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Getting One Step Closer to Universal Licensure for Dentists

Health Access Dental LicenseFlorida’s governor hopes to increase access to dental care among underserved populations.

How does he hope to accomplish this? By allowing out-of-state dentists to perform dentistry in health access settings (state clinics, federal health centers, educational institutions, etc.). So on January 1, a new license was created in Florida: the health access dental license.

This license allows dentists not licensed in Florida to practice there without getting a full Florida dental license. To be eligible, dentists must have been actively practicing for at least the past five years or since graduating from dental school.

Many dentists will be delighted to have the opportunity to practice in Florida. Most dentists are licensed by state, so it can be difficult for doctors to practice elsewhere. Since Florida is a much sought-after retirement destination, many dentists wish they could head to the Sunshine State for a semi-working retirement. But licensing requirements have kept them away.

Here’s how the application begins:

“Health access settings” means programs and institutions of the Department of Children and Family Services, the Department of Health, the Department of Juvenile Justice, nonprofit community health centers, Head Start centers, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), FQHC look-alikes as defined by federal law, and clinics operated by accredited colleges of dentistry in this state if such community service programs and institutions immediately report to the Board of Dentistry all violations of s. 466.027, s. 466.028, or other practice act or standard of care violations related to the actions or inactions of a dentist, dental hygienist, or dental assistant engaged in the delivery of dental care in such settings.

Read Florida’s licensing requirements

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