News  Memo of Clarification: Dental Assistant Letter of Intent

  • Board of Registration in Dentistry


Effective October 2014, all dental assistants who seek to practice in Massachusetts must apply for and receive a dental assistant license from the Mass. Board of Registration in Dentistry (Board) before starting to practice.  However, the applicable licensing statute, M.G.L. c. 112, §51 ½ includes an exception to the statutory licensure requirement but that exception only applies IF the following provisions are met by each individual interested in practicing as a dental assistant.  If the individual does not qualify for the “letter of intent” exception, then the individual must apply for and receive a license before starting to practice as a dental assistant.

  1. An individual may practice as a dental assistant for up to six months under the supervision of a licensed dentist without having to go through the licensure application process IF all of the following criteria are met:
    1. The individual has no clinical experience as a dental assistant as outlined in 234 CMR 5.00 (the individual cannot have performed any duties associated with the practice of dental assisting, i.e. disinfecting/sterilizing dental instruments, disinfecting operatories between patients, taking radiographs, etc.) in Mass. or elsewhere;
    2. The individual cannot have attended dental, dental hygiene or dental assisting school in Mass. or elsewhere; and
    3. The individual cannot have been licensed as a dentist, dental hygienist or dental assistant in Mass. or elsewhere.
  1. If the individual qualifies for this exception by meeting all the criteria outlined above, then the dentist must submit a letter to the Board that includes the dentist’s name and license number, the name of the dental assistant trainee and the start date of the training; the letter must be signed by the trainee and the dentist and then notarized before it is submitted to the Board.
  2. The letter must be received by the Board before the six month period of unlicensed training may begin.
  • Board of Registration in Dentistry 

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