The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between basic life support skills in dentists who had completed the American Heart Association's Basic Life Support (BLS) Healthcare Provider qualification and time since course completion. Thirty-six dentists who had completed the 2005 BLS Healthcare Provider course participated in the study. We asked participants to perform 2 cycles of cardiopulmonary resuscitation on a mannequin and evaluated basic life support skills. Dentists who had previously completed the BLS Healthcare Provider course displayed both prolonged reaction times, and the quality of their basic life support skills deteriorated rapidly. There were no correlations between basic life support skills and time since course completion. Our results suggest that basic life support skills deteriorate rapidly for dentists who have completed the BLS Healthcare Provider. Newer guidelines stressing chest compressions over ventilation may help improve performance over time, allowing better cardiopulmonary resuscitation in dental office emergencies. Moreover, it may be effective to provide a more specialized version of the life support course to train the dentists, stressing issues that may be more likely to occur in the dental office.