Today's Date:

Licensure Information
Licensee Lookup
Licensure with the Board
Applications and Forms
Renew Your License
Change Your Address
Application status
Print copy of your license

Related Links

Complaint/Board Order Information
Board Orders
File a Complaint
What Can I Expect When a Complaint is Filed Against Me?

Board Information/Laws and Policies
FOIA Requests
Board Members
Board Meeting Calendar
Examination Dates

Contact Us

Telephone: (803) 896-4599

Rita Melton,

Lisa Hawsey
Administrative Assistant

Annie Heyward
Administrative Assistant

Adam Russell
Advice Counsel to the Board

**The Office of Advice Counsel is responsible for
providing legal advice to all Boards, Commissions
and Panels, as well as their administrative staff.
These attorneys do not provide legal advice to
parties outside LLR.

South Carolina Board of Dentistry

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Volunteer Clinic Requirements
  • In order for the Board to consider approving a volunteer clinic, the following information is requried:

    • Name,   address and phone number of the clinic director.
    • Name,   address and phone number of the dentist holding an unrestricted SC license that will be available on the premises or that will review every thirty days the cases of all patients treated in the thirty day period.
    • Name and location of the clinic.
    • Criteria for patient selection.
    • Parameter of dental care to be provided.
    • Protocol for referral of treatment needs outside the parameters.

  • Is continuing education (C.E.) mandatory for all licensees and registrants?
  • 39-5  (F) All dentists shall complete a minimum of fourteen (14) continuing education hours per year or twenty-eight (28) continuing education hours over two (2) years; dental hygienists shall complete a minimum of seven (7) continuing education hours per year or fourteen (14) over two (2) years; dental technicians shall complete a minimum of four (4) continuing education hours per year or eight (8) continuing education hours over two (2) years, in order to be eligible for re-licensure or re-registration. Upon initial licensure in South Carolina, newly licensed dentists, dental hygienists and dental/orthodontic technicians shall be exempt from continuing education requirements for the first re-licensure period.

    (2) The continuing education hours must be courses related to the procedures approved for each licensee/registrant such as
    (a) medical and scientific subjects;
    (b) clinical and technical subjects;
    (c) risk management and infection control;
    (d) dental radiology;
    (e) CPR, diet and nutrition.

  •  Reinstatement of Lased or Expired License for more than 6 Years in Dental Hygiene
  • To reinstate a license in dental hygiene that has been inactive or expired for more than six (6) years, you are required to complete a Board-approved re-entry program of courses and clinic time. Licensure is for public protection with continued competency. The courses that have been recommended by the Board are:

    • OSHA/Infection Control
    • Medical and Dental Emergencies
    • Radiology
    • Pharmacology
    • Periodontal Disease
    • Instrumentation
    • Dental product Update
    • CPR
      (These must be Board approved courses)

    The above mentioned courses should add up to 14 CE hours. The Board recommends contacting local technical schools as a help in getting these courses; and you may attend out-of-state schools for re-entry programs. Online courses are also accepted.

  • Is Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) mandatory for all licensees?
  • 39-5 (F) All dentists and dental hygienists must have completed an approved CPR course within three (3) years of licensure or renewal. Thereafter, all dentists and dental hygienists must be recertified in CPR once every three years. Yearly recertification is not required, but can be used as continuing education hours any time. Courses or providers that have been approved by the Board include:
    American Red Cross “Community CPR;”
    American Red Cross “CPR for the Professional Rescuer;”
    American Heart Association “Heartsaver CPR,”
    American Heart Association “BLS Healthcare Provider,”
    American Safety & Health Institute,
    Emergency Care & Safety Institute (ECSI)
    Health Education Solutions,
    National Safety Council, and
    ProCPR Trainings LLC dba ProCPR.

