New CE Rules for Dentists: What You Need to Know

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From the Winter 2018 Journal of the Colorado Dental Association

In March 2016, a new requirement that dentists complete 30 hours of continuing education (CE) per two-year license renewal cycle took effect. Dentists should be aware of the following details from the CE rule:

Who: Any dentist who holds an active dental license, including academic dentists. Retired and inactive licensees are exempt from this requirement.

What: For all dentists with active licenses, 30 hours of CE must be completed during each two-year license renewal cycle.

  • At least 16 of the 30 hours must be science-based.
  • At least 50% of the hours taken must be live and interactive.
  • Current Basic Life Support (BLS) is required of all licensees and up to two hours of BLS may be counted toward the total 30 hours of CE required.
  • A dentist presenting a course may count up to six total hours of the course hours presented.
  • CE required as part of a disciplinary measure may not be counted toward the required 30 hours.

If a license is issued within one year of a renewal date, no CE will be required for that first renewal period. If a license is issued outside one year of a renewal date, then 15 hours of Colorado Dental Board-approved CE will be required for that first renewal period.

When: All dentists who plan to maintain an active dental license will need to take at least 30 hours of CE in accordance with the requirements above between March 1, 2016 and February 28, 2018.

*You will need to attest that you have taken necessary CE for your February 2018 and subsequent license renewals.*

How: For dentists, courses taken must be recognized or offered by one of the following groups:

  • the American Dental Association (ADA) Continuing Education Recognition Program (CERP)
  • the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) Program Approval for Continuing Education (PACE)
  • the American Medical Association (AMA) Physician Recognition Award (PRA) as Category 1 Credit
  • a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) accredited institution

Once the course is completed, make sure to get documentation from the sponsor that includes course sponsor, course title, date(s), hours, and the course verification of completion certificate or form.

Keep these records on file for at least two license renewal cycles after the course was completed.
The state board will perform audits to verify compliance. If you are audited, you will need to produce the required documentation to prove that hours were completed in accordance with the CE rule requirements.

The ADA has an online tool to help you store CE completion certificates electronically and record your course hours. Go to the CE Member Depository. You will need your ADA number and password to login.