Dental Hygienist Schools in Texas (Top Programs)

Dental Hygienist Schools in Texas

Those who want to work as dental hygienists in Texas need to obtain a license from the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners.

The Board issues licenses only to those who received appropriate training and passed the mandatory exams.

Training as a Dental Hygienist

Training as a dental hygienist takes place at CODA-accredited schools.

Individuals need to obtain a minimum of an associate’s or bachelor’s degree for entry-level positions.

These schools have classes such as:

  • Pharmacology for the dental hygienist
  • Oral pathology
  • Contemporary dental hygiene
  • Microbiology
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Preventative dental hygiene
  • Dental radiology
  • Dental nutrition
  • Sociology, psychology, and communication
  • Dental hygienist clinical experience

Obtaining a CPR certificate before enrollment in school is mandatory for all those who want to become a dental hygienist.

They need to maintain this certification for as long as they want to practice in this field.

School NameAddress
Amarillo College2011 S. Washington, Amarillo, Texas 79109
Austin Community College1218 West Ave, Austin, TX 78701
Blinn College902 College Ave, Brenham, Texas 77833-4098
Coastal Bend College3800 Charco Rd, Beeville, Texas 78102
Concorde Career Institute-Dallas12606 Greenville Ave Ste 130, Dallas, Texas 75243
Del Mar College101 Baldwin Blvd., Corpus Christi, Texas 78404-3897
El Paso Community College9050 Viscount Blvd, El Paso, Texas 79925
Houston Community College3100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77002
Howard College1001 Birdwell Lane, Big Spring, Texas 79720
Lamar Institute of Technology855 E Lavaca, Beaumont, Texas 77705
Lone Star College System5000 Research Forest Drive, The Woodlands, Texas 77381-4399
Tarrant County College District1500 Houston St, Fort Worth, Texas 76102-6524
Temple College2600 S 1st St, Temple, Texas 76504-7435
Texas A&M University Health Science Center8441 State Hwy 47, Clinical Building 1 – Suite 3100, Bryan, Texas 77807
Texas State Technical College1902 North Loop 499, Harlingen, Texas 78550-3697
Texas Woman’s University304 Administration Dr, Denton, Texas 76201
The University of Texas Health Science Center7000 Fannin, Houston, Texas 77030
The University of Texas Health Science Center7703 Floyd Curl Dr, San Antonio, Texas 78229-3900
Tyler Junior College1400 East Fifth Street, Tyler, Texas 75701
Wharton County Junior College911 Boling Hwy, Wharton, Texas 77488

Nitrous Oxide Monitoring

In Texas, dental hygienists can monitor patients while they are under sedation with nitrous oxide.

To be allowed to perform this duty, individuals need to undergo special training.

Passing the Exams

All licensure candidates must pass some exams.


The National Board exam is the first of them.

It has 350 questions and it costs $400.

The exam organized by the ADA’s Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE).

Candidates are tested on their:

  • Professional responsibility
  • Obtaining and interpreting x-rays
  • Supportive treatment
  • Preventative agents
  • Performance of periodontal procedures
  • Patient assessment
  • Supportive treatment services
  • Community health
  • Research principles

Clinical Exam

Texas is one of the states where candidates can choose one of the 5 regional clinical exams available.

These exams are offered by:

  • Western Regional Examining Board
  • Central Regional Dental Testing Service
  • Commission on Dental Competency Assessments
  • Southern Regional Testing Agency
  • Council of Interstate Testing Agencies

While the tests differ slightly from agency to the other, they all cover these topics:

  • Intra- and extra-oral assessment
  • Supra-gingival deposit removal
  • Scaling and sub-gingival calculus removal
  • Periodontal examination and probing

Jurisprudence Assessment

This exam is available online to those who are ready to apply for the license.

Candidates will be tested on their knowledge related to the Board’s rules and regulations, as well as on the Dental Act in Texas.

Applying for the License

Applying for the license is easy as the form can be downloaded from the Board’s website.

The application has to be accompanied by:

  • The results of a criminal background check
  • A CPR certification copy
  • Official scores from the exams
  • Notarized copy of the dental hygiene school diploma

Out-of-state Candidates

Individuals who obtained their license in a different state can obtain their Texas dental hygienist certification based on credentials.

They need to file the documents below to the Professional Background Information Service (PBIS):

  • Jurisprudence Assessment scores
  • Proof of completion of 12 hours of continuing education in the past year
  • Verification of the dental hygiene license obtained
  • A minimum of 3 years of experience as a dental hygienist, in the recent 5 years
  • Results from a background check
  • CODA-accredited school transcripts
  • Current CPR certification
  • Passing scores on the NBDHE and a regional clinical exam

The continuing education hours have to be related to dental hygiene practice.

Once PBIS sends a confirmation that a candidate is eligible for licensure, they can send their application and the confirmation letter to the Board of Texas.

Temporary License

Candidates from out of state can obtain a temporary license if they don’t meet the work experience minimum requirement.

Those who need to work with a temporary license must ensure that their employers:

  • Accept Medicaid patients
  • Are classified as a nonprofit corporation

Nitrous Oxide Monitoring Permit

This permit is issued only after a candidate received their dental hygienist license.

Expected Salary

Having the permit to monitor patients while under sedation increases an individual’s employment options as well as their paycheck.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
San Antonio$72,833
Fort Worth$72,984
El Paso$65,513
Corpus Christi$69,463

Maintaining the License

The temporary license expires every year and it has to be renewed until the requirements for a standard license are met.

The initial full license can expire at anytime between 6 and 18 months since it got issued.

After this time-frame, all licenses must be renewed every year after completing 12 hours of continued education, through approved providers.

Some individuals may accumulate more than 12 hours and the extra hours can be carried out to the next year.

Continued education has to meet these criteria:

  • 8 hours – technical or scientific and relate to clinical care
  • Up to 4 hours may be in risk management courses
  • Up to 6 hours may be self-study courses
  • The OSHA and CPR courses do not count towards the continuing education requirement

Unlike in other states, the Board in Texas requires its dental hygienist practitioners to retake the jurisprudence test every 3 years.

The certification for nitrous oxide doesn’t need renewal.

USA Dental Hygiene by State

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