  • If I retire from active practice of dentistry (or dental hygiene/dental technological work), must I continue to obtain continuing education in order to keep my license/certificate active?
  • If you are fully retired from active practice, you may request a waiver of continuing education and CPR requirements. If waiver is granted, you must sign an “Agreement” confirming that you will not resume active practice without first fulfilling all CE and other requirements owed during period of retirement. A licensee granted a waiver may not practice at all, not even on a “fill-in” or occasional basis. Also, a licensee granted a waiver is not exempt from all other annual renewal requirements, including payment of the annual license renewal fee.

  • How do I know if a continuing education course that I want to attend is accepted in South Carolina?
  • The Board does not approve individual courses or content. Board Regulation 39-5.F. (4) lists sponsoring organizations that the Board has approved, such as the ADA and AGD, which do not have to receive prior approval from the Board. If you have questions about course sponsorship or course approval, you will need to contact the course provider to ascertain sponsorship. Study clubs and local societies or associations are approved CE sponsors, provided a form of verification of the CE course name, date, instructor and hours is provided. Correspondence and home-study courses are approved, provided a post-test is successfully completed and a certificate of completion is obtained. One credit hour of CE is earned for each one contact hour of instruction

  • Am I entitled to my patient records and x-rays and can I be legally charged for copies?
  • Board Regulation 39-11, Ethics (1-B) states, “Upon request of a patient or another dental practitioner, dentists shall provide any information that will be beneficial for the future treatment of that patient.” Further, in accordance with Board policy, dental records are the property of the dentist who performs the dental service; however, a patient who requests his/her records shall have access to such records. Copies of patient records and/or x-rays, or summaries thereof, must be made available to the patient and/or new dentist upon submission of a written release authorization, in a reasonable manner and upon reasonable costs associated with providing such record. This obligation exists whether or not the patient’s account is paid in full.

  • How long must a dentist retain patient records?
  • In accordance with 40-15-83 , dentists shall retain their patient records for at least five years. These minimum recordkeeping periods begin to run from the last date of treatment. After these minimum recordkeeping periods, the records may be destroyed. If a dentist is employed by a corporation or another dentist, the corporation or employing dentist is responsible for maintaining the patient records for a period of five years. The practicing dentist shall have access to these patient records during that period. However, a dentist who works in a nonprofit dental clinic operated solely for the benefit of poor and indigent persons is not required to maintain records for patients seen in that setting. The owner or operator of a nonprofit dental clinic, for at least five years, shall retain patient records for persons treated at the clinic.

  • What duties can a dental assistant legally perform?
  • 39-12 Approved Procedures of Dental Assistants
    The Board has approved performance of the following procedures by dental assistants in South Carolina. No formal academic dental training is required for dental assistants. These procedures must be performed under the direct supervision of a dentist present on the premises and licensed in South Carolina. Please check the Board’s website  and look for the Spring 2014 newsletter under the menu item Publications for a chart to assist you.
    (1) Assist in basic supportive chair side procedures.
    (2) Chart existing restorations, clinically missing teeth, and appliances within the oral cavity.
    (3) Apply topical drugs as prescribed by the dentist.
    (4) Place and remove rubber dam.
    (5) Place and remove matrix.
    (6) Place and remove orthodontic ligatures.
    (7) Take and record vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, respiration, etc.).
    (8) Expose radiographs upon completion of a Board approved radiation safety course.
    (9) Place and remove periodontal packs.
    (10) Remove sutures.
    39-13. Approved Procedures of Expanded Duty Dental Assistants.
    An Expanded Duty Dental Assistant is a dental assistant who is a graduate of an American Dental Association accredited dental assisting program, or one who has completed two (2) years of continuous full-time employment as a chair side dental assistant. In addition to the procedures listed for dental assistants, Expanded Duty Dental Assistants may perform the following procedures under the direct supervision of a dentist present on the premises and licensed in South Carolina. Please check the Board’s website  and look for the Spring 2014 newsletter under the menu item Publications for a chart to assist you.
    (1) Take impressions for study models.
    (2) Place and remove socket dressing.
    (3) Place gingival retraction cord.
    (4) Place temporary restorations.
    (5) Cement temporary crowns or bridges.
    (6) Remove excess cement from restoration and/or appliances.
    (7) Polish restorations and supra-gingival tooth structure.
    (8) Application of pit and fissure sealant.
    (9) Monitor nitrous oxide anesthesia upon completion of a Board approved course and certification by the Board.

