DC Board of Dentistry Adopts Policy for Greatly Reduced Financial Penalties When Unregistered Dental Assistants Come Forward to Register Through 12/31/2023

All dental assistants who work in DC are required to register with the Board of Dentistry. Over the past year the Board of Dentistry imposed fines on dental practices and dental assistants when it learned of unregistered dental assistants working in DC. Fines can range as high at $5,000 on each dental assistant and $30,000 on the dentist/dental practice.

DCDS is your advocate. We called upon the Board of Dentistry to suspend penalties to allow unregistered dental assistants to come forward to register with the Board. We also called for an end to the registration requirement for Level I dental assistants, but that proposal has not been accepted.

Recently the Board of Dentistry adopted the Policy on Incentivized Time Period for Registration of Dental Assistants to allow unregistered dental assistants who have been working in DC to register with greatly reduced financial penalties assessed.

  • The policy will remain in effect until 12/31/2023.
  • The Incentivized Dental Assistant Registration Cover Letter ("Cover Letter") must accompany a registration application in order to be covered by this policy.
  • The penalty imposed on each dental assistant will be $250 when they apply.
  • The penalty for supervising dentists/dental practices will be $500 per unregistered dental assistant.
  • Dental assistants and dentists covered by this policy will be required to complete 2 continuing education hours in ethics.
  • The Cover Letter includes the disclaimer that it "cannot be used against me for any other purpose," which provides the unregistered dental assistant and dentist/dental practice with protection from higher fines related to the employment of an unregistered dental assistant.

Unregistered dental assistants should apply to register with the Board of Dentistry through the DC Health Licensing Portal. If this is the first time they attempt to register, dental assistants will be eligible to submit the 90 Day Supervised Practice Form that allows them to practice for 90 days, upon approval by the Board of Dentistry, while the application is under review.

DC Registration/Licensing Resources

DC Dental Society Licensure Informational Web Page

DC Health Licensing Portal

DC Board of Dentistry Web Page

DC Dental Assistant Registration Information (Board of Dentistry)

Cover Letter acknowledgement (emphasis added)

I acknowledge and understand that as a result of the Applicant’s unregistered dental assisting practice in the District of Columbia, the Applicant and Supervisory Dentist/Practice Owner will be subject to a monetary assessment of $250.00 for the Applicant and $500.00 for the Supervisory Dentist/Practice Owner and required to complete (2) continuing education credit hours in ethics, but this cover letter cannot be used against me for any other purpose. I acknowledge and understand that the benefits and protections of this cover letter shall only apply to applications submitted with this completed cover letter between September 20, 2023 and December 31, 2023. Failure to provide correct and complete information on this cover letter may result in additional penalties.