Continuing Education (CE) Information

Continuing Education for License Renewal

In the State of California, registered dental hygienists (RDH) are required by law pursuant to Business and Profession Code (BPC) section 1936.1 and Title 16, California Code of Regulations (CCR) section 1016 and 1017, to complete continuing education units (RDH, RDH in extended functions - 25 units, RDH in alternative practice - 35 units), in addition to paying a renewal fee, to maintain a current, active license. Continuing education courses must be completed during the preceding renewal period (when renewing), or during the preceding two years (when renewing a delinquent or lapsed license or going from an inactive to active license). Mandatory courses required by the Board for license renewal include: A Board-approved course in Infection Control, a Board-approved course in the California Dental Practice Act and completion of certification in Basic Life Support. Of the required continuing education units, non-live instruction such as recorded courses, home study materials, non-live webinars where interaction does not occur, etc. shall not exceed 50% of the total required units. Courses must be taken through a continuing education provider recognized by the Dental Board of California, the American Dental Association’s Continuing Education Recognition Program (CERP) or the Academy of General Dentistry’s Program Approval for Continuing Education (PACE).

Continuing Education Units Required

For the purposes of renewal of a license or permit, the following total units are required:

License Type Units
Registered Dental Hygienist 25
Registered Dental Hygienist In Extended Functions 25
Registered Dental Hygienist In Alternative Practice 35

Registered Provider Lookup


To determine if a provider is approved, you will utilize the online DCA BreEZe License Search tool. You may look up a company or individual who was issued a license/permit issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs for the professions listed.

The registered CE provider must have a "Current-Active" permit that is not "expired" in order to be valid.

CE Provider Example:

CE Provider Example

Mandatory CE Provider Example

Mandatory CE Provider Example

CERP/PACE Approved Courses

With the exception of mandatory courses, you may also obtain credit from attending continuing education courses given by providers approved by the American Dental Association's Continuing Education Recognition Program (CERP) or the Academy of General Dentistry's Program Approval for Continuing Education (PACE) and must obtain a certification of attendance from the provider or sponsor. You may utilize the search tools below for CERP and PACE courses. Courses must be approved by CERP or PACE at the time you take the course.


National Approval Section

Extended Approval Section


Find a PACE approved provider.

Continuing Education Audits

Pursuant to BPC 1936.1 (a), the Board is required to conduct random audits of at least 5 percent of the licensee population each year to ensure compliance of the continuing education requirement. Licensees are required to retain CE certificates of course completion for a period of 3 license renewal cycles (6 years) as proof of CE completion in the event of an audit.

To avoid any enforcement action being taken against your license, including but not limited to the issuance of a citation and fine, you must satisfy the required number of continuing education units biennially for your license/permit type, as outlined in Title 16, CCR sections 1016 and 1017.

Registered Dental Hygienists Renewing for the First Time After Issuance of License

If you obtained your RDH license within the past two years and this is your first renewal, you are exempt from the CE requirements to renew the license if your first license renewal occurs less than 24 months from the date of issuance. Licensees are placed on a biennial license renewal cycle where the license will expire on the last day of the birth month in an even or odd year depending upon the year the licensee was born. After the first license renewal, licensees are required to accumulate the required number of continuing education units within the biennial renewal period prior to the license’s next expiration date.

Exemption from Continuing Education

Pursuant to Title 16, CCR section 1017(m), a licensee who has not practiced in California for more than one year because the licensee is disabled does not need to comply with the continuing education requirements during that renewal period. The licensee must certify in writing to the Board they are eligible for waiver of the continuing education requirements. If the licensee returns to work, they must notify the Board and comply with the continuing education requirements for subsequent renewal periods.

CE Frequently Asked Questions

No. A live, in-person practice session, skills test and written examination is required. If the written examination is completed online the course is incomplete until the live, in-person practice session and skills test has be demonstrated. Title 16, CCR §1016 (b)(c)(ii).
A licensee who fails to retain a copy of a course completion certificate should contact the CE provider for a duplicate copy of the certificate. Title 16, CCR §1017(n).
Yes; however, a licensee who changes their name shall provide the Board with documentation of the name change within 10 days. BPC §1934.
No. All required CE units must be completed within the preceding two-year period prior to the license expiration date. BPC §1936.1
A licensee who changes their physical address of record or email address shall notify the Board within 30 days of the change. BPC § 1934. Contact the Board’s CE Audit Analyst for additional direction.
No; however, you must retain your CE certificates of completion in the event of an audit.
The Board only reviews certificates at the time of an audit. To verify a provider, see section Registered Provider Lookup. You may contact the Board at the main phone line (916) 263-1978 to speak with Board's Continuing Education Analyst for specific questions.
The license that requires the largest number of continuing education units for renewal shall equal the licensee's full renewal requirement. Title 16 CCR § 1017(r). See section Continuing Education Units Required.
A webinar that is a recording of a course that was presented in the past does not count as a live-interactive course. A live interactive online course must be in real time and have the ability for the attendees to interact with the presenter/host of the CE course.
If you hold a Current-Active license you may receive credit for up to 20% of the total required units per renewal period for the course or course(s) you teach for a provider other than yourself. Title 16 1016(h)(5).
Current and active licensees enrolled in a full-time educational program in the field of dentistry, including dental school program, residency program, postdoctoral specialty program, dental hygiene school program, dental hygiene in alternative practice program, or registered dental assisting in extended functions program approved by the Board or the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation shall be granted continuing education credits for completed curriculum during that renewal period. In the event of audit, licensees shall be required to present school transcripts to the Board as evidence of enrollment and course completion. Title 16 CCR 1017(s)

In the event of an audit, a licensee must:

  • Be enrolled in a full-time educational program in the field of dentistry during the timeframe of the audit.
  • Required to complete the mandatory CE courses; CA Dental Practice Act, Infection Control and CPR/BLS within the timeframe of the audit.
  • Present school transcripts to the Board as evidence of enrollment and course completion.