How To Transfer Dental Hygiene License To Another State

Last Updated on August 27, 2022 by Smile Ese

If you’re thinking about switching states to practice or just moving around and want to keep your dental hygiene license at the same time, then you need to learn about how to transfer dentistry hygiene license to another state.

How To Transfer Dental Hygiene License To Another State. Whether you are moving in the military, in the state of Florida or in another state within America, you will sure to need to know about How To Transfer Dental Hygiene License To Another State. We’ve decided to write this article concerning How To Transfer Dental Hygiene License To Another State since it is an issue that many people are facing nowadays. We all know that there are states within America that do not allow the practice of dentistry to inhabitants who do not have a valid license in their state.

The article below sheds more light on How To Transfer Dental Hygiene License To Another State and more. Read on to get the best & latest information on dental hygiene license reciprocity by state, relocating as a dental hygienist, Florida dental hygiene license reciprocity, how to transfer dental hygiene license to Florida, dental hygiene license application, transfer dental hygiene license to Texas & dental licensure by state. You will also see related posts on transfer dental hygiene license to Hawaii on Collegelearners.

How To Transfer Dental Hygiene License To Another State

Why in the world do dental professionals have to apply for an out-of-state dental license when they move to a new state? We understand the need for taking a jurisprudence exam for a state, because each state can vary in the laws that govern dentistry. But the standard of care and knowledge we’ve acquired in one state doesn’t change from state to state. So, why do we have to dig up all our past credentials, exam scores, transcripts, background checks, continuing education, CPR certificate, and so on, so we can prove ourselves to the new state dental board?

To help you understand what license portability currently entails, the following is a snapshot of just some of the tasks state dental boards require a dental hygienist to complete in order to obtain a license in their state:

  • Contact the state’s dental governing board
  • Complete a lengthy application with multiple notarized documents
  • Pay an application fee in addition to a biennial licensure fee
  • Take a jurisprudence exam via mail or at an official testing center (retake, if necessary)
  • Acquire sealed transcripts from accredited hygiene school and other post-high school education
  • Provide certification of having passed clinical and national dental hygiene licensure examinations
  • Request letters of good standing from each state in which active licenses are held, including non-dental licenses
  • Provide proof of current CPR certification through approved providers
  • Provide proof of mandatory CE courses required for the state
  • Submit a comprehensive work history, including address and contact information for all previous employers
  • Submit multiple character references
  • Submit a signed and dated passport-sized photograph
  • Provide personal information and supporting documents regarding past or existing medical conditions, citizenship status, student loans, child support, and more
  • Undergo a criminal background check, which may include fingerprinting
  • Complete an in-person interview with the dental board
  • Submit additional fees and documents for any additional expanded functions (i.e., restorative duties, local anesthesia, nitrous oxide inhalation, ITR, laser, direct access permits, etc.)
  • Potentially retake and successfully pass clinical boards
Employment requirements for dental hygienists in Canada

relocating as a dental hygienist

In the June issue of RDH eVillage, more than 400 readers participated in a combination salary survey and, well, shared a fantasy. We asked, “What is your dream state to reside in as a dental hygienist?” Readers were given the option to denote their current residence as their “dream state.”

Don’t forget that this month’s survey (Click Here to take survey) is about your perspective on the nation’s economy and its impact on the dental practice where you work.

This, of course, is not a scientific survey. But if the “locals” want to leave and don’t make much money …

However, the question was about readers’ “dream state” in which to practice dental hygiene. The top vote-getters of dental hygienists dreaming of moving somewhere else were:

California (44), Colorado (30), Hawaii (21), Washington (13), Florida (10), Arizona (9), North Carolina (7), South Carolina (6).

A discussion group has been set up on the PennWell Community site about this article. Please defend your state or talk about why and where you would like to be transplanted with a comment there.

Beam me up

California

34 out of 40 (85%) said the Golden State is just golden. Four of the dissenting six were thinking Hawaii might be a better place, and the other two favored Florida and Washington State. The average hourly rate is $46.36. The most common rates reported were $43, $44, and more than $50. As indicated above, 44 outsiders wouldn’t mind relocating to California. It’s the complete package. No one wants to leave, and everyone wants to come here.

Texas

Seventeen of 24 (71%) think the Lone Star State is big enough for their dreams. Colorado (twice), Hawaii (twice), Alaska, Arizona, and California are also toyed with as possible ideal places to practice. The average hourly rate is $37.33. The most common rates reported were $32 (four times), $34 (three times), and $35 (three times). But 42% earn $38 an hour or more. Only two non-Texans in the survey fantasize about moving there. However, the fact so many residents think so highly of where they live puts Texas in the elite class, even though it’s not in the same league as California.

