In the last decade, over 200 new positions were available to dental hygienists in Mississippi.
The Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners oversees these professionals and issues licenses to those meeting the requirements.
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All future dental hygienists in Mississippi must complete a training program that is at least 2 years long before being awarded a license.
This program has to be accredited by CODA and award an Associates’s degree upon completion.
There are also certain requirements future students need to meet, so contacting the school beforehand is advisable.
The training programs also have a hands-on practice part, in a dental clinic.
Some of the classes expected in these training programs are:
- Dental Hygiene Principles
- Preventive Dentistry
- Anxiety and Pain Medicine
- Biomaterials in Dentistry
- Dental Hygiene Instrumentation
- Medical Terminology
- Dental Anatomy and Occlusion
- Oral Histology
- Scientific Foundations
|Meridian Community College||910 Hwy 19 N, Meridian, Mississippi 39307-5801|
|Mississippi Delta Community College||Hwy 3 and Cherry St, Moorhead, Mississippi 38761|
|Northeast Mississippi Community College||101 Cunningham Blvd, Booneville, Mississippi 38829|
|Northwest Mississippi Community College||4975 Hwy 51 N, Senatobia, Mississippi 38668-1714|
|Pearl River Community College||101 Hwy 11 N, Poplarville, Mississippi 39470|
|University of Mississippi Medical Center||2500 N State St, Jackson, Mississippi 39216-4505|
Immigrant individuals who want to work in this field have to meet these requirements:
- Age over 18
- Proficient in English
- Graduate from a foreign 2-year accredited academic program in dental hygiene
- Having a foreign license as a dental hygienist
- Attend at least 1 year of clinical education in a CODA-accredited dental hygiene school
- Have the school certify that their knowledge meets the standards for graduation
- Pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam
Taking the Exams
Once the training is completed, all candidates to a dental hygienist license in Mississippi must pass a series of exams.
National Board Exam
The Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations of the American Dental Association (ADA) oversees the National Board Exam.
Generally, only those who meet the educational requirements from above can take this exam.
This exam has 350 questions and costs $400.
Those who graduate from a non-accredited program must submit the following documents in order to be accepted for the exam:
- Letter from the dean
- Official Dental School transcripts
- Letter from the secretary of a Board of Dentistry in the U.S. licensing jurisdiction
To apply for the NBDHE exam, candidates must:
- Read the exam guide
- Obtain a Dental Personal Identifier Number (A DENTPIN)
- Fill out the application
- Schedule the exam
The NBDHE is organized at the Pearson VUE testing centers and is recognized nationally.
Examination by the Board
The second exam is the clinical one and in Mississippi, the Board recognizes the one offered by the American Board of Dental Examiners (or ADEX).
This agency offers these exams:
- Dental Hygiene Exam
- Local Anesthesia Exam
- Nitrous Oxide Exam
The Dental Hygiene Exam has these 5 mandatory tests:
- Computerized Exam in Applied Diagnosis
- Endodontic Clinical Exam
- Restorative Clinical Exam
- Periodontal Clinical Exam
- Fixed Prosthodontic Clinical Exam
All candidates have to score over 75% on all 5 tests to be able to apply for the license.
The website of the CDCA has more information related to where and when the exams take place.
Scores from the following exams are also accepted by the Board in Mississippi:
- Council of Interstate Testing Agencies, Inc. (CITA)
- Southern Regional Testing Agency, Inc. (SRTA)
Jurisprudence by the Board
All future dental hygienists in Mississippi need to know the dental laws and regulations under which they can perform their duties.
The passing score for this exam is 75% and the Board sends out more details to the candidates, once their applications are received.
Submitting the Application
All fresh graduates must apply by examination.
Those with a previous license and with working experience in this field in another state will apply through credentials.
Applying by Examination
For this method, the following documents are needed:
- The application form -filled out
- The application fee – $150
- Professional history -for the past 10 years
- School official transcripts
- Official scores from the exams
- Self-query from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB)
- Self-query from the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank (HIPDB) (if applicable)
- Proof of Liability Insurance Coverage
- CPR Certification
Applying by Credentials
To apply using the credentials, the following are needed:
- Application by credentials
- Application fee – $750
- Official transcripts from all dental hygiene schools attended
- Written statement ensuring the appearance before the Board for an interview
- Official National Board scores
- Self-made self-query from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB)
- Self-made self-query from the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank (HIPDB)
- Official license from any other states
- Proof of professional liability insurance coverage
- CPR certification
- References from 3 patients – with names, addresses, and phone numbers
- Jurisprudence exam
- Proof of continuing education programs
Dental hygienists with a higher degree or holding extra certifications can expect to be paid more than those without.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Keeping the License
The dental hygienist licenses in Mississippi expire every 2 years on November 1.
The renewal has to be completed some 60 days before the deadline.
For this purpose, 20 continuing education hours are mandatory.
The hour requirements and restrictions are:
- Up to 4 hours per year for CPR courses, for a total of 8 hours per renewal cycle
- Up to 8 hours per for Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLE) courses, for a total of 16 hours per renewal cycle
- Up to 4 hours per for an ACLS course, general anesthesia review or equivalent course, for a total of 8 hours per renewal cycle
- A ¼ of the continuing education credits per renewal cycle may be documented through computer-based coursework
Proof of completing these hours must be kept for at least 3 years, as the Board can ask for them at any time.
The renewal can be done online and it costs $100.