In Maine, there are 2 types of dental hygienists:
- Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) – must work under supervision from a licensed dentist
- Independent Practice Dental Hygienist (IPDH) – can work without supervision
Both types of dental hygienists in Maine must undergo training, pass exams and meet all the other requirements.
Article Table of Contents
The minimum educational requirement for all dental hygienists is to study for 2 years and earn an Associates’s degree.
Those who want to work as IPDHs must also accumulate 5000 hours of work experience in the field.
If future IPDHs earn a Bachelors’s degree instead, they only need 2000 hours of work experience.
All the programs must be accredited by CODA, but admission is based on meeting certain requirements, such as:
- Having a CPR certification
- Having the vaccines against Hepatitis B and tetanus done
- High school diploma, GED or transcript
- A grade average over 2.5
- At least C- grades in certain high school courses
Algebra 1, college-prep biology with lab and college-prep chemistry with lab, are the main classes required for a dental hygiene program in Maine.
College classes usually seen in dental hygiene education programs include:
- Preclinical dental hygiene
- Clinical dental hygiene
- Head and neck anatomy
- Dental radiology
- Oral pathology
- Nutrition in oral health
- Local anesthesia
- Community dentistry
- Ethics and jurisprudence
All the programs also have internships as part of the training.
|University of Maine||46 University Dr, Augusta, Maine 04330-9410|
|University of New England||11 Hills Beach Rd, Biddeford, Maine 04005-9599|
Passing the Exams
In Maine, all future dental hygienists need to pass 3 exams.
National Board Examination
The National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE) is organized through the American Dental Association Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations.
This is a computerized exam consisting of 350-multiple choice questions.
It also has a practice part on 12 to 15 patients of all types.
Candidates have to apply through the Joint Commission to take this exam, which takes place at the Pearson Vue testing centers.
North East Regional Board Examination
The second exam that must be passed is the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments.
This one has two parts:
- a Computer Simulated Clinical Examination (CSCE)
- a Patient Treatment Clinical Examination (PTCS).
The first part of the exam is organized at Prometric test centers across the state.
The PTCS is available only at 2 locations:
- The University of Maine at Augusta-Bangor, Bangor
- University of New England, Portland
Those who want to administer anesthesia or nitrous oxide under supervision must pass these exams as well:
- Local Anesthesia Examination for Dental Hygienists
- Nitrous Oxide Examination for Dental Hygienists
The jurisprudence exam is the last mandatory test to obtain the dental hygienist license in Maine.
The application form includes details regarding this exam.
There are slightly different processes to follow, depending on which type of dental hygienist one wants to be.
Registered Dental Hygienist
To become a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH), the candidate has to be at least 18 years old, fill out the application form and provide a series of documents.
The papers are:
- Application fee – $80
- Registration form with the appropriate fee
- The jurisprudence application
- The NBDHE score
- Proof of CPR certification
- The CDCA exam score – a copy
- Criminal history record from all states in which the candidate lived in the past 10 years (instructions are included within the application)
- Recent passport-sized photo
- Affix another recent passport-sized photo to the Affidavit section and have a notary public impress his or her seal on the photo
The fees for the registration form are:
- Odd-numbered year – $140
- Even-numbered year – $70
The picture has to be less than 6 months old and on the education requirement/affidavit page of the application.
This page has to be sent directly to the dental hygiene school who will affix its seal over the photo and return it to the Board.
Those who passed the CDCA exam with more than 1 year before applying, might have to schedule an interview with the Dental Hygiene Sub-Committee.
Independent Practice Dental Hygienist
Those who want to become IPDHs must first possess the RDH license.
There is a separate IPDH application form.
The following papers must be added:
- Application fee – $100
- Registration fee – $140
- Certification from the training school with a recent passport-sized photograph attached and verified by the school
- Proof of clinical practice from all employers
- Completed jurisprudence exam
- Completed criminal history record from all states in which the candidate lived in the recent 10 years
- Another recent passport-sized photo on the notarized Affidavit section
- Proof of CPR certification
Once an IPDH license is issued, the RDH license expires automatically.
RDHs and IPDH will earn quite a different salary, but the average annual income of a dental hygienist in Maine can be seen below.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Maintaining the License
In Maine, all dental hygienist licenses expire every 2 years.
RDHs in Maine must complete 30 continuing education credits during each renewal period.
Those who obtained their license in an odd-numbered year need to only complete 15 continuing education for their first license renewal.
Both types of licenses can be renewed online.