Department of Inspections, Appeals, and Licensing


Dentists examine teeth and tissues of the mouth to diagnose and treat diseases or abnormalities. They take x-rays, place sealants on children’s teeth, fill cavities, straighten teeth, repair fractured teeth, treat gum disease, extract teeth when necessary, may provide artificial dentures, perform corrective surgery of the gums and supporting bones, whiten teeth, clean teeth and provide other preventive services.

Code Citation Code of Iowa 153

Who Applies Any person who meets educational requirements and wishes to practice dentistry in the state of Iowa.

When To Apply Prior to employment.

Initial Requirements Application for licensure must be made to the Iowa Dental Board along with satisfactory evidence of graduation from a CODA-accredited dental college and completion of the proper examinations (below), including the examination administered by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations.

If applying on the basis of examination, the applicant must have completed an approved clinical examination within the previous five years: CRDTS, CDCA (WREB, SRTA, CITA have merged with the CDCA). The applicant must also complete the jurisprudence examination approved by the board. Applicants who have been licensed in another state for more than one year, or have completed an examination not approved by the Board must apply on the basis of credentials. If applying for a license by credentials, the applicant must be a graduate of a CODA-accredited dental school, have held a license as a dentist in another state, and have practiced for a minimum of three years immediately preceding application.  Alternatively, individuals who have been issued a license with a similar scope of practice in another state may be eligible for a dental license. Dentists, who are foreign trained must complete additional requirements prior to making application in Iowa pursuant to IAC 650–11.4. Dentists are required to make separate application for issuance of a permit to administer moderate sedation, deep sedation, or general anesthesia.

Duration Initial license is current to August 31 of even-numbered years then renewed every two years.

Processing Time Allow 6 to 8 weeks.

Fee Structure Application: $200 by examination; $550 by credentials; Fingerprint packet: $46; Renewal: $315 (Active); Exam: Paid to testing agency; Jurisprudence exam paid to proctor.

Renewal Requirements Thirty hours of continuing education are required biennially for license renewal. A minimum of one hour must be in the area of infection control, and a minimum of one hour must be in the area of Iowa jurisprudence. Mandatory training for child abuse and dependent adult abuse reporting is required for licensees who actively practice in Iowa. Applicants must also have a current certification in CPR. Online-only CPR certification is not acceptable. Licensees may claim up to three hours of continuing education for CPR recertification.

Exam Applicants must take the National Board administered by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations and apply to the: CRDTS, WREB, SRTA, CITA, or CDCA Beginning February 2021, the Board also accepts the manikin-based examinations offered by CRDTS and CDCA. Jurisprudence examination approved by the Iowa Dental Board.

Additional Information Any person who meets educational requirements and wishes to practice dentistry in the state of Iowa.

Services Provided

Service Category

  • Service SubCategory
Contact Information
Christel Braness
400 SW 8th St.
Suite D
Des Moines, IA 50309