(a) The board shall issue a license to practice dentistry to an applicant who meets the following requirements:
(1) Is at least eighteen years of age;
(2) Is of good moral character;
(3) Is a graduate of and has a diploma from a school accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation or equivalently approved dental college, school or dental department of a university as determined by the board;
(4) Has passed the National Board examination as given by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations and a clinical examination as specified by the board by rule;
(5) Has not been found guilty of cheating, deception or fraud in the examination or any part of the application;
(6) Has paid the application fee specified by rule; and
(7) Not be an alcohol or drug abuser, as these terms are defined in section eleven, article one-a, chapter twenty-seven of this code: Provided, That an applicant in an active recovery process, which may, in the discretion of the board, be evidenced by participation in a twelve-step program or other similar group or process, may be considered.
(b) A dentist may not represent to the public that he or she is a specialist in any branch of dentistry or limit his or her practice to any branch of dentistry unless first issued a certificate of qualification in that branch of dentistry by the board.
(c) A license to practice dentistry issued by the board shall for all purposes be considered a license issued under this section: Provided, That a person holding a license shall renew the license.