The Bureau of Labor statistics states that as of 2013, there were 1,700 dental hygienists employed in the state of Kansas at a high median wage of $67,910 per year. The Kansas Labor Information Center 10 year job outlook expects a 35.3% growth in the field, creating 609 new job openings.
The Kansas Dental Board is the state agency responsible for overseeing dental rules, regulations, and licensure standards, and it states that you need to attain licensure prior to working as a dental hygienist.
To become a dental hygienist and attain active licensure status, you only need to follow these simple steps:
|Earn a Dental Hygiene Degree from a CODA-accredited school|
|Take and Pass Examinations|
|Submit Licensure Application to Kansas Dental Board|
|Continue Education to Sustain Licensure|
Step 1. Earn a Dental Hygiene Degree form a CODA-accredited school
The American Dental Association (ADA) Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) is the sole agency that is allowed by the United States to approve, or accredit, dental hygiene schools. In order to apply for dental hygienist licensure, you will need to submit certification of completion from a CODA-accredited school that is approved by the Kansas State Board.
There are four (4) CODA-accredited dental hygiene schools in Kansas. Attending these schools may result in certification, associate’s degrees, or bachelor’s degrees. Although the minimum requirement is an associate’s degree, a higher level of education will speak to your dedication and company to fulfill the job duties of a dental hygienist. In dental hygienist schools, you can expect to take courses such as the following:
- Clinical Dental Hygiene
- Dental Radiology
- Dental Health Education
- Nitrous Oxide Analgesia
- Developmental Dentistry
- Dental Materials
- Head and Neck Anatomy
- Dental Therapeutics
Attaining a degree in dental hygiene should prepare you for the job of a dental hygienist, once you attain licensure. The dental hygienist job description includes duties including, but not limited to, educating individuals and the community concerning oral health, performing preventative analysis and procedures, assess patient’s needs, and developing treatment plans for individuals.
Step 2. Take and Pass Examinations
To become a licensed dental hygienist, you must have scores from the National, Clinical, and Jurisprudence Exams.
As part of your application for licensure, you will need to submit your scores from the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE), given by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations.
Enrollment in or graduation from a CODA-accredited dental hygienist school constitutes eligibility for this exam. If eligible, you may apply for examination by completing the following steps:
- Read and Agree to NBDHE Guide
- Register for DENTPIN
- Apply for the NBDHE Examination
- Schedule a Time, Date, and Location for Exam
JCNDE will send you an email with instructions for scheduling your exam after your application has been fully processed. Pearson VUE is a testing center for the NBDHE exam, and locations in Kansas are found in:
- Hays, Kansas
- Wichita, Kansas
- Topeka, Kansas
- Overland Park, Kansas
The Kansas Board will accept any of the clinical exams offered by testing agencies, including the Central Regional Dental Testing Services (CRDTS), the Southern Regional Testing Agency (SRTA), the North East Regional Board of Dental Examiners (NERB), the West Regional Examining Board (WREB), the Council of Interstate Testing Agencies, (CITA), and state boards.
Central Regional Dental Testing Services (CRDTS)—With the online application, you must also submit a $950 exam fee to be paid by cashier’s check or money order with your 10 digit ID number in the lower, left-hand corner.
North East Regional Board of Dental Examiners (NERB) Follow registration instructions, and submit $975 full exam fee. If you are also applying for the Local Anesthesia exam, you will submit another $140 exam fee, and if you choose to also take the Nitrous Oxide exam, you will submit another $135 exam fee.
The Kansas Jurisprudence Exam is a state law exam, covering the Kansas Dental Practices Act. It may be scheduled after your full application and fee have been processed You may take the exam at the Topeka Kansas Dental Board, contact them at 785-269-6400 or firstname.lastname@example.org at least a week before you wish to take the exam.
If you choose to take the exam at a different location, you must contact the location, ask if the location is willing to proctor the exam, and schedule it accordingly. The following locations are considered viable proctoring sites:
- Dental or Dental Hygiene School
- Testing Centers
- Other State Dental Boards
Step 3. Submit Licensure Application
If you are a recent graduate, or you have been licensed in another state for less than three (3) years, you will apply for licensure by examination. However, if you have been licensed for more than three (3) years and have actively worked as a dental hygienist in the last three (3) years, you will need to apply for licensure by credentials.
Licensure by Examination— To fully complete the licensure by examination application, you must also submit these materials:
- Original Transcript (with degree awarded) from a CODA-accredited Dental Hygienist school, sent directly to the Kansas dental Board from school’s Registrar
- Recent photograph
- Scores form National Board exam (a copy is acceptable)
- Scores from Clinical Board exam
- Current CPR certification
- Verification of all state licensures held (either current or expired)
- Follow instructions to submit a National Practitioner Data Bank Report
- If applicable, Local Anesthesia Certificate
- If applicable, Nitrous Oxide Certificate
- Application form, signed in the presence of a notary
- $100 fee, and prorated licensing fee
You must submit the hard copy of the application to:
Kansas Dental Board
900 SW Jackson, Ste. 564-S
Topeka, Kansas 66612
Licensure by Credentials
To apply by credentials, submit the above information to the same location, along with the
- Licensure by Credentials application form
- $300 fee
Step 4. Complete Continuing Education
Licenses expire December 1 every two years, unless you are a retired dental hygienist keeping your license active. You may renew online or though the mail.
To renew for your first renewal, you will need to complete fifteen (15) hours of Continuing Education (CE). For every renewal after that, you will need to complete thirty (30) hours of CE.
Up to four (4) hours of CE credit may be gained for CPR training, which you must keep current.
You will not need to submit any verification of CE credits unless you are chosen for the random audit, which will start in February of each year. If chosen, you will need to submit full documentation of continued education courses.