Pennsylvania Continuing Dental Education

Pennsylvania dentists, dental hygienists, and expanded function dental assistants (EFDAs) are required to renew their licenses every two years, beginning April 1 of each odd-numbered year. In that two-year period, dentists must obtain 30 credit hours of continuing dental education; dental hygienists must complete 20 hours; and EFDAs need 10 hours.

Licensure Requirements

A maximum of 50 percent of the required credit hours may be taken through individual study or by serving as an instructor or author of a book, article or CE program. Instructors are awarded two additional credit hours as preparation time for each credit hour of instruction and for actual instruction. Authors are given 50 percent of the required hours by being published in a peer-reviewed professional journal.

The remaining credit hours must be earned through attendance at lectures, clinical programs, or live webcasts that allow attendees to communicate with the presenter and other attendees. However, up to 100 percent of the requirement may be earned in this manner.

Under the Pennsylvania Code, Act 31 of 2014, dentists, dental hygienists, and expanded function dental assistants (EFDAs) must complete 2 hours of approved continuing education in child abuse recognition and reporting in the two-year period preceding license renewal. The 2 hours of child abuse recognition and reporting will count toward the total hours required to renew a dental license. A licensee will not be permitted to renew their license until electronic verification is received from the approved course provider and processed by the Department of State/State Board of Dentistry (SBOD). Processing can take up to 14 days from the date you take the child abuse recognition and reporting CE course.

In addition to the required number of credit hours, licensees must obtain current certification in infant, child and adult cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The CPR requirement is a separate requirement for relicensure and is NOT an acceptable CE subject area.

Acceptable Subject Areas

CE credit hours must be completed in subject areas directly related to the maintenance of the clinical competence of a dentist, dental hygienist or expanded function dental assistant (EFDA). Some examples follow:

  • Clinical and technological subjects
  • Emergency procedures other than CPR certification
  • Diagnosis and treatment of oral pathosis
  • Infection control
  • Abuse and neglect
  • Medical and scientific subjects
  • Laws and regulations pertaining to dentists, dental hygienists, and EFDAs

Credit hours will not be awarded in non-clinical subjects, including the following:

  • Practice building
  • Billing
  • Office management
  • Communication skills
  • Insurance reimbursement