Dental licensure reform has been a priority for ASDA for many years.

Where we were

Prior to 2020, only 10 states accepted non-patient based alternative exams. 

Due in part to ASDA’s advocacy efforts, we saw rapid change in the licensure process during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students successfully proved to state boards and testing agencies that a live human subject is not necessary to demonstrate competency. ASDA's efforts included, but were not limited to:

  • Meeting with the ADA, ADEA and all regional testing agencies.
  • Appointing a licensure task force.
  • Developing our first-ever 50-state licensure strategy.

By the end of 2020:

  • 48 states made some sort of change in licensing requirements.
  • 34 states accepted manikin exams.
  • 21 states granted a temporary or provisional license.
  • 5 states accepted the DLOSCE.

Other licensure successes in 2020 included:

  • All regional testing agencies released a manikin-based exam.
  • The ADA's DLOSCE (Dental Licensure Objective Structured Clinical Examination) was released a year ahead of schedule.

Where we are now in 2023

As of December 2023, nearly all states have made permanent changes to where they were prior to 2020.

  • At least 48 states (including DC) now permanently accept a manikin exam as an alternative to the live-patient exam.
  • 6 states accept the DLOSCE.
  • 31 states accept all regional exams - either patient or manikin-based.