  • Does S.C. have reciprocity with any other state?
  • 40-15-270 The board may grant licenses to licensees of other states who are members of regional testing services of which the board is also a member without further examination and may make all necessary regulations and agreements for the reciprocal recognition of licenses issued by other states. Reciprocity is not offered in S.C. Our state is a member of the Southern Regional Testing Agency, Inc. (SRTA) and Central Regional Dental Testing Service, Inc. (CRDTS). We call licensure for those coming from other states Licensure by Credentialing.

  • Which schools offer courses in the administration of local infiltration anesthesia and monitoring of nitrous oxide anesthesia?
  • The following schools are approved to offer courses in both the administration of infiltration anesthesia and monitoring nitrous oxide:
    MUSC College of Dental Medicine, Charleston, S.C.;
    Trident Technical College, Charleston, S.C.;
    Midlands Technical College, Columbia, S.C.;
    Greenville Technical College, Greenville, S.C.; and
    York Technical College, Rock Hill, S.C.
    Two additional schools are approved to offer nitrous oxide monitoring courses:
    Florence-Darlington Technical College, Florence, S.C. and
    Tri-County Technical College, Pendleton, S.C.

  • What is the CPR requirement for dental and dental hygiene licensure renewal?
  • Dentists and dental hygienists are required to complete an approved CPR course, adult/child CPR, one or two-person depending on the needs of the particular office, once every three years. Courses and providers that have been approved by the Board include:

    American Red Cross “Community CPR;”
    American Red Cross “CPR for the Professional Rescuer;”
    American Heart Association “Heartsaver CPR,”
    American Heart Association “BLS Healthcare Provider,”
    American Safety & Health Institute,
    Emergency Care & Safety Institute (ECSI)
    Health Education Solutions,
    National Safety Council, and
    ProCPR Trainings LLC dba ProCPR.

  • Does the Board of Dentistry issue “temporary” licenses?
  • The Board of Dentistry does not issue “temporary” licenses.                                                              

  • Can a retired dentist or dental hygienist volunteer his/her services?
  • 40-15-177. Restricted volunteer license for certain dentists and dental hygienists.
    (A) The State Board of Dentistry may issue a restricted volunteer license to a dentist or dental hygienist who:
    (1) has held the corresponding license in another state as a licensee in good standing;
    (2) has passed an examination as prescribed by the board;
    (3) has not failed the state's corresponding clinical examination within the past five years;
    (4) must have at least five years of clinical practice in the field for which they are seeking the license.
    (B) A person holding a restricted volunteer license under this section:
    (1) must only practice in clinics prescribed by the board in regulation;
    (2) only treat patients who have no insurance or who are not eligible for financial assistance for dental treatment;
    (3) may not receive remuneration directly or indirectly for providing dental or dental hygiene services.
    (C) A dentist with a restricted volunteer license issued under this section only may practice dentistry and perform dental procedures if:
    (1) a dentist with an unrestricted license is available on the premises; or
    (2) the dentist reviews every thirty days with a local licensed dentist in good standing the cases of all patients treated during the thirty-day period.
    (D) A dental hygienist only may practice dental hygiene pursuant to this chapter and regulations promulgated under this chapter for dental hygienists and only under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist.
    (E) A license issued under this section must be renewed annually in accordance with continuing education requirements and procedures as may be established by the board in regulation.
    (F) A dentist or dental hygienist holding a restricted volunteer license issued pursuant to this section is subject to the provisions of this chapter and regulations promulgated under this chapter unless otherwise provided for in this section.

