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What certificates are required when opening a dental practice?

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Quick Answer

To open a dental practice, dentists must be certified by the state in which they plan to work. To obtain certification, prospective dentists must pass the National Board Dental Examinations as well as a clinical exam, according to the American Dental Association.

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Full Answer

Prior to taking the necessary exams, prospective dentists must hold a Doctorate of Dental Surgery or Doctorate of Dental Medicine from a dental school that is accredited by the American Dental Association. They must also have completed a postgraduate residency program.

The National Board of Dental Examinations is a multiple-choice test that covers basic biomedical sciences, dental anatomy, ethics and clinical dental subjects, as of 2015.

In addition to being licensed by the state to practice dentistry, some state boards may require dentists to hold other certificates prior to opening a dental practice. These requirements may include passage of the state practice act examination, certifications in Basic Life Support and CPR, and certifications in infection control, radiation safety and other topics. Dentists who wish to practice in specialty areas must be certified in those areas, adds the American Dental Association.

Three out of every four dentists in the United States operate their own private dental practice, reports the Houston Chronicle.

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