Dental Hygienist Schools in Texas (Top Programs)

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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 Name Address
Amarillo College 2011 S. Washington, Amarillo, Texas 79109
Austin Community College 1218 West Ave, Austin, TX 78701
Blinn College 902 College Ave, Brenham, Texas 77833-4098
Coastal Bend College 3800 Charco Rd, Beeville, Texas 78102
Concorde Career Institute-Dallas 12606 Greenville Ave Ste 130, Dallas, Texas 75243
Del Mar College 101 Baldwin Blvd., Corpus Christi, Texas 78404-3897
El Paso Community College 9050 Viscount Blvd, El Paso, Texas 79925
Houston Community College 3100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77002
Howard College 1001 Birdwell Lane, Big Spring, Texas 79720
Lamar Institute of Technology 855 E Lavaca, Beaumont, Texas 77705
Lone Star College System 5000 Research Forest Drive, The Woodlands, Texas 77381-4399
Tarrant County College District 1500 Houston St, Fort Worth, Texas 76102-6524
Temple College 2600 S 1st St, Temple, Texas 76504-7435
Texas A&M University Health Science Center 8441 State Hwy 47, Clinical Building 1 – Suite 3100, Bryan, Texas 77807
Texas State Technical College 1902 North Loop 499, Harlingen, Texas 78550-3697
Texas Woman’s University 304 Administration Dr, Denton, Texas 76201
The University of Texas Health Science Center 7000 Fannin, Houston, Texas 77030
The University of Texas Health Science Center 7703 Floyd Curl Dr, San Antonio, Texas 78229-3900
Tyler Junior College 1400 East Fifth Street, Tyler, Texas 75701
Wharton County Junior College 911 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:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Houston $76,773
San Antonio $72,833
Dallas $74,178
Austin $73,665
Fort Worth $72,984
El Paso $65,513
Arlington $72,864
Corpus Christi $69,463
Plano $73,858
Laredo $66,339

Regional Salary in Texas

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Abilene, TX80$76,280$36.67$81,960$63,670
Amarillo, TX130$77,210$37.12$81,980$63,540
Austin-Round Rock, TX1,320$83,130$39.97$93,940$62,750
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX150$79,420$38.18$89,600$65,240
Brownsville-Harlingen, TX140$70,340$33.82$76,020$60,410
College Station-Bryan, TX130$76,800$36.92$80,150$64,600
Corpus Christi, TX160$77,950$37.47$90,230$65,900
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX3,370$81,870$39.36$91,700$76,690
El Paso, TX300$71,140$34.2$82,180$55,460
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX1,960$79,470$38.21$92,550$66,420
Killeen-Temple, TX150$78,190$37.59$84,900$66,020
Laredo, TX80$72,550$34.88$77,500$60,770
Longview, TX110$73,730$35.45$80,200$63,560
Lubbock, TX150$76,340$36.7$84,890$64,830
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX240$72,390$34.8$84,710$62,400
Midland, TX80$83,130$39.97$92,400$64,630
Odessa, TX60$83,590$40.19$91,140$73,590
San Angelo, TX60$75,890$36.49$82,910$63,900
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX1,010$79,890$38.41$83,860$67,540
Sherman-Denison, TX80$79,110$38.03$88,570$64,330
Texarkana, TX-AR60$73,960$35.56$86,420$56,300
Tyler, TX140$75,850$36.47$81,310$63,410
Victoria, TX40$77,680$37.35$81,830$65,830
Waco, TX120$77,670$37.34$82,770$65,660
Wichita Falls, TX60$77,620$37.32$82,210$62,800
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Dental Hygienists, OCC Code 29-1292, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

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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