The AAO is closely monitoring both opportunities and unintended consequences relating to a draft interstate compact for dentists and dental hygienists interested in license transfer within the states entered in the compact.

The Council of State Governments (CSG) is partnering with the Department of Defense (DoD), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) to support the mobility of licensed dentists and dental hygienists through the development of a new interstate compact. This compact will create reciprocity among participant states and reduce barriers to license portability. For more information on the interstate compact, please visit For more information on CSG, please visit

Public comment on the interstate compact draft can be submitted by September 30 via the stakeholder review survey link. AAO plans to submit comments reflecting support for this compact based on the public policy survey of AAO members on this issue that concluded in January of this year.  The survey results show 63% of AAO members supportive of licensure portability, 21% neutral, 15% opposed, and 1% unsure. 

The current draft of this interstate compact model language defines a dentist as “an individual who is licensed by a State Licensing Authority to practice dentistry”.  That definition would include orthodontists. According to CSG, there are currently 21 states with various types of dental specialty license/certification/permit beyond the definition of a dentist.  In the current draft compact, orthodontists would be able to participle although in those 21 states there would be additional requirements to obtain a specialty license/certification/permit.

State legislatures will ultimately determine if a state will join the interstate compact. The education process for state legislatures about this interstate compact will begin after public comments on the draft are considered and the final language is completed.  Next steps in the education process are expected to begin in 2023 when state legislatures could consider this interstate compact for enactment. The AAO Advocacy team will remain engaged in each step of this process and encourages AAO members to consider providing individual feedback on the issue this month through the survey link above.