  • How do I file a complaint against a dentist? Is it kept confidential?
  • 40-15-180. Complaint to Board against dentist, dental hygienist or dental technician; investigation; accusation; notice; hearing; confidentiality of proceedings; privileged communications.
    (1) The board shall receive complaints by any person against a licensed dentist or dental hygienist, or against a registered dental technician, and shall require the same to be submitted to it in the form of an affidavit. Upon receipt of a complaint, the director, or such other person as the president may designate, shall investigate the allegations of the complaint and make a report to the board concerning his investigation. If the board shall then desire to proceed further it may, in its discretion, file a formal accusation charging the dentist, dental hygienist, or dental technician with a violation of a provision of this chapter. The accusation shall be signed by the president or vice-president on behalf of the board. When the accusation is filed, and the board shall set a date for a hearing thereon, the director of the board shall notify the accused in writing, not less than thirty days prior to the hearing date, of the date fixed for the hearing and a true copy of the accusation shall be attached to the notice. The accused may appear and show cause why his license should not be suspended or revoked. The accused shall have the right to be confronted with and to cross-examine the witnesses against him and shall have the right to counsel. In instances where a board member has made the initial investigation of a complaint, he shall not sit with the board at the hearing of such complaint.
    (2) Such notice shall be sent to the accused by registered mail, return receipt requested, directed to his last mailing address furnished the board. The post office registration receipt signed by the accused, his agent, or a responsible member of his household or office staff, or, if not accepted by the person to whom addressed, the postal authorities' stamp thereon showing the same "Refused", shall be prima facie evidence of service of such notice.
    (3) All investigations and proceedings undertaken under the provisions of this chapter shall be confidential.
    (4) Every communication, whether oral or written, made by or on behalf of any complainant to the board or its agents, or any hearing panel or member thereon, pursuant to this act whether by way of complaint or testimony, shall be privileged, and no action or proceeding, civil or criminal, shall lie against any such person, firm, or corporation by or on whose behalf such communication shall have been made, by reason thereof.

  • How can I know if my dentist has had any complaints or problems in the past?
  • Information regarding disciplinary actions can be accessed by going to the web site at  and clicking on the link for Disciplinary Actions.

  • Why must the Board of Dentistry publish disciplinary orders on its web site?
  • 40-15-215 Publication of final orders of Board; public record of limitation or surrender of license; confidentiality of other information.
    Any final order of the board finding that a dentist, dental hygienist, or dental technician is guilty of any offense charged in a formal accusation is public knowledge except for a final order dismissing the accusation or determining that a private reprimand is in order or unless stayed by an administrative law judge as provided under Article 5 of Chapter 23 of Title 1 or the board. Any final order which is made public may be mailed to local and state dental associations and all hospitals in which the respondent has staff privileges, to states where the dentist, dental hygienist, or dental technician has a license or certificate as known to the board, or to any other agency the board considers appropriate. If a license or certificate is voluntarily limited or surrendered by the holder, a public record of the existence and duration of the limitation or surrender must be maintained by the board, and no further distribution of the information may be made. All information, investigations, and proceedings concerning the circumstances underlying an action by the holder of the license or certificate are privileged and confidential.

  • How can I get a copy of the Board minutes?
  • The minutes are posted on the website at after approval by the Board. Look under the menu item Minutes.

  • Can a dental practice be owned by a non-dentist?
  • Corporations and individuals who are not dentists can own a dental practice. However, owners of dental practices who are not dentists cannot interfere with the professional judgment of the dentist working in that practice. Dental practice ownerships are held to the same standard of care as dental owned practices.

