Consumers Overview

Our Mission | Overview | Disposing of Unwanted Medications |  Opioids - What You Need to KnowPublic Board vs Membership Group | Contacting the Board | Teeth Whitening Services | Coronavirus  | Testing for COVID-19

Our Mission  

The North Dakota Board of Dental Examiners (NDBDE) is a regulatory agency mandated to protect the dental health of the citizens of North Dakota by regulating the practice of dentistry, dental hygiene, and dental assisting through the enforcement of laws, rules and policies. The board requires competency and ethical behavior in all areas of the practice of dentistry. 

Although the Board adopts rules and may propose laws to regulate the practice of dentistry and the conduct of dental practitioners, the North Dakota Legislative Assembly has the final word when shaping law.

Coronavirus   (COVID-19) 

The COVID-19 pandemic impacts all of our everyday lives and activities including dental appointments. We all need to work together to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Microscopic view of Coronavirus

In keeping with the Board's mission to protect the dental health and well being of the public, the Board is actively monitoring the Coronavirus pandemic and wants to assure dental patients that the Board is focused on your dental care and treatment delivered in the safest manner possible. Dental offices follow stringent disinfection and cleaning techniques while maintaining a safe work environment for employees. In addition dental offices are receiving information from many sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and the North Dakota Department of Health, for ways to decrease or mitigate risk of infectious diseases to reduce potential exposure. For the latest information on the Coronavirus the Board of Dental Examiners urges consumers to click on this highlighted link for guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Testing for COVID-19

Who Should be tested? Not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19. The CDC offers information that might help in making decisions about seeking care or testing.  This page also provides a SELF-CHECK guide to help you make decisions and seek appropriate medical care. CDC has guidance for who should be tested, but decisions about testing are at the discretion of state and local health departments and/or individual clinicians.

To find out what your dental practice does to protect you and when to consider cancelling an appointment visit

Overview of Board Responsibility

What can the Board do? The Board may take disciplinary action against a practitioner who violates the laws or rules pertaining to dentistry.  The Board cannot represent citizens who see to recover fees paid or remedies for injuries. The Board cannot give legal advice to individuals about their rights or represent them in any action. It is important to note that the Board staff cannot provide legal advice or answer questions about insurance. Members of the Board may not discuss active investigations. 

What You Need to Know About Opioid Pain Medicines

Prescription opioids are used mostly to treat moderate to severe pain and are known to be highly addictive. The consequenses of opioid abuse can be devastating. Drug overdose deaths in ND involving opioid pain relievers have increased dramatically since 1999. Concerted state efforts have been made to curb this epidemic.  Commonly prescribed opioids include hydrocodone (Vicodin®), oxycodone (OxyContin®, Percocet®) , oxymorphone (Opana®) , morphine (Kadian®,  Avinza®), codeine, and fentanyl. If you are prescribed opioid pain relievers please review the patient counseling guide found by clicking on the link below


Teeth Whitening Services

Pursuant to the North Dakota Century Code "Practice of dentistry" means examination, diagnosis, treatment, repair, administration of local or general anesthetics, prescriptions, or surgery of or for any disease, disorder, deficiency, deformity, discoloration, condition, lesion, injury, or pain of the human oral cavity, teeth, gingivae, and soft tissues, and the diagnosis, surgical, and adjunctive treatment of the diseases, injuries, and defects of the upper and lower human jaw and associated structures.” [See N.D.C.C. 43-28-01(7) ]. 

The Board (North Dakota Board of Dental Examiners) interprets the law as it pertains to the teeth whitening services to mean treatment or repair of the discoloration of teeth, as the practice of dentistry. The law is not broadly interpreted by the Board, therefore, an individual who purchases products for personal home use (e.g., Crest Whitestrips®) would not be in violation of the North Dakota Century Code. Likewise, the purchase of products such as hair coloring, etc. for personal home use is not prohibited.

Although teeth whitening services are similar to products available for purchase in drug stores or online, the Board, whose role is to protect the public, contends that it is reasonable to require a level of training for teeth whitening, which might include adverse reactions and for which infection control and sterilization procedures are imperative.  

The Board of Dental Examiners jurisdiction lies specifically with the regulation of those who hold a dental license, dental hygiene license or dental assisting registration. Therefore a complaint received by the Board against an individual who is not licensed by or regulated by the Board, who provides teeth whitening services to the public (or the unlawful practice of dentistry), is referred to the ND States Attorney’s Office.

Disposing of Unwanted Medication

  • Avoid taking prescription painkillers more often than prescribed.
  • Discuss with your dentist the risks and benefits of pain treatment options, including ones that  do not involve prescription painkillers.
  • Dispose of medications properly, as soon as the course of treatment is done, and avoid keeping prescription painkillers or sedatives around "just in case."
  • North Dakota offers two free programs for residents to dispose of unwanted medications. The TAKE BACK PROGRAM at participating law enforcement agencies, and the YELLOW JUG OLD DRUGS program at participating pharmacies. These programs give residents easy and convenient ways to dispose of unused and unwanted medications, a secure and safe way to dispose of controlled substances. This means the amounts of medication in a patient’s home will not be diverted or misused.
  • The link below will provide a list of the drop off sites for old or unwanted medications. Take Back sites are located at local law enforcement agencies and, unless otherwise noted, are open 24 hours a day. The Yellow Jug sites are at participating pharmacies. For hours of operation, contact your pharmacy directly.


  • As of May 4, 2017, over 8.9 TONS of unwanted and unused medications have been collected from the Take Back containers at local law enforcement agencies.
  • Help prevent misuse and abuse by not selling or sharing prescription drugs. Never use another person's prescription drugs.
  • Get help for substance abuse problems 1-800-662-HELP. Call Poison Help 1-800-222-1222 if you have questions about medicines.

Public Boards vs. Membership Organizations

What is the difference between the North Dakota Board of Dental Examiners (NDBDE), a public board and the North Dakota Dental Association (NDDA)?  

The NDBDE is the state entity that regulates the practice of dentistry. To practice dentistry and dental hygiene, a practitioner must be licensed and registered with the Board. Dental assistants providing expanded duties must be registered with the Board. The Board of Dental Examiners represent the public interest.

In contrast, the NDDA, like the American Dental Association, is a member driven organization; membership is optional.  The ND Dental Association, the ND Dental Hygienists’ Association and the ND Dental Assistants’ Association represent the members they serve.

The ND Board of Dental Examiners is an entity of State government. The meetings of the ND Board of Dental Examiners are open to the public. The Board is not affiliated with any national or state dental, dental hygiene, or dental assisting membership organization. 

Contacting the Board

When calling the Board Office who should I ask for? When you contact the ND State Board of Dental Examiners, the Board’s administrative assistant may answer general questions or refer you to the appropriate individual. Because the Board staff is limited, you may need to leave a message. Calls are returned in the order in which they are received.

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