TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Among the many bills passed by the Florida Legislature in 2022 was a change to how tests to prove your skills and be an officially licensed dentist are performed. Now, instead of performing their licensing exams on people, they’ll use manikins.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 926 on Wednesday, moving dentists-to-be to demonstrate clinical skills on a manikin for testing purposes, instead of on a live patient.

And yes, by manikin the state means a jointed and anatomically and accurately sized model, not a mannequin for fashion or a manikin-as-tiny-but-otherwise-normal-human.

For that definition, we had to check.

Now the law, prospective dentists will complete their examinations to earn their licenses to practice on manikins. For restoration tests, the models will have typodont teeth with simulated caries, approved by the state’s Commission on Dental Competency Assessments. To show their periodontal skills, the manikins will have typodont teeth with simulated calculus, also approved by the CDCA.

If candidates fail to pass their diagnostic skills tests in three tries, they will not be eligible to try again without finishing additional lessons required by the board.

Additionally, going forward, the new law repeals a state statute which required that anyone applying to practice dentistry and to take the exam to be a dentist must maintain malpractice insurance during the examination process.

Effectively, you won’t need malpractice insurance until after you earn your license. As written in the law, it took effect immediately upon being signed by DeSantis. He signed 41 other pieces of legislation into law on the same day.