dental license application

Dental Application and Information

Licensure by Credentials

Attention all Applicants!!

Background checks are required for ALL license applications. The NC Board of Dental Examiners now participates in LiveScan fingerprinting for all North Carolina residents. See information on criminal background checks here.

Please note that once your application is received by the Board office, the process could take up to 90 days. Please allow this amount of time before booking any patients.

North Carolina does NOT have reciprocity with any other state nor does it conduct specialty examinations. The Board offers Licensure by Credentials, effective January 1, 2003, for those qualified practitioners.

Download the Dental Licensure by Credentials Application


Download the Application for Dental Licensure by Credentials via Instructor's License
This process is only available to those who hold a current Instructor's license.

Licensure by Military Endorsement

Rules for Licensure by Military Endorsement/Military Spouse went into effect September 1, 2013.

Download the Application for Dental Licensure by Military Endorsement/Military Spouse

Statement of Explanation regarding Dental Licensure by Military Endorsement/Military Spouse.

General Requirements

All candidates for licensure in this state who do NOT qualify for Licensure by Credentials or Military Endorsement are required to participate in written and clinical examinations.

Written examinations are offered on-line in two subject areas: infection control/sterilization and North Carolina jurisprudence.  The only acceptable clinical exams are the CITA Dental exam and the ADEX exam taken after 9/25/13.  The optional perio scaling portion of ADEX is required in NC.

Both written and clinical exams must be passed before a license will be issued.  Passing either the written or clinical exam alone does not fulfill requirements for licensure.  No candidate may engage in the practice of dentistry until the license is issued and properly displayed as required by NC Gen Stat §90-33.

Exam Dates and Locations

The NC Board currently accepts the ADEX examination (taken after 9/25/13). The ADEX exam is currently administered by the Council of Interstate Testing Agencies (CITA) and the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments (CDCA, formerly NERB).  For more information please visit their websites at:

Provisional Licensure

• Candidates may be eligible for provisional licensure if they have been licensed in another state for two years immediately preceding the date of the application.  Licenses must have been granted on the basis of a clinical examination, and NOT on completion of a post-graduate program.

• A provisional license enables a dentist to practice dentistry in this State under the direction of a dentist licensed in North Carolina if applicant is unable to meet requirements for dental licensure. It is not a stopgap while waiting for and it cannot be obtained any quicker than a dental license.

• A provisional license will be valid for one year or until a full license is issued. The provisional license may not be renewed or extended for any reason.

• Verification of licensure is required  from any and all states in which you have been licensed.  All verifications of licensure must include the signature of the Board’s secretary and the Board’s seal. (An original license or copy of the license is not acceptable)

• The application fee for a provisional license is $100.00 (non-refundable).

• The dentist with whom the candidate intends to practice must send a letter verifying employment before a provisional license can be issued. Click here for form letter to be signed by supervising dentist.

• All applicants must take and pass the jurisprudence test and the sterilization/infection control test with a minimum grade of 80 before receiving the provisional license.  This test is administered online.

• It is not necessary to have employment before taking the written exams, but license won't be issued without supervising dentist letter.

• Anyone having failed any portion of the CITA exam is not eligible to receive a provisional license.  By the same token, if a provisional license holder fails any portion of the CITA/ADEX exam, their provisional license immediately becomes null and void.

In addition, the Board reserves the right to further test any applicant who applies for a provisional license in order to be assured of his or her clinical proficiency.

Application for Dental & Provisional Licensure

Download the Dental/Provisional  License Application
(This application is for those individuals who took or will take the CITA or ADEX exam)

• Applications by mail may also be requested by 
Email:  or by Electronic Forms
Executive Office: 2000 Perimeter Park Dr., Suite 160 • Morrisville, NC 27560
Office: (919) 678-8223 or Fax: (919) 678-8472

Functions of the Board of Dental Examiners
The administration of licensure examinations for dentists and dental hygienists
The promulgation of rules and enforcement of laws and regulations governing the practice of dentistry and dental hygiene in this state
The issuance and renewal of licenses to dentists and dental hygienists