Mandated course in opioid prescribing among C.E. changes for dentists in 2023

Changes in continuing education regulations are coming for California dentists beginning Jan. 1, 2023, including mandated C.E. that covers the responsibilities and requirements of prescribing Schedule II opioid drugs. 

Dentists will be required to successfully complete 2 units of C.E. on opioid prescribing as a condition to renewing a license with the Dental Board of California. The new mandatory course is in addition to the courses in basic life support, California infection control and the California Dental Practice Act that are already required for license renewal.  

A course created by Western University of Health Sciences in partnership with CDA satisfies the C.E. requirement. Dentists will have other eligible courses to choose from. 

New approved course provider for required BLS course

Other changes in C.E. that will take effect Jan. 1, 2023, are:

  • A basic life support course taught by a provider approved by the American Safety and Health Institute will meet the dental board’s requirement for the BLS course.
  • Professional ethics will be included in the required content of a board-approved Dental Practice Act course.
  • Limited credit — up to 3 units — will be permitted for providing direct patient care as an unpaid volunteer at specified settings.
  • The required units of C.E. for license renewal for retired dentists who are only in uncompensated practice will be reduced to 30 units. 

Discounted opioid prescribing course for CDA members 

California dentists can take “Opioid Prescribing for Dentists: Pain Management, Addiction and Prescribing” to satisfy the new C.E. requirement for license renewal. Created by Western University of Health Sciences in partnership with CDA, the course is eligible for 2 units of C.E. and is available to CDA members at a significantly discounted price as a benefit of membership. 

The unique and engaging course format follows six fictional patients at six fictional dental practices over the course of a day. Through these six patient consultations, course attendees learn about the very different patient presentations they may encounter in their practice. The course ends with the dentists highlighting key points from the consultations.

Specifically, participants will learn:

  • How to manage acute and chronic pain in the dental setting.
  • The risks and identification of opioid use disorder.
  • The practices and legal requirements for opioid prescribing and dispensing.

Register through CDA Presents Online Learning for “Opioid Prescribing for Dentists: Pain Management, Addiction and Prescribing.”

CDA members can also log in to their account to view CDA’s Continuing Education Requirements and FAQ for general rules related to C.E., how to ensure courses are eligible for C.E. credit and more information.


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