The job market for dental hygienists in Oregon is expected to still grow by 2022.
These professionals need to follow the rules and regulations set by the State of Oregon Board of Dentistry who also issues licenses for them.
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The first thing a future dental hygienist has to do is to ensure they receive appropriate dental hygiene education at a CODA-accredited training program.
These are offered through colleges and a minimum of an Associates’s degree is required to obtain the license.
There are many individuals that choose to get at least a Bachelors’s degree instead.
All the programs also include practice hours in a clinic.
While in school, future dental hygienists will learn about the following:
- Oral and dental anatomy
- Dental hygiene clinical practice
- Medical/dental emergencies
- Dental health education
- Dental materials
- Pain management
|Carrington College-Portland||2004 Lloyd Center, 3rd Floor, Portland, Oregon 97232-1309|
|Lane Community College||4000 E 30th Ave, Eugene, Oregon 97405-0640|
|Mt Hood Community College||26000 SE Stark St, Gresham, Oregon 97030|
|Oregon Institute of Technology||3201 Campus Drive, Klamath Falls, Oregon 97601-8801|
Getting training is not enough to obtain a license in the dental hygiene field, as individuals must pass a series of exams as well.
The National Board Dental Hygiene Exam is the first one to pass on a person’s way to licensure.
This exam is organized at the Pearson Vue testing centers, by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations.
The exam costs $400 to take and has 2 parts:
- A written part consisting of 350 questions
- A practice part on 12 to 15 patients
This exam has to be scheduled at least 60 days in advance, but not more than 90 days in advance.
This exam is a regional one, and there are more testing agencies across the US offering such a test.
Oregon recognizes the ones offered by the following agencies:
- American Board of Dental Examiners
- Central Regional Dental Testing Services
- Northeast Regional Board of Dental Examiners
- Southern Regional Testing Agency
The tests are a bit different from agency to agency, and the website of each agency has more information related to the exam they offer.
This exam is sent out by the Board once they receive the application files.
The exam is open-book and tests candidates on their knowledge of the Dental Practice Act in Oregon.
Applying for License
Once a candidate passed the previous exams, they are ready to submit an application to the Board.
The application form can be found on the board’s website and has to contain the following documents:
- Application fee -$180
- Data collection fee – $5
- The biennial licensure form
- The $150 biennial license fee
- School transcript with degree posted
- NBDHE test scores
- Regional clinical exam score
- Fingerprint card
Higher degrees mean a higher salary and better career options.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
In Oregon, dental hygienists need to renew their license every 2 years.
The Board requires them to complete 24 hours of continuing education for this purpose.
The hours have to relate directly to patient care, dental public health and must include at least 3 hours of dental or medical emergencies.
The completed hours have to be logged and the log submitted to the Board for the license renewal to happen.