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Pennsylvania Extends Waiver Suspending "Live Patient" Requirements for Dental Clinical Licensing Exam

Issued:  December 7, 2020

To address safety concerns associated with live patient exams during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Wolf previously granted the Department of State's request that (1) the periodontal portion of the dental clinical exam be waived for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, the fact that the periodontal exam involves a live patient, and (2) the live patient aspect of the restorative exam be temporarily waived and, in its place, a non-patient based restorative dentistry examination administered by the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments (CDCA) and the Council of Interstate Testing Agencies Inc. (CITA) be accepted for the 2020 administration of the examination.  That waiver − issued on April 23, 2020 − was limited to prospective dentists who have just graduated or are about to graduate from dental school.

With the recent increases in new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, concerns remain over administering a live patient clinical exam for licensure as a dentist. Therefore, the department requested that the waiver for graduating dental school students be extended to cover all candidates for licensure as a dentist for the 2021 administration of the exam and any other individuals who must sit for the dental licensing exam during the COVID-19 pandemic, including those seeking reinstatement or reactivation. Gov. Wolf approved this request. This waiver shall extend for the duration of the Governor's Emergency Disaster Declaration, plus an additional 90 days thereafter.