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

September 11, 2020

UPDATE - REGISTERED DENTAL ASSISTANT IN EXTENDED FUNCTIONS CLINICAL AND PRACTICAL EXAMINATIONS

ATTENTION REGISTERED DENTAL ASSISTANT IN EXTENDED FUNCTIONS PROGRAM DIRECTORS AND EXAMINATION CANDIDATES

Due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, the examination testing locations at the dental schools at the University of California, Los Angeles and San Francisco locations are not available for the administration of the RDAEF clinical and practical examinations scheduled through the end of year 2020.

The examination requirements for RDAEF licensure are in statute; and the Board does not have the authority to waive these requirements at any time. However, in accordance with Executive Order N-39-20, the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs is authorized to waive laws and regulations pertaining to professional licensing requirement during this state of emergency.

Dental Board Members recognize the challenges associated with the delay in the clinical and practical examinations for RDAEF candidates who have completed programs and are ready to be licensed. Therefore, on August 21, 2020, the Board submitted a waiver to the Director requesting temporary suspension of the requirement for RDAEF applicants to successfully pass the clinical and practical examination for licensure due to the inability of the Board to secure examination testing locations to host the clinical and practical examination because of COVID-19 related concerns.

On August 31, 2020 the Board received notice that the waiver was denied; and that the Department has not waived any clinical or practical examinations for any other licensing board at this time.

The Board is committed to finding a solution to the RDAEF licensing challenge as quickly as possible; and staff will continue to work closely with the dental schools to secure examination dates in 2021. Staff will also attempt to identify additional testing locations.

All applicants will be contacted by Board staff as examination dates and locations become available. Please check back periodically to the Board’s website for the latest information regarding the availability of the RDAEF clinical and practical examinations.

The Board is exploring all alternatives regarding the RDAEF clinical and practical examinations; and will continue to post alerts on its website and notify RDAEF programs and applicants of any updates as more information becomes available.


July 14, 2020

ATTENTION REGISTERED DENTAL ASSISTANT IN EXTENDED FUNCTIONS PROGRAMS AND APPLICANTS – CANCELLATION OF AUGUST EXAMS

The Dental Board of California (Board) previously scheduled two (2) Registered Dental Assistant in Extended Functions (RDAEF) clinical and practical examinations for August 2020. The examinations were scheduled for August 8, 2020 at the University of California, Los Angeles and for August 22-23, 2020 at the University of California, San Francisco.

Due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, the examination testing locations have cancelled the RDAEF clinical and practical examinations scheduled for August 2020.

All applicants will be contacted by Board staff as examination dates and locations become available. Please check back periodically to the Board’s website for the latest information regarding the availability of the RDAEF clinical and practical examination.

The Board is exploring all alternatives regarding the RDAEF clinical and practical examination. The Board will continue to post alerts on the Board’s website and notify RDAEF programs and applicants of any updates as more information becomes available.


July 3, 2020

Update on Order Waiving License Renewal Requirements

The Dental Board of California (Board) has received correspondence from licensees regarding the impact of the Governor’s Executive Order N-39-20 and the current DCA Waivers in place applicable to the renewal requirements of Board licensees. Please note, as of July 3, 2020, the current waivers in place applicable to renewal requirements are as follows:

  • For individuals whose active licenses expire between March 31, 2020, and August 31, 2020, continuing education requirements are temporarily waived for the purpose of license renewal. This temporary waiver does not apply to any continuing education, training, or examination required pursuant to a disciplinary order against a license. Licensees must satisfy any waived renewal requirements within six months of the DCA Director’s order, unless further extended. These temporary waivers do not relieve such individuals from timely complying with any other renewal requirements, including completing and submitting the required renewal forms to the governing licensing agency.

As of today, there are no waivers applicable to Board applicants for licensure.

A full list of DCA Waivers will be available on this web site as they are approved: https://www.dca.ca.gov/licensees/dca_waivers.shtml.


June 23, 2020

New Waiver Applicable to Dental Board of California Applicants – Order Extending Time to Satisfy Examination Requirements

On March 4, 2020, the Governor proclaimed a State of Emergency to exist in California as a result of the impacts of COVID-19 to make additional resources available, formalize emergency actions already underway across multiple state agencies and departments, and help the state prepare to respond to an increasing number of individuals requiring medical care and hospitalization as a result of a broader spread of COVID-19.

Pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order N-39-20, during the State of Emergency, the Director of the California Department of Consumer Affairs may waive any statutory or regulatory professional licensing requirements pertaining to individuals licensed pursuant to Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, including requirements related to the examinations necessary to obtain licensure.

Accordingly, for dentist, registered dental assistant, and registered dental assistant in extended functions applicants whose applications are deemed abandoned between March 31, 2020 and July 1, 2020, due to the applicant failing to take the examinations prescribed by Business and Professions Code section 1632, subdivisions (a) and (c)(2), section 1752.1, subdivisions (a)(1) and (3), and section 1753, subdivision (a)(4), the Director waives California Code of Regulations, title 16, section 1004, subdivision (a)(2), to the extent it requires applicants to take the licensing examination within two years, subject to the condition that an applicant must take the licensing examination within two years, six months after the date the application was received by the Dental Board of California.

A full list of DCA Waivers will be available on this web site as they are approved: https://www.dca.ca.gov/licensees/dca_waivers.shtml.


June 12, 2020

Dental Board of California Offices to Reopen to the Public

In response to state and local stay at home orders to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Dental Board of California temporarily closed all offices to the public in March. Following a detailed risk assessment and implementation of a COVID-19 prevention plan, we will reopen our offices to the public on June 15. Offices will resume normal hours of operation Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work under new protocols and procedures and continue to adjust to this ever-changing situation.

Safety Protocols and Physical Distancing Measures

In accordance with California’s Resilience Roadmap and guidance from the California Department of Public Health, the Dental Board of California has implemented the following preventive measures to safeguard the health and safety of our employees and visitors:

  • Prevention plan processes and procedures
  • Employee training on preventing the spread of COVID-19
  • Individual control measures and screenings
  • Cleaning and disinfecting protocols
  • Physical distancing guidelines

Online Resources and Services

To help support physical distancing, we encourage our stakeholders to continue to take advantage of our online resources and services:

  • 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 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.
  • 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.

As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation, the Dental Board of California remains committed to updating our stakeholders and maintaining safe delivery of our programs and services. For additional information and updates, visit www.dbc.ca.gov.


May 18, 2020

ATTENTION REGISTERED DENTAL ASSISTANT IN EXTENDED FUNCTIONS PROGRAMS AND APPLICANTS – CANCELLATION OF JUNE EXAMS

The Dental Board of California (Board) previously scheduled two (2) Registered Dental Assistant in Extended Functions (RDAEF) clinical and practical examinations for June 2020. The examinations were scheduled for June 13, 2020 at the University of California, Los Angeles and for June 27-28, 2020 at the University of California, San Francisco.

In a continued response to the Governor’s stay at home order and concerns surrounding COVID-19, the Board has made the decision to cancel the RDAEF clinical and practical examinations scheduled for June 2020.

The applicants that have applied to take the examinations in June will be scheduled to take the August examinations based on the testing location previously selected. For the exact dates of the examination, please see our exam calendar here: https://dbc.ca.gov/formspubs/rdaef_examsched_2020.pdf.

The Board will continue to post alerts on the Board’s website and notify RDAEF programs and applicants of any updates as more information becomes available.


May 8, 2020

California Department of Public Health – Guidance for Resuming Deferred and Preventative Dental Care

The California Department of Public Health has issued the following COVID-19 Guidance for Resuming Deferred and Preventative Dental Care to California Dental Health Care Personnel: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Guidance-for-Resuming-Deferred-and-Preventive-Dental-Care--.aspx


April 13, 2020

ATTENTION DENTAL BOARD APPLICANTS – UPDATE ON PSI TEST SITES

In response to the Governor's call to expand workforce capacity, PSI has resumed testing. PSI will offer exams on limited days and times at a select number of test sites in California.
Candidates can begin scheduling their examinations on-line or through the PSI candidate support call center. It is recommended to schedule on-line, as hold times are expected to be extensive under the current circumstances. If candidates choose to call they should expect an unprecedented delay in reaching a live person. When scheduling, candidates will be offered a list of the available dates, times, and locations. Please visit PSI's website at https://candidate.psiexams.com for more information regarding scheduling exams.


