About the Board
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.
The state legislature designated the Board of Dentistry as the regulatory body for dental professionals in Minnesota. Since 1985, the Board has operated as an independent state agency. As an entity within the Executive Branch of the state government, the Minnesota Board of Dentistry exercises quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial authority, according to Minnesota Statute 150A
The Board promotes and protects public health and safety through:
1. Licensure: The Board has established minimum competency requirements for licensure, especially regarding education and examinations.
2. Continued Competency: The Board has established professional development requirements ensuring lifelong learning and competence for dental professionals.
3. Complaints and Compliance: The Board enforces established statutes and rules and responds to complaints regarding dental professionals and practices.
4. Policy: The Board works with the legislature, governor's office, professional associations, and other stakeholders to ensure the relevance of the Board’s regulations.
The Board of Dentistry regulates over 17,500 dental professionals in the State of Minnesota. This includes:
• More than 7,000 dental assistants
• Around 4,000 dentists
• Close to 6,000 dental hygienists
• More than 98 dental therapists
The Board has 11 full-time staff. Board members regularly interact with staff through the Board’s Executive Director, who also acts as the Chief Executive Officer. While Board members provide general direction and oversight, the Executive Director manages the day-to-day operations of the Board.
The governor appoints members to four-year-long terms of service. The governor may re-appoint a Board member, but no one may serve more than two consecutive terms. We anticipate active, hands-on participation from Board members during each meeting. Applicants hoping to fill a seat on our Board must dedicate themselves to attending on- and off-site meetings. They must also willingly devote their time to preparing for meetings. Committee assignments may impact the time commitment requirements of Board members. Involved Board members should anticipate dedicating, on average, eight hours weekly to Board activities. We also expect Board members to have a working knowledge of the Dental Practice Act. In accordance with the Commissioner’s Plan and Board Policy, Board members may request reimbursements for expenses incurred while carrying out the Board’s business.
The Board has nine members, which includes:
• 5 dentists
• 1 dental hygienist
• 1 dental assistant
• 2 public members
Full Board Meetings
The Full Board meets four times each year.
Committees meet periodically throughout the year. The following Committees have been established by the Board to carry out its business:
Internal Operating Policies and Procedures (IOPP)
The IOPP helps potential Board members understand committees, Board member expectations, staff responsibilities, and the Code of Conduct. Read the full IOPP here
Are you interested in joining our Board?
Prospective Board members should:
2. Thoroughly review the Board’s website
What is the difference between the Board and Association organizations?
The Minnesota Board of Dentistry has been in existence since the 1880’s. The Minnesota Legislature’s authorizing statute, or Minnesota state law, provides the framework for the Board’s decision making. The Board members are appointed by the Governor. The Board’s Executive Director and staff support the work of the Board. The Minnesota Board of Dentistry operates as independent agency of the State with the purpose of regulating dental providers solely with regard to public safety. The board ensures that dental providers are initially prepared to practice and once in practice, are continuously meeting appropriate standards of professionalism.
The Board has a different purpose than “Associations.” The purpose of association organizations is to advocate for the professionals. There are a variety of professional associations for dental providers, and many of them have educational resources available to the public on their websites.
The Minnesota Dental Association (MDA) is the local organization of the largest association of dentists: the American Dental Association
. Among resources you will find on the MDA’s website is information about low-cost dental care and contact information for the MDA Peer Review process
.* Peer Review is an option that may be available for a dental care matter for which patients are seeking a resolution.
* Note: - On the MDA website, Peer Review information is found in item 1. under the heading: “If you are dissatisfied.”
- The information in item 2. under the same heading relates to the Board’s, and NOT the association’s, complaint process.