In North Carolina, individuals cannot become dental hygienists without a license from the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners.
Below you can find out more about the process of obtaining such a license if you want to become a dental hygienist.
Article Table of Contents
Dental Hygienist Education
The first step towards a career in dental hygiene is to ensure you meet the educational requirements to enroll in a CODA-accredited dental hygiene program.
- Minimum age of 18
- High school diploma
- CPR certification
Some institutions even require future pupils to have certain vaccines done.
The training programs last for at least 2 years and award an associates’ degree, though there are many individuals who choose to get a bachelor’s or even a masters’ degree.
Higher degrees allow these professionals to take on office and other administrative duties, and even pursue careers in teaching.
|Cape Fear Community College||411 North Front Street, Wilmington, North Carolina 28401-3910|
|Catawba Valley Community College||2550 Hwy 70 SE, Hickory, North Carolina 28602-0699|
|Central Carolina Community College||1105 Kelly Dr, Sanford, North Carolina 27330-9840|
|Central Piedmont Community College||1201 Elizabeth Avenue, Charlotte, North Carolina 28204|
|Coastal Carolina Community College||444 Western Blvd, Jacksonville, North Carolina 28546-6816|
|Fayetteville Technical Community College||2201 Hull Rd, Fayetteville, North Carolina 28303-0236|
|Forsyth Technical Community College||2100 Silas Creek Pky, Winston Salem, North Carolina 27103-5197|
|Guilford Technical Community College||601 High Point Rd., Jamestown, North Carolina 27282|
|University of North Carolina School of Dentistry||385 S Columbia St, Chapel Hill, NC 27599,|
|Wayne Community College||3000 Wayne Memorial Dr, Goldsboro, North Carolina 27534-8002|
There are 2 mandatory exams for future dental hygienists to pass:
- The NBDHE
- The regional one
This exam is required all across the US, has 350 questions and a practical part in which about 12 patients are being investigated.
Candidates have to apply to take this exam through the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations who organizes the testing at Pearson Vue centers.
Regional Clinical Exam
The Board in North Carolina only accepts the exam offered by the Council of Interstate Testing Agencies (CITA).
This exam has recognition in several other states.
Candidates who passed their exams can fill out the license application.
The application form is found online and needs to have the following documents attached:
- Application fee – $75
- Dental school official transcripts
- Official high school transcripts
- NBDHE exam score in an official envelope
- CITA score
- Passport picture
- Fingerprint record card
The picture has to be glued to the application.
The fingerprints are needed for a background check and they’re done with the help of the appropriate forms at a local law enforcement point.
The Board can offer more information related to the application and licensing process.
Even though the median salary in North Carolina is lower than the median national salary of a dental hygienist, a higher degree, experience, and location can mean a higher income.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Regional Salary in North Carolina
|Region||Employed||Avg. Annual Salary||Avg. Hourly Pay||Top 10% Annual Salary||Bottom 10% Annual Salary|
|Durham-Chapel Hill, NC||440||$73,380||$35.28||$93,980||$61,600|
|Greensboro-High Point, NC||600||$79,570||$38.25||$85,380||$76,390|
|New Bern, NC||80||$74,270||$35.71||$79,890||$63,580|
|Rocky Mount, NC||70||$74,400||$35.77||$82,590||$63,040|
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Renewing the License
In North Carolina, the dental hygienist license has to be renewed every year.
This can be done as follows:
- Paying the renewal fee – $106
- Completing a minimum of 6 continuing education hours
- Maintaining a CPR certification
The classes have to be related to the practice and can be completed at home if they provide tests and certification of completion.
During the first renewal period, individuals are not required to continue their education.