The Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners was established by the Legislature in 1887 to help protect the interest of Arkansas citizens. The Board is authorized by statute to license dentists and dental hygienists by examination or credentials. The Board issues specialty licenses to dentists who have post graduate training and successfully complete an examination. The Board registers dental corporations. The Board issues permits to dental assistants who have qualified for expanded duties. It issues anesthesia permits to dentists who have special training and wish to use general anesthesia or conscious sedation in their offices. It issues local anesthesia permits to dental hygienists who have special training that meets Board criteria.
The Board by rule and regulation prescribes those acts, services, procedures, and practices which define the practice of dentistry and those acts, services, procedures, and practices which can be performed by dental hygienists and dental assistants.
The Board disciplines its licensees and permit holders if there has been a violation of the Dental Practice Act, the Dental Corporation Act, or the Board’s Rules and Regulations.
The Board is entirely self-supporting. Application fees, renewal fees, permit fees, disciplinary fines, and penalties fund the work of the Board.
The Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners was created by act 144 of 1887 and has been in continuous existence since that time. Currently, Act 14 of 1955, known as the Dental Practice Act, governs Board operations. The Board regulates the practice of dentistry, dental hygiene, and dental assisting, by examining applicants for competency and issuing licenses to candidates meeting the requirements of the State and the Board.
The Board is also vested with the power to revoke or suspend the privilege of practicing professionally under any license or permit issued by it; it may place a licensee or permittee on probation, may impose a fine, or a combination of these sanctions; it has the authority to promulgate Rules and Regulations governing the practice of dentistry; it may conduct disciplinary hearings under the Administrative Procedures Act.
The Board is composed of six practicing dentists, one practicing dental hygienist, and two consumer representatives; one represents the senior citizens of the State. Members are appointed by the Governor for five year terms; officers are elected annually. The Board meets eight or more times a year and conducts disciplinary hearings in conjunction with those meetings.
The Board employs an executive director and three other employees. The Board participates in the Southern Regional Testing Agency with five other states; this agency administers clinical examinations to dentists and dental hygienists.
The Board members who are dentists and the dental hygienist Board member participate with other professional examiners at sixteen examinations each year. The Board also holds individual examinations for applicants in the dental specialty fields.
More than 5,000 individuals hold a current license or permit issued by the Board of Dental Examiners.