The Dental Board of California, under the Department of Consumer Affairs, provides a detailed look into how to become a dentist in The Golden State. If you are interested in taking up a career in oral health, including teeth, gums, salivary glands etc in the state of California, the following guide will be of great use to you.

How to Become a Licensed Dentist in California

To get a dental license in California, you can follow one of the following four paths:

    1. Apply to the Dental Board of California

This would require the successful completion of the WREB Exam.

    1. Apply for Licensure by Credential

This is applicable for dentists who hold a license in another state

    1. Apply for Licensure by Residency

Qualification for this is based on the completion of a minimum of 12 months of advanced education in dentistry or a general practice residency


    1. Apply for Licensure by Portfolio

This involves completing a portfolio examination, which is conducted while the applicant in still in dental school at a California Board approved program.

    1. Training Requirements

In order to graduate from the doctoral program, you will have to complete the internship credits.

Requirements to Become a Dentist in California

Before applying for a license through the Dental Board of California, all candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Should be 18 years old
  • Must submit an application package to the Dental Board of California
  • Must pay $400.00 as application fee (non-refundable)
  • Should be able to provide evidence of graduation from a Board approved dental school
  • Must have passed Parts I and II of the National Board Written Examinations. The candidate will have to provide the original score card as evidence; photocopies will not be accepted
  • Should have passed the WREB examination after January 1, 2005; duplicate or original success card will suffice. Photocopies will not be accepted
  • Must provide sets of fingerprints on fingerprint cards available through the Board or on Standard FBI fingerprint cards
  • Must give satisfactory evidence of having passed the California Restorative Technique (RT) examination if graduated from a recognized non-accredited dental school
  • Should provide a completed Out of State/Country Licensure Certification Form (this is applicable only for those candidates who are licensed in another state or country)
  • Must have completed the Law and Ethics examination

Additional eligibility criteria involve a criminal background check and reporting of all convictions including felonies, misdemeanors and infractions. In addition to this, candidates must also meet radiation safety standards and requirements if they will operation radiographic equipment as part of their practice. Candidates must provide their social security number on the application, without which, the application will not be processed by the Board.

How Much Does a Dentist Make in California

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dentists in California made an annual mean wage of $151,490. It is the state with the highest employment level in this occupation, with 17,240 jobs, as of 2018.