Dental hygiene was ranked in the top 40 best occupations by the Alabama Department of Labor, making it a good profession choice.
These are licensed professionals who provide educational, preventive, and clinical therapeutic services.
Read on to learn how to become a dental hygienist in Alabama.
Article Table of Contents
Complete an Accredited Training Program
There are 2 types of training programs that are accepted for the licensing exam.
Earn an Associate or Bachelor’s Degree
The associate or bachelor’s degree programs need to be accredited by CODA, the only body issuing accreditation for dental hygiene programs in the U.S.
The associate’s degree prepares individuals for entry-level positions and the program lasts 2 years.
Those who wish to advance in their careers will opt for the Bachelor’s degree that is completed in 4 years.
|George C Wallace State Community College-Hanceville||801 Main St NW, Hanceville, Alabama 35077-2000|
Enroll in the Alabama Dental Hygiene Program (ADHP)
This option for those already working as dental assistants.
Interested individuals must meet these requirements:
- At least 18 years old
- Have a high school diploma or a GED certificate
- At least 24 months of full-time employment as a dental assistant
- Full-time employment during the effective period of the training permit
- Practice only under the direct supervision of the dentist whose name is on the training permit
Presence to all ADHP classes is mandatory, as the permit will be canceled and it cannot be renewed.
There will be just one trainee per dentist, at a time.
Those who want to obtain the ADHP must complete an application that contains the following:
- Complete all the questions of the pre-entrance examination
- 2 passport photos
- Notarize the application
- Include the $700 fee
- An official high school transcript
- Copies of:
- Hepatitis vaccine status
- CPR certification
- Infection control certificate
- Proof of residency in Alabama
The fee must be either a check or money order, payable to the Board of Dental Examiners.
- Training permit,
- The examination fee
- The certificate
- The workshop fees.
Apply for Licensure
Candidates first have to apply for licensure before taking the exam.
The application process involves filling out an application form and attaching the following documents:
- Licensure fee of $50
- A passport photo
- Documentation of the Hepatitis B vaccines
- Proof of current CPR status
- Proof of at least 2 hours of infection disease training done in the last 2 years
- Official transcripts from your dental hygiene program
The fee has to be made payable to the Board of Dental Examiners.
ADHP students don’t need the transcripts.
Taking The Exam
After completing the training, and submitting the application, candidates can take the Alabama Dental Hygiene Board (American Board of Dental Examiners – ADEX) exam.
This exam includes a jurisprudence test with questions about the Alabama Dental practice Act.
It is not taken through ADA like in the rest of the states.
CITA, or the Council of Interstate Testing Agencies, administers the Dental Hygiene Board exam in Alabama.
In and out-of-state candidates will have to know different information about the exam.
Once the candidate passes the exam and receives their license, they can start practice.
Their salary will depend on a variety of factors, including experience and education.
However, in Alabama, a dental hygienist earns on average, less than the national average.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Maintaining the License
Dental hygienists in Alabama must renew their licenses annually before October 1.
This can be done upon after completing at least 12 continuing education hours.
These hours must include:
- Up to 6 hours can be online or through correspondence
- Up to 4 hours can cover: government regulations, tort liability, risk management, and/or insurance
- Up to 6 hours can cover restorative dentistry
- Up to 4 hours of pro bono work at nonprofit clinics in Alabama
- Up to 2 hours every year must cover infection control related to dentistry