Michigan has a big demand for dental hygienists.
These professionals are supervised by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Bureau of Health Care Services, Board of Dentistry who issues licenses to interested individuals.
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The Board requires individuals interested in becoming dental hygienists to complete a CODA-accredited training program.
This program needs to last at least 2 years and award an Associates’s degree upon completion.
Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are better suited for those who seek a career rather than just employment.
There are a few requirements to meet before enrolling in these programs:
- At least 18 years old
- Having a high school diploma
- Having a CPR certification
- Having minimum grades of C in certain high school courses
Some of the classes in these programs are:
- Preclinical dental hygiene
- Principles of periodontics
- Oral pathology
- Clinical dental hygiene
- Head, neck and oral anatomy
- Dental pharmacology
- Dental materials and methods
- Dental education and public health
- Community oral health
All training programs also include clinical training, with patients.
All dental hygienists can take special classes to be allowed to administer local anesthesia and/or nitrous oxide.
The training for local anesthesia must be formed of at least:
- 15 hours of didactic learning
- 14 hours of practice training
The training for nitrous oxide must be formed of at least:
- 4 hours of didactic learning
- 4 hours of practice training
|Baker College||1050 W Bristol Road, Flint, MI 48507|
|Ferris State University||1201 S State St, Big Rapids, Michigan 49307-2251|
|Grand Rapids Community College||143 Bostwick Ave NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503-3295|
|Kellogg Community College||450 North Ave, Battle Creek, Michigan 49017-3397|
|Lansing Community College||419 N Capitol Ave, Lansing, Michigan 48901-7210|
|Mott Community College||1401 E Court St, Flint, Michigan 48503-2089|
|Oakland Community College||2480 Opdyke Rd, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48304-2266|
|Oakland Community College||7350 Cooley Lake Rd, Waterford Township, MI 48327|
|University of Michigan||503 Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109|
|University of Michigan School of Dentistry||1011 N. University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109|
|Wayne County Community College||801 W. Fort Street, Detroit, Michigan 48226|
Passing the Necessary Exams
Once training is completed, candidates have to pass a series of exams before being awarded a license as a dental hygienist.
National Board Dental Hygiene Examination
This exam has 350 questions and is computerized and recognized nationally.
It is organized at the Pearson Vue testing centers, through the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations who must accept the applications for the exam.
The exam also has a practice part in which 15 patient cases are presented to the candidate.
Regional Board Examination
The exam offered by the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments (CDCA) is the next exam candidates have to pass.
This test also has 2 parts:
- Computer Simulated Clinical Examination (CSCE)
- Patient Treatment Clinical Examination (PTCS)
The 2 parts of this examination are organized at different testing centers and different times.
Future Dental Hygienists who want to administer local anesthesia and/or nitrous oxide need to take the respective exams through CDCA.
Once all exams have been passed, the candidates are eligible to apply for the license.
They have to fill out an application form that must be sent to the Board along with the following documents:
- Submit licensing fee – $45
- Official transcript the school sends directly to the Board
- Official score report from the NBDHE
- Fingerprints for a criminal background check
- Copy of the CPR certificate
Those who want to administer local anesthesia must include:
- $10 fee
- Proof of completing the appropriate training
- Proof of passing the appropriate exam
Those who want to administer nitrous oxide must include:
- $10 fee
- Proof of completing the appropriate training
- Proof of passing the appropriate CDCA exam
The CDCA automatically sends the score report of their exam, which is another needed document for the approval of the license.
Individuals who obtained a dental hygienist license in a different state must also submit verification for it.
The Board contacts only those whose applications got accepted and mails out the extra certificates as well.
Aiming for a higher degree and extra certifications as a dental hygienist means a higher salary.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Regional Salary in Michigan
|Region||Employed||Avg. Annual Salary||Avg. Hourly Pay||Top 10% Annual Salary||Bottom 10% Annual Salary|
|Ann Arbor, MI||330||$75,640||$36.37||$84,070||$63,790|
|Battle Creek, MI||80||$66,480||$31.96||$73,710||$49,180|
|Bay City, MI||70||$66,480||$31.96||$72,580||$61,900|
|Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI||940||$70,770||$34.02||$75,720||$64,710|
|Lansing-East Lansing, MI||330||$69,530||$33.43||$77,720||$51,730|
|Niles-Benton Harbor, MI||80||$70,040||$33.67||$79,770||$60,980|
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Maintaining the License
In Michigan, the dental hygienist license expires every 3 years.
To renew it, professionals are expected to complete 36 hours of continuing education, that cover:
- 12 hours in dental hygienist functions
- 1 hour must be in pain management
- Maintaining current CPR certification
The first renewal period is usually shorter, and this means continuing education is not needed.
The Board runs audits for these professionals, so individuals must keep proof of completed continuing education.