Dental Hygienist FAQs

  • Q1. What are the requirements for obtaining dental hygiene licensure by examination?

    Refer to Board Rule 150-3-.01 and Board Rule 150-3-.04

    • APPLICATION - Now available as online service.
    • NOTARIZED APPLICATION: Completed application form accompanied by a fee of $75.00. Your application will not be processed unless the fee and all supporting documents are received.
    • LICENSE VERIFICATION: Official licensure verification(s) for every dental license ever held, other than Georgia. Each letter must indicate the date of licensure, the licensure status (active, inactive, expired, or revoked, etc.) standing of license, any disciplinary charges made against you by the licensing board or by any other state agency, and the result of these actions. The applicant must provide a copy of the formal complaint/pleading, outcomes, and a personal written explanation for each instance of discipline. You should call each state board about fees for these services. The verification must be submitted with your application IN THE ORIGINAL SEALED ENVELOPE FROM THE BOARD OF EACH LICENSING STATE, and must be dated within four months of Board receipt of your complete application packet.
    • DEGREE TRANSCRIPT: An Official Transcript which documents graduation with an A.S., B.A. or B.S. degree from a dental hygiene school which is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Education. The transcript must be IN THE ORIGINAL SEALED ENVELOPE FROM THE COLLEGE. Graduates from a non-accredited hygiene school are ineligible.
    • NATIONAL BOARD SCORES: National Board Scores from the ADA Joint Commission on National Dental examinations. The ADA (1-800-621-8099) will send a copy of National Board scores to state licensure boards only. If you ask the ADA to send our board a copy of your National Board scores, so indicate in your application packet. Please do not submit the National Board Certificate. Your scores must come directly from the ADA to the Board Office.
    • CLINICAL LICENSURE EXAMINATION: Review Board Rule 150-5-.02 for acceptable clinical examinations and score requirements.
    • JURISPRUDENCE EXAMINATION: Successful completion of the Jurisprudence Examination with a score of 75 or higher.The Jurisprudence Examination may be taken as an open book exam. The examination and “law and rules” governing the practice of dental hygiene in Georgia may be obtained on the Georgia Board of Dentistry website. Score is only valid for one (1) year.
    • NATIONAL PRACTITIONER DATA BANK (NPDB): A National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) certified report of any pending or final disciplinary actions or malpractice actions against any license ever held by the applicant in any state. All applicants must submit a NPDB report along with a completed application. (NPDB must be dated within four months). The ONLY applicants exempted from the requirement of NPDB report submission are those applicants within 6 months of dental school graduation who have never been issued a dental license in any state or U.S. territory. The NPDB report must be received in the ORIGINAL SEALED ENVELOPE FROM NPDB. Those applications that may have any disciplinary or malpractice case(s) (open & closed) will be considered for licensure on a case by case basis, after receipt of all required application materials. For each case, the applicant must submit: 1) a copy of the formal complaint pleadings filed by the plaintiff/complainant or State Regulatory Agency, 2) a copy of the final action, disposition, or settlement, 3) a personal explanation of the disciplinary action or the malpractice claim, and 4) any further information requested by the Board in separate communications. To obtain information (self-query) from the NPDB-HIPDB, please visit www.npdb-hipdb.com, scroll to the right side of the home page, and click Perform a Self-Query. The self-query is $20.00, payable by credit card (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express). If you do not have Internet access, contact the Customer Service Center at 1-800-767-6732 from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time (8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Fridays).
    • CRIMINAL HISTORY INFORMATION: If you have ever been summoned, arrested, taken into custody, indicted, convicted or tried for, or charged with, or pled guilty to, or pled nolo contender to, a violation of any law or ordinance or the commission of any felony or misdemeanor (excluding minor traffic violations), (DWI & DUI are not minor traffic violations), or if you have been requested to appear before a prosecuting attorney or investigative agency in any matter you must attach the court disposition. Although a conviction may have been expunged from the records by a court order, it nevertheless must be disclosed on your application. For each occurrence furnish a written statement giving the complete facts in your own words, including in the statement the date, name and nature of the offense, the name and locality of the court, and the disposition of each such matter.
    • CPR: Submit a photocopy of your current CPR certification pursuant to Board Rule 150-3-.04.
    • COPY OF COURT DOCUMENT OR AFFIDAVIT explaining any discrepancies of the applicant’s name if documents submitted bear different name(s).[i.e. marriage certificate, divorce decree, legal name change].
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  • Q2. What are the requirements for obtaining licensure by credentials?

    A2.

