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Hygienist Licensing
Basic Statute and Rules
 
ORS 680.040, OAR 818-021-0020 through 818-021-0040

To qualify for licensure in Oregon as a Dental Hygienist, all applicants must:
  • Be 18 years of age or older;
  • Have graduated from a dental hygiene program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association (CODA/ADA); or, if the applicant graduated from a non-ADA accredited dental hygiene program, have completed a program of not less than one year accredited by the ADA;
  • Pass the National Board dental hygiene exam;
  • Have successfully passed any state or regional clinical examination within the five years immediately preceding application; and  
  • Pass the Board's Jurisprudence examination.
 
All applicants are subject to a background check including fingerprints and a check of the National Practitioners Data Bank (NPDB) and the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank (HIPDB). Information regarding criminal convictions and disciplinary action by health professional licensing boards will also be requested.

To qualify for licensure in Oregon without further examination, a Dental Hygienist must:
  • Be 18 years of age or older;
  • Have graduated from a dental hygiene program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association (CODA/ADA); or, if the applicant graduated from a non-ADA accredited dental hygiene program, have completed a program of not less than one year accredited by the ADA;
  • Have successfully passed a dental hygiene clinical examination conducted by a regional testing agency or by a State licensing board;
  • Hold an active license to practice dental hygiene, without restrictions, in another state;
  • Have conducted licensed clinical practice in other states or in the United States Armed Forces, the United States Public Health Service or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for at least 3,500 hours in the five years immediately prior to application;
  • Have completed 24 hours of Board-approved continuing education within the two years immediately preceding application; and
  • Pass the Board's Jurisprudence examination.
 
All applicants are subject to a background check including fingerprints and a check of the National Practitioners Data Bank (NPDB) the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank (HIPDB). Information regarding criminal convictions and disciplinary action by health professional licensing boards will also be requested.

OAR 818-035-0040 allows that, after completing the required education and obtaining the appropriate license endorsement(s) from the Board, a Dental Hygienist may, under the general supervision of a dentist:
  • Administer local anesthetic agents;
  • Use high-speed handpieces to polish amalgams; and
  • Apply temporary soft relines to full dentures (the patient must be seen by the dentist within 14 days after application of the temporary soft relines).

Dental Hygienists in Oregon may administer local anesthesia under the general supervision of a dentist after they have completed a course of instruction in a program accredited by the ADA or approved by the Board, and after obtaining the appropriate Expanded Function endorsement from the Board. (OAR 818-035-0040)

Dental Hygienists in Oregon may administer nitrous oxide, under the indirect supervision of a dentist, after satisfying the Board´s education requirements for nitrous oxide and obtaining the appropriate Class I Permit (see Anesthesia Permits).

A Dental Hygienist may, after obtaining a Limited Access Permit (LAP), render dental hygiene services without the supervision of a dentist, to patients or residents of facilities, who, due to age, infirmity or disability, are unable to receive regular dental hygiene treatment. Specific facilities named and defined in the law include: nursing homes, adult foster homes, residential care facilities, adult congregate living facilities, mental health residential programs, correction facilities, employment training facilities such as Job Corps, and schools.
 
The statute creating this permit is found is ORS 680.200 and 680.205 The rules regarding this permit are found in OAR 818-035-0065 through 818-035-100.
 
In order to qualify for a Limited Access Permit*, an applicant must:
  • Hold a valid, unrestricted Oregon dental hygiene license
  • Present evidence satisfactory to the Board of at least 5,000 hours of supervised dental hygiene clinical practice within the previous five years
  • Present proof of current professional liability insurance coverage; and
  • Show documentation of successful completion of a total of 40 hours (no time period restriction) of course work from a formal, post-secondary educational institution accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association or its successor agency or other appropriate health professional program accreditation agency and approved by the Board, including but not limited to:
  1. General medicine and physical diagnosis;
  2. Pharmacology;
  3. Oral pathology;
  4. Patient management and psychology; and
  5. Jurisprudence relating to unsupervised practice with limited access patients.
  • Presents documentation satisfactory to the Board of successful completion of an emergency life support couse for health professionals, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation, from an agency or educational institution approved by the Board. 
 
Check with the Board office for additional classes that may be approved.
 
*Note: Legislation is currently being contemplated to amend these requirements. Please check with the Board after July 2003 for any changes.

Prior to a license being issued, all applicants must pay the appropriate application, examination and licensure fees (fees paid are non-refundable). Applicants will be required to submit fingerprints and details of any convictions recorded in any police records, or disciplinary action taken by a licensing Board. Verification of licensure must be submitted by all states in which the applicant holds, or has held, a license.

The Board may refuse to issue a license to an applicant who has been convicted of an offense or disciplined by a health care professional licensing body in a manner that bears, in the judgment of the Board, a demonstrable relationship to the ability of the applicant to practice safely in accordance with the provisions of the Dental practice Act, or who has falsified an application for licensure, or any person for any cause described under ORS 679.140 or 679.170.

May be downloaded from this website or
 
Write to us at:
Oregon Board of Dentistry
1600 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 770
Portland, Oregon 97201-5519
 
Call: 971-673-3200
Fax: 971-673-3202
E-Mail: Teresa.Haynes@state.or.us