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Board Membership Background


The mission of the Minnesota Board of Dentistry is to promote and protect public health and safety; and ensure that every licensed dental professional practicing in the state meets the requirements for safe, competent and ethical practice. 

Simply put...the Boards job is to promote and protect public health and safety. 


The Board of Dentistry was established in statute as the State agency responsible for regulating the dental professions in Minnesota. The Board has been operational as an independent State agency since 1885. The Minnesota Board of Dentistry operates within the Executive branch of government, and is granted quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial authority.

As a State agency, most Board business is classified as public. This holds true for almost all communication amongst Board members, whether in open meetings, phone, or e-mail conversations. Specific meetings and communications, such as those pertaining to Licensing and Credentialing, Complaint Committees, and Executive Board Meetings are classified as private or closed.

Board Composition 

Nine members...

  • 5 Dentists
  • 1 Dental Hygienist
  • 1 Dental Assistant
  • 2 Public Members

Members are appointed by the Governor. Terms are 4 years, and end dates are staggered to minimize impact on Board operations. Members may be reappointed, but no more than 2 consecutive terms can be served at any one time.

Members are selected to bring their experience to the Board, but not to represent any particular profession. The Board members job is to represent the public. Because of this, Board members are required to resign any leadership positions with their (dental or allied dental) professional associations.

Board members are expected to be active, hands on participants in Board and Committee meetings. Anyone considering submitting their name for consideration as a Board member must be prepared to commit meeting time, prep time, and travel time to Board activities.

Board members are also expected to have a working knowledge of the Dental Practice Act, and model appropriate dental professionalism. The Board provides general direction and oversight, and Executive Director manages the day-to-day operations.


The Boards primary functions in promoting and protecting public health and safety are:

1. Licensure

  • Establish initial minimum competency requirements, especially regarding education and testing

2. Continued Competence

  • Establish professional development requirements to assure lifelong learning and competence

3. Complaints/Compliance

  • Respond to complaints regarding dental professionals and practices, and enforce established statutes and rules

4. Policy

  • Work with the legislature, governor's office, professional associations, and other interested parties to ensure relevance of Boards regulations


The Board of Dentistry regulates over 17,500 dental professionals in the state of Minnesota:

  • 7,000+ are Licensed Dental Assistants
  • 5,000+ are licensed as Dental Hygienists
  • 4,000+ are licensed as Dentists and 
  • 60+ are licensed as Dental Therapists


The Board obtains its funding through licensure fees, and does not receive money from the State of Minnesota General Fund. Annual revenues and expenses are approximately $1.34 million. The Board is granted its spending authority by the legislature, and is only able to spend the appropriated amount on direct expenses. The budget is adopted on a biennial funding cycle, with a fiscal year that begins July 1.


The Board has a full time staff of 10 and 1 part time staff, many of whom have dental backgrounds. Board members generally interact with staff through the Boards Executive Director, who acts as Chief Executive Officer.

Board Meetings

Board meetings are scheduled 4x/year. These meetings are held on Fridays. Occasionally, a Special Board Meeting must also be scheduled to address issues which are time-sensitive (generally for disciplinary cases). Board meetings are public meetings, and run by the Board president. The agenda is approved in advance by the Executive Committee, and Board meeting materials are sent to Board members the week prior to the meeting. When necessary, the Board relies on the American Institute of Parliamentarians Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure rules of order in conducting its business. Board and Committee meetings are held in the University Avenue building that houses the Board offices. The Board has gone paperless and Board members can use a laptop to view agendas and meeting materials.


The following Committees have been established by the Board 

  • Executive Committee
  • Complaint Committee
  • Licensure and Credentials Committee
  • Clinical Licensure Exam Committee
  • Dental Therapy Program Review Committee
  • Policy Committee
  • Jurisprudence/Professional Development Task Force
  • Allied Dental Education
  • HPSP Representative
  • CRDTS Steering Committee
  • Council of Health Boards
  • AADB Liaison
  • Sedation Committee
  • CODA Site Visit Representatives

Time Commitment

The time commitment as a Board member varies considerably depending upon Committee assignments. It would be reasonable to anticipate a highly involved Board member to commit 8 hours or more per week to Board activities. Communication with Board staff via e-mail is frequent; a prospective Board member should be prepared to check email on a regular basis.

All Board and Committee meetings share an expectation that Board members and staff come prepared, having read the materials and followed through with any additional responsibilities. 


The IOPP (Internal Operating Policies and Procedures) helps potential Board members understand more about committees, Board member expectations, staff responsibilities and code of conduct. Read more in the full version of the IOPP. 


Board members are eligible for reimbursement of expenses according to the Commissioners Plan and Board policy. In general, the Minnesota Board of Dentistry reimburses Board members for the following when appropriately documented...

  • Per diem: $75/day involved in a Board or Committee meeting or activity
  • Prep time: $15.00/hour for time preparing for Board or Committee meetings, except on days when a per diem is awarded
  • Mileage: reimbursed per State guidelines, currently $0.535/mile on qualified travel
  • Lodging: reimbursed for qualified stays, government or best rate requested
  • Parking: reimbursed with qualified mileage/lodging, @ self-park rate
  • Travel: conference attendance must be Board-approved to qualify for reimbursement. Reimbursement per Commissioners Plan covers airfare, ground transportation, meals, lodging, registration, and miscellaneous expenditures.
  • Meals: the Board generally provides meals for Board members and staff when meetings run through an anticipated mealtime. Other meals incidental to Board business are reimbursed within the limits of the Commissioners Plan.
  • Office Supplies: when possible, Board members are encouraged to request supplies from the Board office, as these supplies are purchased through State contracts. Reimbursement for other supplies/equipment/purchases requires approval of the Executive Director or Board.


Prospective Board members are strongly encouraged to do the following:

  1. Contact a current and/or a former Board member and ask them what to expect
  2. Contact the Boards Executive Director 
  3. Thoroughly review the Boards web site
  4. Fill out an Open Appointments Application
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