    Refer to Georgia Law O.C.G.A § 43-11-71.1 and Board Rule 150-7-.05

    • APPLICATION
    • NOTARIZED APPLICATION: Completed application form accompanied by a fee of $1025.00. Your application will not be processed unless the fee and all supporting documents are received.
    • LICENSE VERIFICATION: Official licensure verifications for every dental license ever held, other than Georgia. Each letter must indicate the date of licensure, the licensure status (active, inactive, expired, or revoked, etc.) standing of license, any disciplinary charges made against you by the licensing board or by any other state agency, and the result of these actions. The applicant must provide a copy of the formal complaint/pleading, outcomes, and a personal written explanation for each instance of discipline. The verification must be submitted with your application IN THE ORIGINAL SEALED ENVELOPE FROM THE BOARD OF EACH LICENSING STATE, and must be dated within four months of Board receipt of your complete application packet.
    • DEGREE TRANSCRIPT: An Official Transcript which documents graduation with a A.S.,B.A., or B.S. degree from a dental hygiene school which is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Education. The transcript must be IN THE ORIGINAL SEALED ENVELOPE FROM THE COLLEGE. Graduates from a non-accredited school are ineligible.
    • NATIONAL BOARD SCORES: National Board Scores from the ADA Joint Commission on National Dental examinations. The ADA (1-800-621-8099) will send a copy of National Board scores to state licensure boards only. If you ask the ADA to send our board a copy of your National Board scores, so indicate in your application packet. Please do not submit the National Board Certificate. Your scores must come directly from the ADA to the Board Office.
    • JURISPRUDENCE EXAMINATION: Successful completion of the Jurisprudence Examination with a score of 75 or higher.The Jurisprudence Examination may be taken as an open book exam. The examination and “law and rules” governing the practice of dental hygiene in Georgia may be obtained on the Georgia Board of Dentistry website. Score is only valid for one (1) year.
    • NATIONAL PRACTITIONER DATA BANK: A National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) certified report of any pending or final disciplinary actions or malpractice actions against any license ever held by the applicant in any state. All applicants must submit a NPDB report along with a completed application. (NPDB must be dated within four months). The ONLY applicants exempted from the requirement of NPDB report submission are those applicants within 6 months of dental school graduation who have never been issued a dental license in any state or U.S. territory. The NPDB report must be received in the ORIGINAL SEALED ENVELOPE FROM NPDB. Those applications that may have any disciplinary or malpractice case(s) (open & closed) will be considered for licensure on a case by case basis, after receipt of all required application materials. For each case, the applicant must submit: 1) a copy of the formal complaint pleadings filed by the plaintiff/complainant or State Regulatory Agency, 2) a copy of the final action, disposition, or settlement, 3) a personal explanation of the disciplinary action or the malpractice claim, and 4) any further information requested by the Board in separate communications. To obtain information (self-query) from the NPDB-HIPDB, please visit www.npdb-hipdb.com, scroll to the right side of the home page, and click Perform a Self-Query. The self-query is $20.00, payable by credit card (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express). If you do not have Internet access, contact the Customer Service Center at 1-800-767-6732 from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time (8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Fridays).
    • CRIMINAL HISTORY INFORMATION: If you have ever been summoned, arrested, taken into custody, indicted, convicted or tried for, or charged with, or pled guilty to, or pled nolo contendere to, a violation of any law or ordinance or the commission of any felony or misdemeanor (excluding minor traffic violations), (DWI & DUI are not minor traffic violations), or if you have been requested to appear before a prosecuting attorney or investigative agency in any matter you must attach the court disposition. Although a conviction may have been expunged from the records by a court order, it nevertheless must be disclosed on your application. For each occurrence furnish a written statement giving the complete facts in your own words, including in the statement the date, name and nature of the offense, the name and locality of the court, and the disposition of each such matter.
    • CPR: Submit a photocopy of your current CPR certification pursuant to Board Rule 150-5-.04 CPR Requirements for Dental Hygienists.
    • EMPLOYMENT AFFIDAVIT: An affidavit from the applicant stating for the two years immediately preceding application: (A) the dates and locations where the applicant has practiced dental hygiene and (B) that the applicant has been in full time clinical practice of a minimum of 1,000 hours per year in the hands-on treatment of patients. Please note that the practice requirement cannot be waived as it is required by law.
    • MALPRACTICE QUESTIONNAIRE: Complete one for each suit and attach the necessary documentation. (If not applicable, write N/A on the form sign, date, and return with application).
    • COPY OF COURT DOCUMENT OR AFFIDAVIT explaining any discrepancies of the applicant’s name if documents submitted bear different name(s).[i.e. marriage certificate, divorce decree, legal name change] .

