The Colorado Dental Board is the body overseeing the practice of dental hygienists in this state.
This profession is a very good one to enter still since a 30% increase in demand was expected for the 2013-2023 period.
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Training as a Dental Hygienist
These professionals are expected to at least obtain an Associates’s degree in the field, from a CODA-accredited educational program before being allowed to practice.
Those interested can also enroll in online or distance learning training programs as well, as long as they are CODA-accredited.
Obtaining a bachelor’s degree opens more career possibilities than the Associates’ degree, though both are generally seen as education for entry-level positions.
Those seeking positions in teaching administration and research will need to enroll in a program offering a Masters’s degree.
The classes for Associates and Bachelors degrees will cover:
- General education
- General science
- Dental hygiene
- Clinical rotation in a dental office
|Colorado Northwestern Community College||500 Kennedy Drive, Rangely, Colorado 81648-3598|
|Community College of Denver||1111 W. Colfax Ave., Denver, Colorado 80204-2026|
|Concorde Career College||111 N. Havana Street, Aurora, Colorado 80010-4314|
|Pueblo Community College||900 West Orman Avenue, Pueblo, Colorado 81004-1499|
Many schools will only accept students who meet a minimum set of criteria.
The criteria will include:
- High school diploma or GED
- A minimum GPA
- A minimum in a variety of subjects
- A CPR certification
Pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam
Upon the completion of a training program from above, the individuals can take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, or NBDHE for short.
This test is available through the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE) and organized at the Pearson Vue testing centers.
There are 350 questions in this exam for general knowledge related to the practice.
There are 150 additional questions that will use patient-specific cases.
Pass a Regional Clinical Examination
Those who pass the NBDHE must pass a regional clinical exam as well.
There are 5 major such exams and other 2 specifics to California and Delaware respectively.
The candidates are free to take any of those exams, as Colorado recognizes all of them.
Pass the Colorado Dental Jurisprudence Exam
The third exam that individuals must pass if the jurisprudence specific to Colorado.
This open-book test is available to those who passed the regional exam above.
This exam can be re-taken until the individual passes.
The candidates need to answer correctly at least 38 questions out of the 40 in the test.
Apply for an Original License
Once a person passes the jurisprudence exam, they can fill out the license application form, and then sent it to the Division of Professions and Occupations.
The following documents must be included with the application:
- Application fee – $150
- Affidavit of Eligibility form – must be attached to the application
- An official transcript for the dental hygiene degree obtained
- A copy of the NBDHE scorecard
- Proof of passing the clinical exam
- Proof of your current Basic Life Support certification
The application fee is a check or money order made payable to the State of Colorado.
The transcript must be sent directly to the Division, by the institution.
This application is also used to obtain permission to administer local anesthesia, by filling out the appropriate section on the form.
Having an Online Healthcare Professions Profile
Candidates must also create and maintain a Healthcare Professions Profile online.
This step is mandatory and applications are considered complete once this profile is created.
Individuals can create their profiles once their applications are received.
The website of the Healthcare Professions Profiling Program (HPPP) can be checked 2 weeks after sending the application.
In Colorado, a dental hygienist earns on average $74,544 per year, a sum similar to the average salary in the United States of $74,769 per year, for this profession.
The type of degree and other permissions will influence the income of the professional.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Maintaining the License
In Colorado, licenses are renewed online, in the month of February of all even-numbered years.
The professionals don’t need to continue their education in order to renew their license.