In the State of Pennsylvania, the demand for dental hygienists is on the rise.
Those who want to enter this field need to obtain a license from the Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry.
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One can’t obtain the dental hygiene license without graduating from a CODA-accredited training program that issues at least an Associates’s degree.
Most of these programs are available through colleges.
Many schools have certain criteria based on which future students are accepted, so contacting them in advance is indicated.
Many students choose a bachelor’s degree over the Associates’ degree because it offers more employment options.
|Community College of Allegheny County||808 Ridge Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15212|
|Community College of Philadelphia||1700 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130-3991|
|Harrisburg Area Community College||1 HACC Dr., Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17110-2999|
|Manor College||700 Fox Chase Rd, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania 19046-3399|
|Montgomery County Community College||340 Dekalb Pike, Blue Bell, Pennsylvania 19422-0796|
|Pennsylvania College of Technology||One College Ave, Williamsport, Pennsylvania 17701-5799|
|University of Pittsburgh||4200 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260|
|Westmoreland County Community College||145 Pavilion Lane, Youngwood, Pennsylvania 15697-1895|
Local Anesthesia Permit Training
Future dental hygienists are allowed to administer local anesthesia if they earn a permit.
The permit is issued to those who completed the special training course during their college years.
This course has to be at least 30 hours long and contain both didactic education and practice training.
Passing a series of exams is mandatory in the licensure process.
The NBDHE, short for National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, has national recognition and thus is mandated across the nation.
This exam costs $400 and its written part has 350 questions.
The Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations offers this exam at the Pearson Vue testing centers.
Most states recognize just one of the regional exams available.
In Pennsylvania, dental hygiene license candidates can choose to take any of the 5 clinical tests available:
- Western Regional Examining Board (WREB)
- Southern Regional Testing Agency (SRTA)
- North East Regional Board (NERB) of Dental Examiners
- Council of Interstate Testing Agencies (CITA)
- Central Regional Dental Testing Services (CRDTS)
Candidates can apply for the license as soon as they pass the exams.
The application form can be downloaded from the Board’s website and has to be accompanied by:
- Fee – $75
- NBDHE exam results
- Regional exam results
- Copy of the CPR certificate
The 3rd page of the application form has to be filled in by the college and be sent directly to the Board.
Applications are processed in about 10 to 15 days and the Board’s site has updates on the status of the application.
Applying for the Local Anesthesia Permit
To obtain this permit, candidates have to pay an extra fee of $20.
The school has to fill out the Certification of Education form on the 3rd page, for the candidates who completed the training for this permit.
Having the local anesthesia permit means that a dental hygienist working in Pennsylvania can earn a higher salary.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Regional Salary in Pennsylvania
|Region||Employed||Avg. Annual Salary||Avg. Hourly Pay||Top 10% Annual Salary||Bottom 10% Annual Salary|
|East Stroudsburg, PA||90||$67,660||$32.53||$76,300||$59,700|
|State College, PA||110||$66,910||$32.17||$74,270||$58,880|
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
In Pennsylvania, in all odd-numbered years, on March 31, all licenses for dental hygienists expire.
The following has to be met, for the license to be renewed:
- Complete 20 continuing education credit hours
- Pay the fee -$40
- Maintain CPR certification