    ALL dental hygiene licensure by credential applications MUST BE APPROVED by the Board.

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  • Q3. How long does it take to receive a license?

    A3.

    From the time we are in receipt of a completed application, which does not require Board review, it takes approximately 35 business days for your license to be issued.

    Effective July 1, 2012, the Georgia Board of Dentistry stopped printing hard copies of blue wall licenses and pocket cards to licensees free of charge. This change impacted all license types. Statutes and Board rules require some licensees to post a copy of their license at their place of business for inspection. To meet this requirement, the Board provides free of charge an online verification that your license has been issued.

    We will be offering the option of printing a PDF version of the wall license on our website in the very near future. This functionality has been temporarily disrupted due to the recent transition from the Secretary of State’s Office to the Department of Community Health but we are working diligently to restore it as soon as possible.

    If you would like to order a hard copy of your license, you may send a request along with a fee of $25.00 to the Georgia Board of Dentistry, 2 Peachtree St NW, 6th Floor, Atlanta, GA 30303.

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  • Q4. What are the education requirements?

    A4.

    Refer to Board Rule 150-3-.02

    • DEGREE TRANSCRIPT: An Official Transcript which documents graduation with a A.S.,B.A., or B.S. degree from a dental hygiene school which is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Education. The transcript must be IN THE ORIGINAL SEALED ENVELOPE FROM THE COLLEGE. Graduates from a non-accredited school are ineligible. d.
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  • Q5. What CPR is needed?

    A5.

    Refer to Board Rule 150-5-.04

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  • Q6. Who provides the Clinical Examination?

    A6.

    Refer to Board Rule 150-5-.02

    Clinical Exam - CRDTS - www.crdts.org or (785) 273-0380

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  • Q7. Is a state law exam required?

    A7.

    Refer to Board Rule 150-3-.04

    JURISPRUDENCE EXAMINATION: Successful completion of the Jurisprudence Examination with a score of 75 or higher. The Jurisprudence Examination may be taken as an open book exam. The examination and “law and rules” governing the practice of dential hygiene in Georgia may be obtained on the Georgia Board of Dentistry website. Score is only valid for one (1) year.

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  • Q8. Is there a form to use to apply for the national or clinical exam?”

    A8.

    Contact National Board Examination - ADA Joint Commission on National Dental examinations at 1-800-621-8099 or Clinical Exam - CRDTS - www.crdts.org or (785) 273-0380.

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  • Q9. Is there a form to use to apply for the national or clinical re-exam?

    A9.

    Contact National Board Examination - ADA Joint Commission on National Dental examinations at 1-800-621-8099 or Clinical Exam - CRDTS - www.crdts.org or (785) 273-0380.

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  • Q10. How long do I have to take the exam after completion of the education requirement?

    A10.

    Not specified in Georgia law or rules.

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  • Q11. Who provides the National Examination?

    Contact National Board Examination - ADA Joint Commission on National Dental examinations at 1-800-621-8099.

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  • Q12. Who schedules the exam?

    A12.

    Contact National Board Examination - ADA Joint Commission on National Dental examinations at 1-800-621-8099 or Clinical Exam - CRDTS - www.crdts.org or (785) 273-0380.

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  • Q13. Is it an international exam?

    A13.

    Contact National Board Examination - ADA Joint Commission on National Dental examinations at 1-800-621-8099 or Clinical Exam - CRDTS - www.crdts.org or (785) 273-0380.

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  • Q14. How long are my scores good?

    A14.

    Please Refer to Board Rule 150-5-.02

    National Board – No limit listed in laws or rules

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  • Q15. How many times can I take the exam?

    A15.

    Please Refer to Board Rule 150-5-.02

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  • Q16. How long does it take to receive exam scores?

    A16.

    Contact the National Board Examination - ADA Joint Commission on National Dental examinations at 1-800-621-8099 orClinical Exam - CRDTS - www.crdts.org or (785) 273-0380.

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  • Q17. Is there a wait time to retake an exam?

    A17.

    Contact the National Board Examination - ADA Joint Commission on National Dental examinations at 1-800-621-8099 or Clinical Exam - CRDTS - www.crdts.org or (785) 273-0380.

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  • Q18. What are the continuing education requirements?

    A18.

    Please Refer to Board Rule 150-5-.05
    Twenty-two (22) hours for the two year renewal period.
    Fifteen (15) of the required hours must be in clinical science

    New licensees may submit proof of ADA accredited dental hygiene coursework taken within the previous 2 years to suffice for the CE requirements for their first renewal period.

