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Residency Program Requirement for Dental Licensure in New York State

Effective May 22, 2003, applicants for dental licensure may substitute an approved residency program for Part III, the NERB clinical examination, of the New York dental licensing examination. Information on requirements and all application forms for dental licensure, including Form 4B for residency program substitution, are now available.

Beginning January 1, 2007, dental students will be required to complete an approved residency program of at least one year's duration as a prerequisite for initial licensure in New York State. After this date, the NERB option will no longer be available.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the recent changes in the law regarding completion of a dental residency program?

    Chapters 76 and 726 of the Laws of 2004 state that beginning January 1, 2007, applicants for initial dental licensure in New York State must successfully complete a dental residency program accredited by a national accrediting body acceptable to the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

  2. What national accrediting bodies are acceptable to the department?

    At the moment, the only accrediting body approved by the NYSED is the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA).

  3. Is this option currently available to applicants?

    Yes. Effective May 22, 2003 through December 31, 2006, the successful completion of an approved residency program of at least one year’s duration, certified by the residency program director, may be substituted for the current clinical licensing examination, North East Regional Board (NERB). Individuals interested in using this pathway to licensure should confirm with their residency program director that the residency program is participating in this route to licensure.

    Beginning January 1, 2007, dental students will be required to complete a residency as a prerequisite for initial licensure in New York State. The NERB option will no longer be available after this date.

  4. Can the residency program be used to satisfy the educational requirements for foreign trained dentists?

    No. The requirement that foreign trained dentists complete at least two additional years of education in an ADA accredited degree-granting program must still be met, as well as all other education and examination requirements. The changes in the law refer to the experience requirement, not the education requirement.

  5. What residency programs qualify?

    Clinical dental residency programs in general dentistry or the following dental specialties:

    • endodontics
    • oral and maxillofacial surgery
    • orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics
    • pediatric dentistry
    • periodontics
    • prosthodontics
    • oral and maxillofacial pathology
    • oral and maxillofacial radiology
    • another specialty of dentistry, as determined by the Department, for which at least 50% of the accredited residency program consists of clinical training in general dentistry or one of the above-referenced specialty residency programs

  6. Does the residency program need to be in New York State?

    No. Residency programs do not have to be completed in New York State, but to qualify the residency program must be approved by a national accrediting body accepted by the Department for the purpose of accreditation of dental residency programs and must be in one of the areas listed above.

  7. Do I need a limited permit to participate in a residency program in New York State?

    Yes. Individuals participating in New York State residency programs must obtain a limited permit to practice within the residency program. The only exception is if the residency program is part of a New York State dental school’s registered program. Please check with the dental school before proceeding, as unlawful practice will jeopardize the ability of an individual to be licensed in New York State.

  8. What will the residency program director be required to provide to NYSED on behalf of an applicant for licensure in New York State?

    The residency program director will be required to submit an attestation (Form 4B) that the applicant has successfully completed (meaning a certificate has been obtained) the residency program and in his or her opinion the applicant is competent to practice dentistry as defined by NYSED, and

    The residency program director and/or the attending dentist(s), who supervised the dental procedures the applicant performed, will be required to submit attestations:

    • that during a general practice residency or advanced education in general dentistry residency program the applicant completed independently, and adhering to generally accepted standards for dentistry:
      • two full crowns,
      • two endodontically treated teeth,
      • four restorations (two anterior, two posterior), and
      • one periodontal case (Case Type I); or
    • that the applicant has successfully completed:
      • a specialty residency program specified in §61.18(b)(2); or
      • a specialty residency program that meets the criteria set forth in the above referenced section as determined by the department.

  9. Are any applicants exempt from the residency requirement?

    Yes. Individuals, such as those who are awaiting citizenship, who have completed all the educational requirements and have submitted a complete application and fee prior to January 1, 2007, may still utilize the NERB examination pathway to obtain licensure.

  10. Where can I find more information?

    The forms to apply for dental licensure using this pathway are available here. For additional information, you may contact the State Board for Dentistry by calling 518-474-3817 ext. 550 or by e-mailing

Last Updated: December 22, 2009