Dental hygienists in New Mexico need to obtain a license from the Board of Dental Health Care to be able to carry out their duties.
Article Table of Contents
Training as a Dental Hygienist
All dental hygienists in New Mexico must first finish a CODA-accredited training program.
There are several requirements that future students need to meed upon enrollment.
Future professionals are expected to earn at least an Associates’s degree, after 2 years of study.
Many people choose to obtain bachelors’ degrees for their better career options.
Both degree programs contain coursework and practice hours in clinics.
Bachelor degree programs include coursework in areas that prepare the students for office-related duties and for a masters’ degree.
These programs also offer separate local anesthesia classes that should be taken by those who want permission to administer it.
These classes include:
- A minimum of 24 didactic hours
- At least 10 hours of clinical training
|Pima Medical Institute||4400 Cutler Avenue NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110|
|San Juan College||4601 College Blvd, Farmington, New Mexico 87402-4699|
|University of New Mexico||1700 Lomas Blvd NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico|
Pass the Exams
The National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE) is the first exam license candidates have to pass.
It was developed by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE) and it is mandatory all across the US for those who want to work as dental hygienists.
The NBDHE has 2 components and 350 questions for the first component.
The second component includes 150 case-based items that refer to 12 to 15 patient cases.
The exam is organized at the Pearson VUE testing centers.
Those who passed the NBDHE need to pass a clinical exam.
In New Mexico, the Board recognizes the tests offered by these 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)
Each agency offers a different kind of exam, though skills and knowledge in the dental hygiene field are tested.
Candidates also have to pass the jurisprudence exam which is attached to the license application.
Applying for the License
Those who don’t have a license in a different state need to apply for licensure by examination.
For this, candidates need to:
- Fill out an application and notarize it
- Provide a recent passport-sized picture
- Official school transcripts
- Copy of the clinical exam result
- Copy of the NBDHE exam result
- Copy of the CPR certification
- A score of at least 75% on the jurisprudence exam
- Level III Background Report
The Level III Background Report must be obtained from the Professional Background Information Services (PBIS) and takes about 90 days to complete.
Those who graduated from the training program for over a year need to also complete a course in infection control through OSHA and include proof for it in the application.
The Board issues licenses in 3 working days from approval and can answer questions related to the application process and license.
Apply for Local Anesthesia Certification
Dental hygienists can choose to obtain a Local Anesthesia Certification as well.
Those interested, need the following documents:
- A completed application form
- Fee – $40
- Proof the appropriate training class was completed
- Score results from the written and clinical local anesthesia exam offered by WREB
- CPR certification
All extra certifications will ensure a higher salary even for beginner dental hygienists in New Mexico.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Regional Salary in New Mexico
|Region||Employed||Avg. Annual Salary||Avg. Hourly Pay||Top 10% Annual Salary||Bottom 10% Annual Salary|
|Las Cruces, NM||110||$82,240||$39.54||$94,390||$72,170|
|Santa Fe, NM||80||$94,210||$45.29||$99,910||$83,140|
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Every 3 years, dental hygienists in New Mexico must renew their licenses.
This can only be done after completing a minimum of 45 hours of continuing education, either in person, at home, or online.
Individuals should keep proof of the hours completed.