The responsibility of regulating dental practice in the interest of public safety is vested in the states and is exercised through delegated initial competency evaluation of new graduates, continuing education attendance requirements, and investigations of complaints. Questions have been raised over whether this model can demonstrate effectiveness and whether it ensures continuous professional growth or only identifies the clearly incompetent. There have been reports identifying desireable standards and there are pilot programs for continued competency in dentistry. These are reviewed. A set of criteria for any effective program is presented.