  • Does the Board require certification of dental radiography?
  • 39-16. Dental Radiography (Statutory Authority: 1976 Code Section 40-15-40) on or after July 1, 1985, all personnel in a dental office who place and expose radiographic films shall have successfully completed a structured course of training in radiation safety. Every dentist shall certify to the Board that any person employed by him, who shall place and expose radiographic films, has successfully completed the training required herein.
    Although the Board will no longer certify (issue certificates to) individuals in radiation safety, it will, however, continue to determine which structured courses are approved for satisfying the radiation safety requirements of the South Carolina Dental Practice Act.  Board Regulations 39-12(8) and 39-16 govern the performance of dental radiologic procedures in South Carolina. 

    Structured courses that are Board - approved are given by American Dental Association (ADA)-accredited schools and their constituents;  Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (DANB) schools; and
    South Carolina Dental Association (SCDA).

  • Can a dentist refuse to see a patient?
  • 39-11 (1-A) While dentists, in serving the public, may exercise reasonable discretion in selecting patients for their practices, dentists shall not refuse to accept patients into their practice or deny service to patients because of the patient's race, creed, color, sex or national origin.

  • Are there restrictions on advertising as a specialist?
  • 39-11 (4-C) Dentists who choose to announce specialization should use "specialist in" and shall limit their practice exclusively to the announced special area(s) of dental practice, provided at the time of the announcement such dentists have met in each approved specialty for which they announce the existing educational requirements and standards set forth by the American Dental Association.

  • Are there restrictions on advertising as a general dentist?
  • 39-11 (4-D) General dentists who wish to announce the services available in their practices are permitted to announce the availability of those services so long as they avoid any communications that express or imply specialization. General dentists shall also state that the services are being provided by general dentists. No dentist shall announce available services in any way that would be false or misleading in any material respect. The phrase "practice limited to" shall be avoided.

  • Does the Dental Board set the fees that dentists charge in their practice?
  • No, the dentist or the corporation sets the fees that can be charged.

  • Does the Dental Board recommend dentists if someone calls the office and is in need of dental care?
  • The Board does not make recommendations or referrals.

  • What is the difference between the Dental Board and the SC Dental Association?
  • The Board of Dentistry is a state regulatory board that protects the public health, safety and welfare in the State of South Carolina by the licensure and regulation of dentists, dental hygienists and dental technicians.
    The SC Dental Association is a membership organization of dentists.

  • How many times can an applicant re-take a licensing exam that they have failed?
  • The Board gives a jurisprudence examination (statutes and regulations of the Board) to all seeking licensure.  It is an on-line, open book exam and you may take it as many times as necessary to pass. 
    National examinations have their own criteria for retaking examinations.

  • How does the Board notify its licensees of legislative changes?
  • Legislative changes are posted on the Board’s web site or mailed to licensees or both.

  • How is a Dental Board member elected?
  • 39-6Notice of the annual election of the Board will be mailed in March to each dentist qualified to vote, according to the records of the Board. Nominations of candidates shall be made to the Board by written petition signed by not less then fifteen dentists qualified to vote in the election. Any person who is nominated by valid petition may withdraw his name by written notice to the Board. If only one candidate is nominated, he shall be declared elected. If more than one candidate is nominated, ballots shall be prepared with the names of the nominees in alphabetical order. Ballots and return envelopes shall be mailed to every dentist qualified to vote in the election. The candidate receiving the majority of the ballots received by the Board, in the allotted time, will be declared elected. Voters will be allowed approximately ten days to cast their ballot.
    Notice of the election of the dental hygiene member of the Board will be mailed in March of the appropriate year (once every six years) to each dental hygienist qualified to vote, according to the records of the Board. Nominations of candidates shall be made to the Board by written petition signed by not less then fifteen dental hygienists qualified to vote in the election. Nominations must be received by the Board within thirty days from the date of the notice announcing the election. Any person who is nominated by valid petition may withdraw their name by written notice to the Board. If only one candidate is nominated, she shall be declared elected. If more then one candidate is nominated, ballots shall be prepared with the names of the nominees in alphabetical order. Ballots and return envelopes shall be mailed to every dental hygienist qualified to vote in the election. The candidate receiving the majority of the ballots received by the Board in the allotted time will be declared elected. Voters will be allowed approximately ten days to cast their ballot.

