Dental Hygienist Schools in Hawaii (Top Programs)

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Dental Hygienist Schools in Hawaii

The Hawaii State Board of Dental Examiners oversees dental hygienists in this state and issues licenses for them.

This is a good field to enter for those considering a career and not just a job.

To get licensed, individuals need to complete their education and then pass a series of exams.

Dental Hygienist Education

In Hawaii, dental hygienists are required to first receive the proper education that allows them to earn at least an Associate’s degree.

Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees provide better employment options and more chances of developing a career.

The institutions offering these degrees need to be accredited by CODA.

Their programs must also offer clinical practice.

The classes will generally cover subjects like:

  • Health Education
  • Basic Dental Hygiene
  • Oral Anatomy
  • Tooth Morphology
  • Oral Pathology
  • General and Oral Histology and Embryology
  • Dental Radiography
  • Dental Materials
  • Periodontology
  • Advanced Clinical Studies
  • Pain Control and Local Anesthesia

Those interested in this career path also have the option to receive their training online, as long as the program is CODA-accredited.

Students need to also obtain a Local Anesthesia Certification through their chosen program.

School Name Address
University of Hawaii 2500 Campus Road, Hawaii Hall, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822-2217
University of Hawaii 310 Kaahumanu Ave, Kahului, Hawaii 96732-1643

Taking the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE)

The National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE) is the first exam to pass in order to get licensed.

The Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE) is the body administering this exam.

The exam covers these basic areas:

  • Basic Sciences,
  • Clinical Dental Hygiene,
  • Community Health
  • Research Principles.

Graduates from a dental hygienist program need to apply for this exam.

They first need to read and agree to the NBDHE guide which includes the rules and regulations.

Graduates will then have to register and obtain a Dental Personal Identifier Number (A DENTPIN).

The DENTPIN must be accurate as it is used to take the exams and request scores.

Those who forget their DENTPIN can have it reset.

Once all these preparations are completed, candidates must pay the $400 exam fee, fill out the application form, and schedule the exam.

This exam is organized at a Pearson VUE testing center.

Regional Exam

Passing a clinical state or regional exam is a mandatory step for those seeking a dental hygienist license in Hawaii.

There are several regional exams available, offered by different testing agencies, but candidates can choose one exam.

Western Regional Examining Board (WREB)

WREB offers several exams, as follows:

  • Dental Hygiene Exam, with 2 parts: clinical and process of care
  • Local Anesthesia Written Exam, with 2 parts: written and clinical
  • Restorative Exam – just clinical examination

The Central Regional Dental Testing Service (CRDTS)

CRDTS organizes just one exam, the CRDTS exam.

This clinical exam evaluates these skills:

  • Extra/Intra Oral Assessment,
  •  Scalling/Subgingival Calculus Removal
  • Periodontal Probing
  • Supragingival Deposit Removal.

The Southern Regional Testing Agency (SRTA)

For the SRTA exam, the dental hygienist must:

  • present a selection of teeth that meets all requirements,
  • complete a partial oral prophylaxis
  • present radiographs of diagnostic quality,
  • detect all types of dental calculus,
  • complete a partial periodontal assessment.

The North East Regional Board of Dental Examiners (NERB)

NERB offers three exams:

  • Dental Hygiene Exam,
  • Local Anesthesia Exam,
  • Nitrous Oxide Exam.

The Dental Hygiene exam has 2 parts – written and clinical.

These exams are completed in separate venues at different times.

The Local Anesthesia exam has of 50 multiple-choice questions, covering:

  • anatomy,
  • neurophysiology,
  • pharmacology,
  • local anesthetic techniques,
  • infection control,
  • anesthetics.

The Nitrous Oxide exam also has 50 questions with multiple choices.

This exam focuses on:

  • concepts and management of pain and anxiety,
  • anatomy and physiology of breathing
  • pharmacology of nitrous oxide,
  • administration and management of nitrous oxide.

Examination in Hawaii is currently administered by CRDTS and NERB but the Board accepts any of the 4 regional exams presented above.

License Application

Those who graduated from a dental hygienist training program and passed the exams, can fill out and send an application to receive their licenses.

The fee for the license is:

  • $188 – in even-numbered years
  • $120 – in odd-numbered years

The school candidates graduated from, must send to the Board, a letter verifying the course.

Additionally, the following documents are also accepted:

  • A copy of the certificate
  • School transcripts containing the description of the courses

The testing agency must directly send to the Board, the verification of passing the exam and the date it was passed on.

Those who want to administer local anesthesia need a separate application.

Expected Salary

The average salary in the United States of a dental hygienist is $74,769 per year, however, in Hawaii these professionals earn more than that.

Extra certifications or higher degrees will surely help dental hygienists earn more.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Honolulu $77,954
Pearl City $77,954
Hilo $77,430
Waipahu $77,919
Kailua $77,954
Kaneohe $77,954
Kahului $77,430
Mililani $77,814
Kihei $77,430
Kapolei $77,780

Regional Salary in Hawaii

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI100$87,040$41.85$102,170$43,050
Urban Honolulu, HI820$84,020$40.39$94,000$66,180
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Dental Hygienists, OCC Code 29-1292, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Maintaining the License

Licenses must be renewed by the end of every odd-numbered year.

This is possible only after completing 20 continuing education and pay the renewal fees.

The hours have to be approved by a sponsor and completed before the renewal deadline, which is December 31st.

If the license was obtained in an even-numbered year, then the professional has to complete just 10 hours.

USA Dental Hygiene by State

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