit:

Centers for Disease Control:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

California Department of Public Health's website:
https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx