Continuing Education Requirements for Licensure

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Credit Hours Required for Dentists and Hygienists

A dentist licensed to practice dentistry in the Commonwealth must complete a minimum of 40 CEUs per renewal cycle. The two year cycle runs from April 1 to March 31 of even years, for example April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2014.

A hygienists licensed to practice in the commonwealth must complete a minimum of 20 CEUs per renewal cycle. The two year cycle runs from April 1 to March 31 of odd years, for example April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2015.

Part of the CEUs required for all dentists and hygienists include a course in Infection Control in the dental health-care setting, and Certification in CPR/AED, or BLS (or a certification in ACLS or PALS in accordance with requirements for the level of anesthesia permit issued).

In addition, dentists who prescribe controlled substances are required to take a course in Pain Management/Controlled Substances (see below for details). Satisfy Your CE Requirements

Definition of CEU           print this page

The Board of Registration in Dentistry recognizes one Continuing Education Unit (CEU) as a minimum of 50 minutes of education. All programs use the same formula: 50 minutes of a lecture, hands-on, or workshop = 1 CEU. 

It is the responsibility of each licensee to maintain an authenticated record of all continuing education activity completed, and to submit evidence of completion to BORID when requested. These records, as noted in 234 CMR 5.04(4)(b), must be retained for a period of three (3) years or until the license of the dentist or the dental hygienist has been renewed.

When calculating your credits, it is important to note that:

  • Dentists may only use five (5) CEUs as “general attendance” for attending dental conventions (i.e., Yankee Dental Congress, ADA, etc.) every licensing cycle. 
  • Hygienists may only use four (4) CEUs as "general attendance" for attending dental conventions every licensing cycle.
  • Although dentists and hygienists may attend more than one convention during the cycle, the number of CEU credits is limited.
  • A dentist may earn a maximum of 20 CEUs and a hygienist may earn a maximum of 10 CEUs per renewal cycle by completion of an individual study course (home study, on-line, correspondence, audio or video. Such courses must include a test, which the licensee must pass to obtain credit.
Dental Profess

There are also other ways to earn credits besides attending a class or convention. Below are some other ways to earn CE credits.

  • Continuing Education Instructor - A dentist may earn a maximum of (20) CEUs and dental hygienist may earn a maximum of (10) CEUs per renewal cycle
  • Academic Participation - A dentist or hygienist who conducts research or is appointed member of the faculty at a  CODA accredited dental school or dental hygiene program, may receive CEUs for his/her participation in these dental related activities. Dentist maximum of (10) CEUs and hygienist maximum of (5) CEUs
  • Papers, Publications and Scientific Presentations - A dentist may receive a maximum of (20) CEUs and a dental hygienist may receive a maximum of (10) CEUs in this category.
  • Table Clinics and Scientific Exhibit - A maximum of (8) CEUs may be obtained per cycle in this category. The original presentation of a table clinic or scientific exhibit at a professional meeting will provide a maximum of (2) hours of CEU per clinic or exhibit.
Read Sec 8.05 of Regulations


Pain Management / Controlled Substances CE Requirement

Practitioners who prescribe controlled substances are required by the State of Massachusetts to obtain training in Pain Management and Controlled Substance abuse.  According to Massachusetts General Laws, (M.G.L.94C section 18), practitioners who prescribe controlled substances are required to complete as a prerequisite to obtaining or renewing their license to complete appropriate training relative to: Effective pain management, Identification of patients at high risk for substance abuse, and Counseling patients about the side effects.

Options available to fulfill this requirement include: 

Use MDS CE Registry to Track Your CE Credits

The MDS CE Registry offers you a simple and accurate recording of your credits for relicensure.  You can add, update, or modify credits online.

Sign-up and you will receive a annual print out and online access 24/7.  Also, courses that are Yankee Institute sponsored are recorded automatically

Sample CE Transcript