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Requirements for CPR Certification for Dentists

As a dental professional, you help people eliminate pain, minimize risk factors for oral disease, and cope with uncomfortable symptoms and procedures. From unexpected reactions to nitrous oxide to chewing and swallowing problems to cardiac arrest, dental patients are always unpredictable – which means dentists need to be prepared for anything. 

Learn more about the requirements for BLS and CPR certification for dentists – then get started with your certification online! 

Do Dentists Need CPR Certification?


Dentists must obtain BLS certification and a Bloodborne Pathogens course to be proficient in providing CPR and other medical interventions.

Be sure to consult your specific licensing board for details on your CPR or BLS requirements.

Dentists are skilled medical professionals who solve major health problems in the mouth. They must be prepared to handle any situation that arises, including providing CPR to a patient in need. To do this, they must go through specific training and earn their BLS certification. They may also be required to complete a Bloodborne Pathogens course.

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Dentists are skilled medical professionals who solve major health problems while working in one of the smallest areas of the body – the mouth. While typically not life-threatening, dental problems cause pain, difficulty eating, challenges with swallowing, and incredible discomfort. Whether a patient is coming in for a routine cleaning or a complicated root canal, dentists need to be prepared to help their patients and colleagues with any situation that arises. 

While many dental procedures are straightforward and relatively pain-free, you never know how someone is going to react or if they are already at risk for cardiac arrest. Dentists encounter people with a wide range of conditions every day. Dental school prepares you to handle routine procedures and to care for your patient's dental concerns, it likely doesn’t prepare you for the many situations in which a patient may need life-saving CPR at a moment’s notice. 

For instance, a patient may have an unexpected fear response, which could trigger a cardiac event. Patients dealing with severe tooth problems, loose teeth or implants, or loose crowns and fittings are apt to choke if a piece unexpectedly comes loose and falls to the back of the throat. Allergic reactions and other unknown health issues can also crop up before, during, and after procedures. 

If something goes wrong, a dentist needs to be able to intervene and successfully sustain life until emergency personnel can arrive. Because of this, dentists must go through specific training to be able to recognize and handle life-threatening situations. 

Due to the many occupational situations in which you may need to use CPR to help a patient in need, national dental licensing boards are concerned with ensuring dental professionals have adequate skills. Your state dental licensing board is typically the source of CPR requirements for dentists. Be sure to consult your specific licensing board for details on your CPR or BLS requirements.

With all of these hazards, dentists are expected to be attentive observers and confident rescuers. To be a proficient rescuer in any situation – whether it be cases of choking, cardiac arrest, or something else entirely – dentists are required to earn their BLS certification, which is a CPR certification specifically for dentists and other healthcare workers. Dentists may also be required to complete a Bloodborne Pathogens course.

What CPR Certification Course Do Dentists Need?

CPR certification for Dentists are determined based on three criteria: 

Course Content

Dentists are considered to be healthcare professionals because they deal with bodily health concerns and perform procedures on patients. Because of this, dentists often require healthcare-level training in Basic Life Support and First Aid. This is your course content requirement. Be sure to select CPR classes for dentists that specifically include BLS training.

Course Delivery Modality

Most likely, CPR requirements for dental offices and their personnel will state that you need to complete a CPR certification program that involves a hands-on training program. This is your course delivery modality requirement. Look for a program listed as a “blended” course, which means there is a hands-on training portion, manikin, and live video skills assessment with an instructor in order to meet the requirements to earn a CPR certification for dentists.

Course Brand

Finally, your state may have specific course brand requirements. Some states require that your CPR certification for dentists come from a specific brand; others don’t have brand-specific requirements and allow you to complete your training with flexible online providers like ProTrainings.

Be sure to check your state’s unique requirements in order to select a CPR certification for Dentists that’s right for you.
State Lookup

What Are the Requirements for Dentists CPR Certification in Your State?

There may be specific CPR certification requirements and special considerations for Dentists performing CPR according to your state. To learn more about which requirements impact you, select your state on the map below.

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