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  • Q19. Can I get a temporary license?

    A19.

    Yes, refer to O.C.G.A.§§ 43-11-70, 43-11-71 and Rule 150-5-.06

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  • Q20. What happens if I do not renew my license?

    A20.

    Your license will lapse on July 1st after the renewal year and you will be required to reinstate.

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  • Q21. Can I make my license inactive?

    A21.

    Please Refer to Board Rule 150-3-.07

    Yes, inactive status is allowed.

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  • Q22. If I make my license inactive how do I reactivate?

    A22.

    A licensee may, in the discretion of the Board, have any inactive license restored by:

    1. Filing the required application and paying the proper fee;
    2. Providing documentation from a physician or physicians licensed in the State of Georgia that establishes to the satisfaction of the Board that the applicant is able to practice with reasonable skill and safety to patients;
    3. Providing documentation demonstrating current Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation ("CPR") certification;
    4. Fulfilling any remedial requirements deemed necessary by the Board as a condition precedent to the licensee resuming his or her practice of dentistry or dental hygiene; and
    5. Appearing before a Committee of the Board upon request.
    6. In considering any application for restoration under this Rule, the Board may require that an applicant for restoration of an active license execute releases necessary to obtain documentation of the applicant's complete medical history; the Board may also require the applicant, at his or her own expense, to undergo
    7. Further examination by physicians designated by the Board.
    8. As a condition precedent to a license being restored, after 5 years have passed without the applicant being actively engaged in the practice of dentistry or dental hygiene, the Board, in its discretion, may require passage of an examination administered by the Georgia Board of Dentistry or a Regional Testing Agency designated and approved by the Board.
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  • Q23. What are the License Renewal Dates?

    A23.

    Please refer to Board Rule 150-3-.05.

    Licenses shall expire at the close of December 31 in all odd-numbered years. Late renewal allowed from January 1 of the even year following the renewal year through June 30 of the even year following renewal.

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  • Q24. What are the License Reinstatement Requirements?

    A24.

    Please refer to Board Rule 150-3-.05

    • REINSTATEMENT APPLICATION - Found on the board’s website under the link Download Forms.
    • NOTARIZED APPLICATION: Completed Application accompanied by a fee of $375. If reinstatement is granted, the license will be required to be renewed by the last day of December in ODD numbered years, regardless of when you were reinstated.
    • LICENSE VERIFICATION: Official licensure verification(s) for every dental license ever held, other than Georgia. Each letter must indicate the date of licensure, the licensure status (active, inactive, expired, revoked, etc.) standing of license, any disciplinary charges made against you by the licensing board or by any other state agency, and the result of these actions. The applicant must provide a copy of the formal complaint/pleading, outcomes, and a personal written explanation for each instance of discipline. You should call each state board about fees for these services. The verification must be submitted with your application IN THE ORIGINAL SEALED ENVELOPE FROM THE BOARD OF EACH LICENSING STATE, and must be dated within four months of Board receipt of your complete application packet.
    • NATIONAL PRACTIONER DATA BANK: A National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) certified report of any pending or final disciplinary actions or malpractice actions against any license ever held by the applicant in any state. All applicants must submit a NPDB report along with a completed application. (NPDB must be dated within four months of receipt of your application). The ONLY applicants exempted from the requirement of NPDB report submission are those applicants within 6 months of dental school graduation who have never been issued a dental license in any state or U.S. territory. The NPDB report must be received in the ORIGINAL SEALED ENVELOPE. Those applications that may have any disciplinary or malpractice case(s) (open & closed) will be considered for licensure on a case by case basis, after receipt of all required application materials. For each case, the applicant must submit:
      1. a copy of the formal complaint pleadings filed by the plaintiff/complainant or State Regulatory Agency,
      2. a copy of the final action, disposition, or settlement,
      3. a personal explanation of the disciplinary action or the malpractice claim, and
      4. any further information requested by the Board in separate communications. To obtain information (self-query) from the NPDB-HIPDB, please visit www.npdb-hipdb.com, scroll to the right side of the home page, and click Perform a Self-Query. The self-query fee is $20.00, payable by credit card (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express). If you do not have Internet access, contact the Customer Service Center at 1-800-767-6732 from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time (8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Fridays).
    • COPY OF COURT DOCUMENT OR AFFIDAVIT: explaining any discrepancies of the applicant’s name if documents submitted bear different name(s).[i.e. marriage certificate, divorce decree, legal name change]
    • CPR: Submit a photocopy of your current CPR certification pursuant to Board Rule 150-5-.04
    • RESUME OR CURRICULUM VITATE: List chronologically all employment, hospital privileges, specialty training and all other experience in the practice of dentistry/dental hygiene. Include names, beginning and ending dates, and locations, where applicable. Explain any intervals where you were not in training or practicing dentistry.
    • FOUR (4) REFERENCES: The reference forms must be mailed in with the application IN THE ORIGINAL SEALED ENVELOPE FROM THE REFERENCE.
    • *CONTINUING EDUCATION: All licensees are required to have continuing education credits in order to maintain a license in the State of Georgia. Hygienists must submit proof of 22 hours of Board approved continuing education obtained within the last two (2) years from the date of submission of application for Board approval. Note: Once reinstated an additional 22 hours for hygienists must be obtained for the upcoming renewal period. The hours submitted for reinstatement of license cannot be used to fulfill the requirements for an upcoming license renewal period.
    • MALPRACTICE QUESTIONNAIRE: Be sure to complete one for each suit and attach the necessary documentation. (If not applicable, write N/A on the form sign, date, and return with application).

