The American Association of Dental Boards Dental and Dental Hygiene Licensure Compact is an agreement among participating U.S. states and territories to work together to significantly streamline the licensing process for dentists and dental hygienists who want to practice in multiple states. It offers a voluntary, expedited pathway to licensure for dentists and dental hygienists who qualify.

The mission of the Compact is to allow for expedited licensure portability and ease of movement between states for professionals while allowing states to independently regulate the practice of dentistry and establish a uniform licensure examination testing psychomotor and cognitive skills.

The American Association of Dental Boards (AADB) Dental and Dental Hygiene Licensure Compact also provides access to the AADB Licensure Repository, a portal for the original source verification of the documents required for dental and dental hygiene licensure.  This portal supports expedited licensure and public protection by enhancing the ability of states to share investigative and disciplinary information through a centralized Clearinghouse.

Understanding Compact Terms & Definitions

Learn about the AADB Clearinghouse and AADB Licensure Repository and get familiar with the language you’ll see in the AADB Dental and Dental Hygiene Licensure Compact.

For dental professionals, the Compact promises:

Easy application process

Application completion is centralized, provides an online resource for document maintenance, and is less encumbering.

Quicker workforce entry

Licensees spend less time waiting for application decisions and are able to practice in new jurisdictions quickly.


Compact applications are free for the U.S. military and their spouses.

For jurisdictions, the Compact promises:

Protects Independence

Individual states retain the ability to license applicants and records are accessible to all jurisdictions.

Hands-On Testing

Compact licensees must have demonstrated the hand-skills necessary to practice, thereby protecting the public.


States pay no fees to participate or access documents.

The Interstate Dental & Dental Hygiene
Licensure Compact by AADB

The Interstate Dental and Dental Hygiene Licensure Compact requires legislation to be passed
to become active. Five jurisdictions must approve legislation for activation.

Click to read the legislation or get involved today!

Who is the AADB?

The AADB, formerly known as the American Association of Dental Examiners (AADE), originally chartered on September 10, 1896, and renewed in 1944, is comprised of State Dental Boards in the United States and its territories.

The American Association of Dental Boards is a national association that encourages the highest standards of dental education, promotes higher and uniform standards of qualifications for dental practitioners, and advocates uniform methods in the conduct, operation, and working of dental examining boards.

AADB membership is comprised of boards of dentistry, specialty boards, present and past board members, board administrators and attorneys, and dental educators. Currently, 35 boards are members of AADB. To learn more about the organization, CLICK HERE to visit the main website.

Who Developed the Compact?

A variety of State Dental Board stakeholders developed the AADB Dental and Dental Hygiene Licensure Compact over a period of multiple months. 

Current and former State Dental Members, Executive Directors, and Legal Counsel all came together to design a licensure compact that supports and aligns with the mission of State Dental Boards to protect the public.  A draft compact was introduced publicly in August 2023.

Who Manages the Compact?

The American Association of Dental Boards Compact Commission manages the compact.  

The Commission is comprised of two (2) members from each participating AADB Compact jurisdiction and an Attorney’s Committee.

How Does the Compact Work?

Eligible dentists and dental hygienists can qualify to practice dentistry in multiple states by completing just one application within the Compact, receiving separate licenses from each state in which they intend to practice.

These licenses are still issued by the individual states – just as they would be using the standard licensing process – but because the application for licensure in these states is routed through the Compact, the overall process of gaining a license is significantly streamlined. Dentists and dental hygienists receive their licenses much faster and with fewer burdens.

The licensing is all state-based. The Commission does not issue a “Compact license” or a nationally recognized license for dentists and dental hygienists.

Only states and territories that have formally joined the Compact can participate in this streamlined licensure process. States and territories must pass legislation authorizing their institutions to participate in the Compact. AADB Member State Dental Boards may choose to utilize the AADB Repository even if the legislature in their state does not participate in the AADB Dental and Dental Hygiene Licensure Compact.

Four Steps to Your Future

Self Qualify

Consider all requirements and prepare documentation for upload to the AADB Repository before beginning the process.

Apply for a Letter of Qualification

Your Letter of Qualification serves to confirm your eligibility as a compact participant. Your Home State issues the LoQ.

Select States

Upload your LoQ to the Respository’s Application Portal to expedite your licensing in multiple participating jurisdictions at the same time. You can add more states when necessary.

Renew License

Stay mindful of renewal terms and make sure to keep up-to-date on the practice requirements of each jurisdiction where you are licensed.