Dental Hygiene Examination Information:
North East Regional Board Examinations
National Board Written Examination

License renewal cycle and fees:

Dentist $250.00
Dental Hygienist $42.00
Dental Hygiene Local Anesthesia permit $42.00
Public Health Dental Hygiene Practitioner Permit $42.00

Can I Lose My License (or suffer other sanctions)? II
Your Continuing Education Requirements and the SBOD

Submitted by: Stacey R. MacNeal, Esquire
To: PDHA Fall 2004 Journal
PDHA Legal Counsel

In the winter 2002 Journal, I wrote an article about state regulations pertaining to dental hygienists. One of those regulations is to complete a minimum of twenty hours of continuing education every two years. When you apply for your license renewal, you will be asked to certify that you have completed those credits. The State Board of Dentistry (SBOD) will then conduct audits to verify those credits.

First, you may recall that one of the pitfalls previously mentioned that can result in a license suspension or revocation is filing a false or deceptive biennial renewal. Therefore, if you know that you have not completed your 20 credits, you should not certify that you have. A false certification is fraud. However, the SBOD has been very willing to consider extenuating circumstances on a case-by-case basis. If you have made a good faith effort to fulfill your credits, I recommend contacting the SBOD in writing to explain your situation and request an extension of time for completion of the required credits.

Additionally, the 20 CE credits must be taken in approved subject areas. Those areas are diagnosis and treatment of oral pathosis; clinical and technological subjects; emergency procedures, excluding hours required for CPR certification; infection control; abuse and neglect; medical and scientific subjects; and dental laws and regulations. Nonclinical subjects including billing, office management, practice building, insurance reimbursement, and communication skills are not covered. Also, the CE credits must be taken from an approved program sponsor such as the Pennsylvania Academy of Dental Hygiene Studies. While it is easy to verify whether a sponsor is approved, it is not possible to verify whether the CE is for an approved subject area prior to an audit. Do not assume that a course is in an approved subject area simply because it is being offered by an approved program sponsor. If you have any questions regarding whether a course falls under one of the approved clinical and technological subjects, do not rely on those credits to meet your twenty-credit minimum.

Remember that the continuing education requirement is your personal responsibility as a dental hygienist. While taking courses can be expensive and tracking the information burdensome, your professional license depends on it!