  • How do I notify the Board of a change in my address or my name?
  • A licensee or applicant can make a change in address by accessing the web site at Click on Licensing Boards, Online Services and Change Your Address. 
    Name changes require a copy of a legal document being sent to the Board’s office.

  • How can I check the status of my application?
  • An applicant can check the status of his/her application by accessing the web site at Click on Licensing Boards, Online Services and Check Your Application Status.  Application is a process that takes approximately 6 weeks to complete and also depends on the timeliness of documents being submitted to the Board.

  • How many dental hygienists are allowed to practice under a dentist?
  • There is no set number on how many hygienists are allowed to practice in a dentist office.

  •  What is prescribing within the scope of dentistry?
  • Dentists are sometimes asked to write prescriptions that are outside the scope of practice. Licensees and registrants are reminded of the statute in the SC Dental Practice Act regarding prescription writing. Dentists are only allowed to prescribe within the scope of dentistry to a registered patient within their dental practice. Please refer to the Section 40-15-70 (2- c) and 40-15-360 of the SC Dental Practice Act.

  •  Can dentists use Botox and other injectables?
  • Botox and fillers have become popular in recent years. The Board has a policy on the limitations of use and delivery of these products and injectables by licensees. The policy can be found on the Board’s website under Laws/Policies. The policy states in general that these are limited to the perioral area, must be for a dental purpose, must be performed by a licensed general dentist, and must be performed only where a bona fide dentist-patient relationship has been established. Please read the full policy on the Board’s website .

  •  What restrictions are there about coupon use by dentists?
  •  The Code of Ethics in Regulation 39-11, 1-H of the S. C. Code of Regulations states “Dentists shall not accept or tender ‘rebates’ or ‘split fees.’ This includes social coupon website applications. A violation of the Principles of Ethics as promulgated in the Code of Regulations is grounds for misconduct. The ADA also has a statement regarding this.



    Dental Technician Frequently asked Questions


  • Is every employee in an out-of-state dental lab required to become registered as a dental technician in SC?
  • In accordance with 40-15-125, an out-of-state laboratory that provides dental
    technological services for SC dentists must employ at least one dental laboratory
    technician registered by the SC Board of Dentistry.

  • Does the Board office have a specific work authorization/prescription “form” that must be used by all dental laboratories?
  • No.  A prescription form is considered approved by the Board as long as it contains all of
    the information required in 40-15-280:
    • the name, address, and certificate number of the individual or organization to do
    the work;
    • identification of the patient by name or number;
    • the date on which the authorization was written;
    • a description of the work to be done, with diagrams, if necessary;
    • a specification of the type and quality of materials to be used;
    • the dentist’s signature, complete address, and state license number.

  • Who can authorize a prescription for out-of-state dental technological work?
  • Dental technological work performed in an out-of-state lab must be based on a
    prescription issued by a dentist licensed and practicing in SC.

  • What if I do not know the percentages of each ingredient used in the fabrication of a dental device?
  • The law requires a “percentage” be provided; therefore, you must list a percentage of
    each ingredient used.

  • What is the renewal process for registration as an in-state or out-of-state dental technician?
  • In-state and out-of-state dental technicians must renew their Registration to Perform Dental
    Technological Work in SC biennially. The renewal process is available online. On or
    about October 15th of the renewal year, a renewal notice is mailed from the Board office reminding individuals of the need to renew their registration.




Synergy Business Park; Kingstree Building
110 Centerview Dr.
Columbia, S.C. 29210
(803) 896-4300 | Office Hours: 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.

Directions | Site Map | Privacy | Disclaimer | Customer Satisfaction Survey | Contact Us | Other Languages
Report State Agency Fraud (Office of the Inspector General)

The S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation is pleased to provide various publications in portable document format (PDF).
You will need Adobe Reader to view and print these publications.