Dentist Guide to Locum Tenens Jobs in Iowa

Imagine for a moment that you are stuck in traffic on your way to work, bored of the same monotonous routine, and looking to experience new scenery and culture. Then, your phone vibrates. It’s your Barton recruiter with the answer. They share a new listing with great pay, your dream schedule, and it will start at a time that fits your current life. The only problem is that it is in Iowa which you know very little about. That’s where Barton comes in!

What You Need to Know About Iowa as a Locum Tenens Dentist?

Our recruiters and staffing specialists do not expect you, the provider, to know ins-and-outs of every state in the country. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled information from TripAdvisor, state government pages, and tourist information sources to give you a glimpse into life in Iowa.

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Iowa: A Brief History

Iowa, known as the Hawkeye State, has a rich and fascinating history. In the late 1600s, French explorers like Marquette and Joliet documented Native American accounts of the region. Until the early 19th century, Iowa was exclusively occupied by Native Americans and a few European traders, with loose political control by France and Spain. After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, Iowa became part of the United States. However, uncontested U.S. control occurred only after the War of 1812 and a series of treaties that eliminated Indian claims on the state. Iowa was admitted to the union as the 29th state on December 28, 1846. Its gently rolling landscape extends westward from the Mississippi River, forming a bridge between eastern forests and western grasslands. Iowa is known for its rich history and agriculture, and is truly a hidden gem in the U.S.

What is there to do and see in Iowa?

  • Take a visit to Iowa City, Iowa and visit the University of Iowa, home of the Hawkeyes. This bustling college town is home to a vibrant nightlife, plenty of dining and entertainment, and also serves as the state’s capital. 
  • Located in Dyersville, Iowa, the Field of Dreams is a century-old Lansing family farm where baseball still ranks as a favorite pastime for all ages. Carved from a cornfield, this iconic baseball diamond became famous through the movie “Field of Dreams.” Tours of the inside of the Farm House, a retail store, and concessions stand await visitors. 
  • Found in Madrid, Iowa, the High Trestle Trail Bridge is a photogenic bridge that spans the Des Moines River. Walk or bike across this impressive structure and enjoy scenic views of the surrounding landscape.

How close is Iowa to other cities and states?

  • Des Moines, Iowa to Omaha, Nebraska: Approximately 125 miles; around 2 to 2.5 hours by car.
  • Des Moines, Iowa to Minneapolis, Minnesota: Roughly 240 miles; about 3.5 to 4 hours by car.
  • Des Moines, Iowa to Kansas City, Missouri: Around 190 miles; approximately 3 to 3.5 hours by car.
  • Des Moines, Iowa to Chicago, Illinois: About 320 miles; approximately 4.5 to 5 hours by car.
  • Des Moines, Iowa to St. Louis, Missouri: Approximately 260 miles; around 4 to 4.5 hours by car.

Dentist Scope of Practice In Iowa

What is the Scope of Practice for Dentists in Iowa?

In Iowa, dentists have full practice authority, meaning they can perform a wide range of dental procedures, including general and more specialized ones, without needing a referral. The Iowa Board of Dentistry oversees dental education, licensure, continuing education, and complaint investigations. Dentists play a vital role in maintaining the oral health of the state’s residents, providing preventive and restorative care, as well as diagnosing and treating oral diseases.

What are the Licensing Requirements for Dentists in Iowa?

In Iowa, dentists must have a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) or a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (D.M.D.) degree from an accredited university-based dental education program. The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) ensures that these programs meet rigorous quality standards. The D.D.S. and D.M.D. degrees are equivalent and require four years of undergraduate study and four years of dental school. Graduates must pass the National Board Dental Examinations (NBDE) and apply for a dental license in their desired state. 

What are Dentists Authorized to Prescribe in Iowa?

In Iowa, dentists have unlimited and independent prescribing authority, allowing them to prescribe a wide range of medications and controlled substances to their patients without needing approval from another healthcare professional. Dentists acquire the necessary knowledge and skills through rigorous education, training, and licensing requirements, including coursework in pharmacology and therapeutics. This autonomy allows dentists to provide comprehensive oral healthcare services, manage pain effectively, and address various dental conditions requiring pharmacological interventions. Dentists make informed medication decisions considering the patient’s health, medical history, and dental needs. This unlimited prescriptive authority enables dentists in Iowa to deliver high-quality oral healthcare services effectively and efficiently.

Do Dentists Qualify for Medical Staff Membership in Iowa?

In Iowa, dentists can be granted medical staff membership under certain conditions outlined by the state’s Medical Staff Membership Act. To qualify, dentists must hold a valid license, have completed an accredited residency program or equivalent experience, be board-certified, and have a good standing with the Iowa Dental Board. Dentists who meet the requirements can apply for membership at any hospital or clinic in Iowa, with the decision being made by the hospital’s or clinic’s governing board. If approved, the dentist is granted medical staff privileges, allowing them to practice dentistry at the facility.

What are the Continuing Education Requirements for Dentists in Iowa?

In Iowa, dentists must complete 30 continuing education (CE) hours every two years to maintain their license. This requirement ensures dentists stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in dental care and techniques. The CE hours can be earned through conferences, online courses, and dental journals. Dentists who meet the CE requirement can stay up-to-date with the latest dental care advancements, improve their patient care skills, earn CE credits for license renewal, and demonstrate their commitment to providing high-quality care.

Find Your Next Dentist Job with Barton

Barton coordinates your job search from start to finish!



We’ll schedule a phone consultation with a Barton Associates team member to discuss your interests, goals, and work history in order to get a sense of what you’re looking for in your next job.

Your Barton team will then go to work, compiling a list of open jobs in our extensive network that match your interests and skill set.



Once you’ve had a chance to evaluate your list of opportunities, your Barton rep will submit your information to facility you want to take an assignment at.

If there’s a match, we’ll work with the client manager on next steps.



Don’t worry! Barton Associates will handle licensing, credentialing, and travel arrangements before you arrive.

Your Barton rep will also work with your new facility to ensure you’re set up and ready to go on day one.


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