The Michigan Board of Dentistry was originally formed with the enactment of Public Act 122 of 1919 and regulated the practice of dentistry and dental hygiene and authorizing dental assistants.

In 1978, this authority was transferred to the Public Health Code, Public Act 368 of 1978, as amended, and included certification of specialists in the fields of orthodontics, endodontics, prosthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, and oral pathology.

The practice of dentistry means the diagnosis, treatment, prescription, or operation for a disease, pain, deformity, injury, or physical condition of the human tooth, teeth, alveolar process, gums or jaws, or their dependent tissues, or an offer, undertaking, attempt to do, or holding oneself out as able to do any of these acts.

The practice of dental hygiene means practice at the assignment of a dentist in that specific area of dentistry based on specialized knowledge, formal education, and skill with particular emphasis on preventive services and oral health education.

Practice as a dental assistant means assistance in the clinical practice of dentistry based on formal education, specialized knowledge, and skill at the assignment and under the supervision of a dentist. The Board has the obligation to take disciplinary action against licensees.

The Michigan Board of Dentistry consists of 19 voting members: 8 dentists, 2 dental specialists, 4 hygienists, 2 registered dental assistants, and 3 public members.