April 7, 2020

California Department of Public Health – COVID-19 Guidance for Dentistry

The California Department of Public Health has issued the following COVID-19 Guidance for Dentistry to California Dental Health Care Personnel: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/GuidanceforDentistry.aspx.

ATTENTION DENTAL BOARD APPLICANTS – UPDATE ON PSI TEST SITES

The Dental Board of California (Board) has been notified that the PSI test sites in the United States will remain closed until April 30th. The PSI test sites closed on March 19th to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and were originally scheduled to reopen on April 13, 2020; however, since this announcement, they have changed the closure date for their test centers to April 30, 2020. 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.

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 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

April 1, 2020

Clarification on Current Waivers Applicable to Dental Board of California Licensees:

The Dental Board of California (Board) has received correspondence from licensees and applicants for licensure regarding the impact of the Governor’s Executive Order N-39-20 and the current DCA Waivers in place applicable to Board licensees.

Please note, as of April 1, 2020, the current waivers in place applicable to Board licensees are as follows:

  • For individuals whose active licenses expire between March 31, 2020, and June 30, 2020, continuing education requirements are temporarily waived for the purpose of license renewal. This temporary waiver does not apply to any continuing education, training, or examination required pursuant to a disciplinary order against a license. Licensees must satisfy any waived renewal requirements within six months of the DCA Director’s order, unless further extended. These temporary waivers do not relieve such individuals from timely complying with any other renewal requirements, including completing and submitting the required renewal forms to the governing licensing agency.
  • For individuals seeking to reactivate or restore a license originally issued by the Board, the continuing education requirements and the fees are waived in order to reactivate or restore an inactive or canceled license . These waivers apply only to an individual’s license that: (1) is in an inactive, or canceled status, and (2) has been in such status no longer than five years. These waivers do not apply to any license that was surrendered or revoked pursuant to disciplinary proceedings or any individual who entered a retired, inactive, or canceled status following initiation of a disciplinary proceeding. A license reactivated or restored pursuant to these waivers is valid for a maximum of six months, or when the State of Emergency ceases to exist, whichever is sooner. These temporary waivers do not relieve such individuals from complying with any other reactivation or restoration requirements, including completing and submitting any required forms or written notices to the governing licensing agency to reactivate or restore the license.

As of today, there are no waivers applicable to Board applicants for licensure.

A full list of DCA Waivers will be available on this web site as they are approved: https://www.dca.ca.gov/licensees/dca_waivers.shtml.


April 1, 2020

DCA Impacts of Executive Order N-39-20

On March 30, 2020 Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-39-20, authorizing the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to waive any of the professional licensing requirements relating to healing arts licensees in Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, and any accompanying regulations. This includes, but is not limited to, the examination, education, experience, and training requirements necessary to obtain and maintain licensure, and requirements governing the practice and permissible activities for licensees.

The Dental Board of California (Board) is working closely with the Department of Consumer Affairs to determine which licensing requirement waivers would allow individuals to continue assisting with the COVID-19 pandemic and allow licensees regulated by the Board to maintain and renew a license and remain employed. Current waivers in place are:

  • Examination and continuing education requirements for current healthcare licensees.
  • Reactivation requirements for inactive, retired, or canceled licensees.

A full list of waivers will be placed on the DCA website as they are approved.

The Board encourages licensed dentists, registered dental assistants (RDA), and registered dental assistants in extended functions (RDAEF) to be part of the workforce to support the medical surge during this time of need. The state is in need for help at quarantine sites, testing sites, and medical surge facilities and needs assistance with pre-hospital triage and pharmacy services.

Interested medical and health care professionals are encouraged to visit healthcorps.ca.gov for more information and to register for the California Health Corps.

The Board thanks its licensees for doing their part during the COVID-19 health emergency.


April 1, 2020

Guidance Relating to Non-Discrimination in Medical Treatment for Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, the Departments of Health Care Services (DHCS), Public Health (CDPH), and Managed Health Care (DMHC) continue to closely monitor and assess appropriate next steps as well as release guidance for all health care practitioners.

Please read the recent Guidance Relating to Non-Discrimination in Medical Treatment for Novel Coronavirus 2019 (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