The Board of Registration in Dentistry is going to start doing random audits to make sure dentists and hygienists have met their continuing education requirements (“CEUs).
In the past, the only way the Board knew if someone was up to date on their CEUs was if there was a complaint. In the course of the investigation, they would routinely request proof of attendance at the various required courses. Starting in the fall, the Board will do random audits. The goal is to hit 5 percent of the licensed dentists and hygienists every year.
When dental professionals renew their licenses, they have to certify that they have satisfied their CEU requirements. Dentists have to take 40 CEUs every two years; hygienists need 20 units. Dentists are required to include courses in infection control and pain management. It’s easy to miss the pain-management requirement, because it’s not in the regulations. You can find it here. The dentist or hygienist should also take a CPR course.
Dentists who fall short are in double-trouble. They’ve violated the CEU requirement, and they’ve also lied on their license renewal form. If there are no other violations, the Board will often impose “stayed probation.” That’s a nondisciplinary sanction. If the dentist makes up the missing credits and stays out of trouble for a year, there won’t be any indication of public discipline when someone looks up the license, and there won’t be any report to the national data bank. But the investigators may find some other concern, and when the issues start to add up, the sanction can be more severe.
The current license renewal cycle runs from April 1, 2014-March 31, 2016. The Board is going to be more conscientious in checking CEUs than it was in the past, so make sure you are more conscientious about taking all your courses.