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State Licensure Spotlight: Connecticut

Dr. Laura HulingDr. Laura Huling, Connecticut ’12
2011-12 District 1 trustee 

This content was originally published in the June 2014 issue of Advocacy Brief.

I recently obtained my Connecticut state dental license. The process is fairly straightforward, but there are some nuances that I learned about that I’d like to share with you.

All of the requirements to apply for a dental license in Connecticut are listed on the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s website. Many of the requirements for Connecticut are the same for any other states and include:

  1. Graduation from a CODA-accredited U.S. dental school
  2. Completion of the National Board Dental Exams Part I and Part II
  3. Completion of a PGY-1 program OR completion of one of the following regional board exams*:
    • North East Regional Board of Dental Examiners (NERB)
    • Southern Regional Testing Agency (SRTA)
    • Central Regional Dental Testing Service (CRDTS)
    • Western Regional Examining Board (WREB)

*If you complete the Southern, Central or Western Regional Exams, then you must complete the didactic portion of the North East Regional Board Exam to obtain your license in Connecticut. 

Connecticut accepts PGY-1 as an alternate path to licensure, rather than taking the board exam. I chose to take the NERB exam, as it opened up the opportunity to apply for a license during residency so I could moonlight at a private office. If you choose to take the PGY-1 path, you must complete an accredited residency program of no less than one year in length, with certification by the residency director that you are competent in all areas covered by the clinical portion of the NERB. If you are looking to start work directly after completing your program, you will have to postpone starting until your license is granted. You must wait until your residency is completed to be eligible, and then wait for your application to be processed (average of six weeks). If you complete a regional board exam, you can apply for your license before completing your residency, so you can start working right away.

The following documents need to be mailed to the Connecticut Department of Public Health at the address below:

  • Completed application with recent photo attached
  • Two cashier’s checks: One for the license ($565) and one for the processing fee ($4.75) made out to “Treasurer, State of Connecticut”
  • Official NBDE score report (about a $30 charge)
  • Official Regional Board Exam Report (sent automatically to the state if you took the North East Regional exam)
  • Official dental school transcript sent from the dental school you graduated from
  • Applicants applying for exemption from taking the regional board examination must arrange for submission of a Verification of Dental Residency Training form

Connecticut Department of Public Health
Dental Licensing
410 Capitol Ave., MS# 12 APP
P.O. Box 340308
Hartford, CT 06134
Phone: (860) 509-7603

Now the nuances you should be aware of…

Check to see if your license is renewed annually on the month you applied, on the same month for everyone, or on your birth month. Connecticut is a state that renews on the month of your birth regardless of when you applied. I wanted to get my license in February, but I am born in March. If I had gotten my license in February, then I would have had to pay another $565 in March. Plus, continuing education requirements start on the first renewal, so I would have forfeited my year of forgiveness in achieving my C.E. requirements.

Although your renewal is due on your birth month, some dentists choose to renew at the beginning or end of their fiscal year, just to have it done. Factor this in when applying and estimating processing times for your license. I applied off cycle, so I received my license in two weeks. My co-resident, however, applied in December and she waited two months.

All in all, applying for a license in Connecticut is rather straightforward. The process is laid out in a convenient checklist, as long as you have completed all the requirements!

Find out about licensure in other states by visiting our licensure map.

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