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  • Every three years, all Michigan dentists must renew their licenses and certify compliance with state continuing education (CE) rules by submitting their application for license renewal. Renewals occur on a rotating basis. So that one-third of the licensed dental population renews each year.
  • License renewal is only available online at www.michigan.gov/lara/.
  • Dental licenses renew every three years. For the preceding three-year period, dentists must maintain records of CE activities and current CPR certification according to the rules of mandatory continuing education (MCE),
  • It is your responsibility to keep evidence of your CE activities for four years following license renewal in the event you are audited by the Michigan Board of Dentistry. Remember, it is your responsibility to retain all CE records. These records should be given as much care as Internal Revenue Service data.
  • Evidence of course attendance and completion may take the form of vouchers, certificates, or letters from approved sponsors; receipts for payment are not acceptable. Copies of published materials or documentation of dental related activities should be as complete as possible to protect against potential audit challenges.


  • Dentists must accumulate 60 hours of acceptable continuing dental education in a three year period preceding license renewal, in addition to a current CPR certification.
  • Registered Dental Hygienists and Registered Dental Assistants need 36 hours in a three year period plus a current CPR certification.
  • One hour of continuing education will be credited for each hour of program attendance. Although there is no limit on the total number of hours allowed in this category, at minimum of 20 hours of CE must be directly related to clinical issues, such as delivery of care! Materials used in delivery of care, and pharmacology. (Specialists must obtain 20 hours of CE in the dental specialty field in which they are certified.)
  • Dentists must complete a minimum of three credits of pain and symptom management, while registered dental hygienists and registered dental assistants are required to complete two credits of pain and symptom management.
  • All registered dental professionals will need to complete a once-in-a-lifetime course on human trafficking identification during their next licensing period beginning September 1.

Courses related to the profession of dentistry are acceptable, whether they are of a clinical or practice management nature, if the course provider is approved by the Michigan Board of Dentistry.

The American Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry operate programs that officially recognize providers of CE courses. These programs authorize CE providers to award credits that are accepted by the state of Michigan for license renewal purposes. Additionally, the Michigan Board of Dentistry has its own system for recognizing course providers.

If a course provider has obtained any of these approvals, chances are it will say so in the promotional materials for the courses. Absence of this statement may signal that the course may not qualify for the type of CE credits needed for state re-licensure. Check with the provider before taking the course. This is important, because if your course provider is not approved, the CE credit will not count. The MBA is a recognized provider through the ADA Continuing Education Recognized Provider (CERP) programs.

To repeat, always verify MCE course status with the provider before taking the course.

Sponsors of CE programs are required to provide participants with documentation of course participation upon completion of the program. Unfortunately, some course providers are simply not aware of this requirement. You should insist on receiving proof of course completion before leaving the program site. This is the official evidence needed for course verification.

Each individual, licensed dental professional is charged by law to maintain his or her own record of continuing dental education activities. A handy record—keeping folder that makes tracking of CE credits easy and simple is available to all MDA member dentists and their staffs. Call the MDA CE department at (800) 589-2632, ext. 408, for your free copy, or order it online at the MDA Web Store, located at store.michigandental.org.

Yes, as far as continuing dental education courses are concerned. In the matter of courses offered by accredited schools of dentistry, dental hygiene or dental assisting, 10 hours of CE credits are given for each quarter credit and 15 hours are given for each semester credit.

The Michigan Dental Association is an ADA CERP recognized provider.


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