Dental hygiene is important and a specialist is the best person to ask for advice.
In Arkansas, there’s an increased demand for these professionals, making this a good field to enter, for those seeking a career and not a job.
A dental hygienist completes a series of tasks, such as:
- Taking and developing dental Xrays
- Counseling patients about good nutrition and its role in good oral health
- Patient screening
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Training as a Dental Hygienist
To work as a dental hygienist, an individual needs a license that can only be obtained after they undergo appropriate training and taking some exams.
These professionals need a minimum of an Associate’s degree, though many prefer to obtain a Bachelors.
The programs need the accreditation of the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), of the American Dental Association (ADA).
The Board also needs to approve the training programs.
Online learning is accepted, as long as the program meets the above requirements.
The classes will have topics from a variety of subjects, such as:
- General science
- General dental science
- Clinical periodontics
- Community dental health
- Dental health education and methods
- Ethics for the healthcare professional
- Oral health education
|University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences||4301 W Markham, Little Rock, Arkansas 72205-7199|
Taking the Exams
There are 3 exams to be passed by those who want to become licensed as dental hygienists.
- The National Board Examination for Dental Hygiene,
- The Southern Regional Testing Agency (SRTA) exam
- The Arkansas Jurisprudence Examination
National Board Examination
The NBDH is mandatory to become a dental hygienist.
The Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE) administers this exam, but candidates must apply for it through ADA.
The NBDH has two sections and 350 questions in total.
The first section covers topics such as:
- The scientific basis for dental hygiene practice,
- Community health
- Research principles,
- Provision of clinical hygiene services
The second part covers case-based scenarios for 12 to 15 dental hygiene patients.
The NBDH is taken through a Pearson VUE testing center.
Arkansas Clinical Dental Hygiene Exam
This exam is available to those passing the National Board exam.
This test is administered through the Southern Regional Testing Agency (SRTA).
Only 9 states, Arkansas included, use the SRTA exam to license dental hygienists at a state level.
The passing score for this exam is 75, and those who fail can re-take the exam.
The Agency has more information related to this test meant to verify clinical judgment and performance.
The jurisprudence exam is another mandatory test for future dental hygienists in Arkansas.
This exam is open-book and covers:
- The Dental Practice Act
- The Rules and Regulations of the Board
This exam is available after the application was sent to the Board.
Applying for the License
The candidates for a dental hygienist license will have to fill out an application and attach a series of documents to a file that will be sent to the Board.
The file must contain:
- A fee of $100 as a check or money order payable to the Board
- Application signed in front of a public notary
- A recent photo
- The dental school’s official transcript sent directly by the school to the Board
- A copy of the diploma reflecting graduation from a training program
- The score from the National Board Examination sent directly by JCNDE to the Board
- The score from the SRTA sent directly to the Board
- A copy of your CPR certification
The Board will send information related to how a background check will be performed on the candidate.
This process is another mandatory step in the process of obtaining the license as a dental hygienist in Arkansas.
Get a Local Anesthesia Permit
In Arkansas, dental hygienists can obtain a permit to administer local anesthesia.
To get it, they need to fill out an application and provide:
- Proof that an anesthesia course sponsored or held by an ADA-accredited dental hygiene school was completed
- Copy of a current certificate of health provider level of basic life support
- $25 -the application fee
The proof for the course can be:
- A copy of certificate completion
- An original letter from the school
- The transcript from the school
The average salary of a dental hygienist in Arkansas is lower than the national average for this profession.
The degree, extra certificates, and experience can increase how much a person will earn in this position.Annual Salary Range:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
|North Little Rock||$69,492|
In Arkansas, a dental hygienist must renew their licenses on January 1 of all even-numbered years.
The renewal fee is $100, and the process can be completed on the Board’s site.
This cannot be done without completing a minimum of continuing education, and the website of the Arkansas State Dental Hygienists Association has more information related to this.
Read the full guide: How to Become a Dental Hygienist