    Reminder: It is against the law to practice dentistry/dental hygiene with a lapsed/expired license. An individual who continues to practice with a lapsed/expired license is subject to a fine and disciplinary action.

    For any reinstatement application citing problems, (not having CE during last biennial renewal period, convictions, disciplinary action in other states, impairment, etc.) the licensee will be scheduled to a meeting with the Licensure Overview Committee and the following guidelines may apply:

    Guidelines for Reinstatement

    No Clinical Practice Reassessment of Skills (1 week) Remediation and Reassessment of Skills Letter of Competency CRDTS Exam
    3 – <5 yrs X X
    5 yrs - <10 yrs X X X X
    10 yrs - + X X X

    For licensees that state that they have not been practicing without a license since the date that the license lapsed are reinstated without a consent order. However, the following guidelines may apply:

    Guidelines for Reinstatement

    No Clinical Practice Reassessment of Skills (1 week) Remediation and Reassessment of Skills Letter of Competency CRDTS Exam
    3 – <5 yrs X X
    5 yrs - <10 yrs X X X X
    10 yrs - + X X X

    For licensees that state that they have been practicing without a license since the date that the license lapsed are reinstated and the matter is referred to Legal Services to send a public consent order citing the dates of the unlicensed practice with a $1,000 fine to be paid within 120 days of the effective date of the order, 3 years probation, completion the Law Ethics and Professionalism (LEAP) course within one year of the effective date of the order, 5 hours CE in Risk Management within one year of the effective date. A letter of concern is to be mailed to all employers of hygienists with a lapsed license concerning aiding and abetting unlicensed practice.

    The board also allows reinstatement consent orders that have been signed by the licensee and returned to the board office to be accepted upon receipt, with the Executive Director signing for the Board President.

    If reinstatement is granted, the license will be required to be renewed by the last day of December in ODD numbered years, regardless of when the license is reinstated.

    The implications of a licensee practicing without a license are far-reaching. Employees/associates working with an unlicensed person could be subject to disciplinary action for aiding & abetting unlicensed practice; Medicaid & Medicare charges during the unlicensed period may be subject to denial or reimbursement; malpractice providers may not cover the individual during the unlicensed period.

    All reinstatement applications must be reviewed and approved by the Board.

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  • Q25. What is the Scope of Practice?

    A25.

    Please refer to Georgia law, O.C.G.A. § 43-11-74

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  • Q26. Frequently Used Acronyms

    A26.

    AADB – American Association of Dental Boards
    ADA – American Dental Association
    CRDTS – Central Regional Dental Testing Service
    ADEX – American Dental Examination
    ADHLEX – American Dental Hygiene Examination
    GDA – Georgia Dental Association

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  • Q27. How do I change my name on my license?

    A27. To change your name on your professional license, you must send a letter requesting a change to the Board office, along with a copy of the legal document showing the change.

    For example, if Ms. Jane Doe née Smith wanted to change the name on her professional license to reflect her new married name, she would send a letter to the Board office stating as follows: “I, Ms. Jane Smith (dental hygiene license number: DH000000), would like my name changed to Ms. Jane Doe on my professional license.” She would include a copy of her marriage license showing Smith as her new name.

    Name change requests should be sent to the Georgia Board of Dentistry, 2 Peachtree Street NW, 6th Floor, Atlanta, GA 30303. They may also be faxed to the Board office at (770) 344-5727. Please expect 7-10 business days for receipt and processing.

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