Recently in Connecticut, dental hygienists were among the professionals with the highest chances of finding employment.
The demand for them continued to grow and to this day, this profession is a good one to prepare for.
Those who want to enter this field need to obtain a license from the Connecticut Department of Health, and the process has several stages.
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Enrolling in a Training Program For Dental Hygienists
Completing a dental hygiene program with accreditation from CODA is the first step towards obtaining the license.
These programs are at the associate’s or bachelor’s degree level, with the former being the minimum educational level for a future dental hygienist.
The programs also include an internship in a clinic so that students will accumulate some hands-on experience.
Some of the subjects in these programs are:
- Human anatomy
- Dental hygiene
- Dental radiology
- Dental anatomy
- Oral pathology
Some of these programs are even available online.
There are some minimum requirements that students need to meet before enrolling, such as having a CPR certification, a high school diploma and minimum grades in specific subjects.
|Tunxis Community College||271 Scott Swamp Road, Farmington, Connecticut 06032-3187|
|University of Bridgeport||126 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, Connecticut 06604-5620|
|University of New Haven||300 Boston Post Road, West Haven, Connecticut 06516|
Taking the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE)
Taking the NBDHE is a mandatory step in the process of becoming a licensed dental hygienist.
To take this exam, those interested need to apply to the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE).
Those accepted, can schedule online when to take the exam.
The exam is held at the Pearson Vue testing centers.
Passing the Clinical Performance Examination
After passing the NBDHE, candidates in Connecticut need to pass the clinical exam.
The Department only recognizes exams of the following agencies:
- Western Regional Examining Board (WREB)
- Southern Regional Testing Agency (SRTA)
- North East Regional Board (NERB) of Dental Examiners
- Central Regional Dental Testing Services (CRDTS)
The websites of those agencies have more details regarding the clinical exam they offer.
Applying for the License
Candidates who passed the clinical exam can download the license application form from the Department’s website and fill it out.
They also need to provide:
- The application fee – $150
- Official transcripts from the school, verifying the degree obtained
- A passport-sized photo
- The official NBDHE score
- Proof of passing the clinical exam
The fee has to be made payable to Treasurer, State of Connecticut.
The application and all the supporting documentation must be mailed to the Department.
The Department can also answer more questions related to the application process.
Requirements to Administer Dental Anesthesia
Dental hygienists in Connecticut can administer local anesthesia under certain conditions.
- Done under the indirect supervision of a licensed dentist
- Only done on infiltration and mandibular blocks
- Only after completing a CODA-accredited training course
The course must be formed of:
- At least 10 hours of didactic training, including among others:
- Client management
- Emergency precautions and management
- Psychology of pain management
- Instruction in the administration of anesthetic agents
- Review of anatomy, physiology, pharmacology of anesthetic agents
- Minimum of 8 hours of clinical training
The clinical hours must include the direct observation of the procedures.
Those interested in completing this task don’t need an extra certification but might be required to provide proof of completing their training.
The average salary of a dental hygienist in Connecticut is higher than the national average salary for this profession.
Those who trained to administer anesthesia or have a degree higher than an Associates can earn more as well.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
The dental hygienist license must be renewed every 2 years in the birth month of the individual.
Dental hygienists are also expected to complete at least 16 hours of continuing education and pay the $100 representing the license renewal fee.
Dental hygienists can expect to receive a renewal notification with about 60 days before the license expiration date.
These are some of the accepted continuing education activities:
- Taking classes accredited or recognized by CODA; a regional accrediting agency; the ADA; a state, district, or local dental association or society affiliated with ADA; the National Dental Association; and the American Dental Hygienists Association
- Classes offered through dental schools
- Online courses
The website of the Connecticut Dental Hygienists Association also has many resources for how the continuing education can be completed.