Licensure by Residency

Application for Licensure Based on Completion of General Practice Residency or Advanced Education in General Dentistry Program.

Licensure Eligibility

Prior to applying to the Dental Board (Board) of California for a dental license, all applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Submit a completed application at or by mail using a paper application. For a paper application, use the following link: Licensure by Residency.
  • Pay a non-refundable application fee of $800.00
  • Provide satisfactory evidence of having graduated from a dental school approved by the Board or Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association (CODA). One of the following documents must be submitted either electronically directly from the school or by mail with an original signature and university seal:
    • A letter signed by the Dean of the dental school certifying that the applicant has graduated, completed all clinical and didactic requirements, and been awarded the degree; or
    • A completed Certification of Dean of Dental College Granting Degree form, which can be found on page 6 of the application.
  • Provide satisfactory evidence of having passed the National Board Written Examinations.
    • Scores can be submitted electronically to the Board by contacting the ADA
  • Submit a completed Certification of Clinical Residency form after successfully completing either a clinically based advanced education program in general dentistry or an advanced education program in general practice residency that is, at minimum, one year in duration and is accredited by either CODA or a national accrediting body approved by the Board.
    • The applicant must have completed the program within the two years preceding the date of their application for a license
  • Provide proof that the applicant has not failed the WREB examination within the last five (5) years and has not failed the ADEX examination after November 15, 2019.
    • An Individual Performance Report (WREB) or a Cumulative Score Report (ADEX) that shows no failures is acceptable proof.
    • A letter signed by the applicant that certifies the applicant has never taken the WREB and/or ADEX examination is acceptable proof.

Additional requirements for issuance of a California dental license are:

  • Provide classifiable sets of fingerprints on fingerprint cards provided by the Board upon request or on standard FBI fingerprint cards.
  • Submit a completed Out of State/Country Licensure Certification Form (only for those who are licensed in another state or country)
  • Successfully complete the Law and Ethics examination.
  • Submit a completed Application for Issuance of License and Registration of Place of Practice (will be mailed to the applicant or made available on the applicant’s BreEZe account to submit electronically after the applicant has met all other licensure requirements).


To find out if your general practice residency or advanced education in general dentistry program is CODA-approved, you may contact the American Dental Association at (312) 440-2500 or visit their website to search for either Advanced Education in General Dentistry or General Practice Residency 12-month programs that are approved by CODA.