North Carolina

The Tar Heels count nine of 16 (56%) who still dream fondly of the Old North State. The others have scattered ambitions for Hawaii (twice), California (twice), New Jersey, South Carolina, and Colorado. The average hourly rate is $32.13. The most common rate reported was $33 (three times). The rates of $29, $30, and $35 were each reported twice. According to the list above, North Carolina ranks seventh in the “dream states.”

Restless dreams

Massachusetts

Eight of 17 (47%) sing, “All Hail to Massachusetts.” The rest fantasize about living in California (four votes), Colorado (three votes), Hawaii, and New Hampshire. The average hourly rate is $39.41. The most common rate was $40 (five times); the rates of $37 and $38 were both reported twice. Overall, eight of the reported rates were $40 or more (47%). Massachusetts did make the list of fantasy states as five respondents dream about it.

Michigan

Eleven of the 20 respondents (55%) are quite comfortable with the upper hand that Michigan provides. The other nine entertain thoughts of California (three times), North Carolina (twice), Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, and Florida. The average hourly rate is $29.65. The rates of $30 and $32 were reported four times each. The rates of $26 and $28 were reported three times each. Despite the high number of locals liking where they live and practice, the salaries are on the low end of the states being considered here, and no one indicated a desire to relocate to Michigan.

Pennsylvania

Seven of 17 (41%) believe the Keystone State is a dynamic place to reside and practice. If dreams could come true, the others would consider relocating to California (2), Arizona (2), Colorado (2), Virginia, New York, and Maryland. The average hourly rate is $27.71. The most common hourly rates are $23 (four times) and $30 (three times). As is the case with Michigan, the salaries are a little low, and only two dental hygienists expressed a desire to relocate there. But a healthy percentage of the locals like it.

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Let me out of this dream?

Ohio

Eleven of 28 (39%) are true Buckeyes. The others probably are too, but they harbor fantasies of practicing in California (3), Florida (2), South Carolina (2), Arizona (2), Colorado (2), North Carolina, Kentucky, New Mexico, Kansas, Massachusetts, and Virginia. The average hourly rate is $31.32. The most common rates reported were $30 (5), $25 (3), $28 (3), and $34 (3). No one wanted to relocate to Ohio.

New York

Eight of 21 (38%) sing “I Love New York.” Seven are divided with their thoughts between California and Florida, and a couple more dream of Colorado. The remainder have set their sights on Maryland, Hawaii, Kansas, and Washington State. The average hourly rate is $33.57. The hourly rates of $26, $28, $32, and $40 were each cited twice. Three dental hygienists said they dream of relocating here.

Florida

Only seven of the 21 (33%) said Florida was their dream state. Colorado (four times), California (four times), New York, New Jersey, South Carolina, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Georgia were some of the fantasy destinations for the majority. The average hourly rate is $31.81. The most common rates reported were $30 (eight times) and $25 (four times). Only three of the hourly rates reported were above $45. This may be a case of where networking may be a good thing. After all, Florida ranked fifth as a “dream state.” It seems like the 10 hygienists who want to relocate there should first call the 14 Floridians who want to relocate elsewhere.

Illinois

Five of 19 (26%) say their fantasy state is elsewhere, including Hawaii (five votes), California (twice), Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. The average hourly rate is $32.47. The most common rate reported was $28 (three times), but $32, $34, $35, $36, and $37 were each reported twice, making up more than half of the responses. Illinois is nothing to dream about? Only one hygienist wanted to relocate there, and the locals fantasize about living somewhere else. But why? Good salaries, solid victories in recent years for amendments to the state dental practice act, Chicago, etc. should be reasons to stay.


Here are the statistics from the remaining states. For the comments above, we chose states with 15 or more responses. But we would like to acknowledge everyone who contributed to the survey.

Alabama

Five responses

Salaries: Two said they earned $20, and two earned $22. The fifth one reported $28 an hour.

Dream state: Only two said Alabama was their choice. The other three said Tennessee (twice) and Colorado.

Arkansas

One response

Salaries: $33 an hour.

Dream state: Arkansas was home sweet home in fantasies too.

Arizona

Seven responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $37, $38, $40 (twice), $41, and $50 (twice) for an average of $42.29.

Dream state: Six of the seven said desert living was just fine. The seventh one fantasizes about Washington State.

Colorado

Ten responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $36, $37 (twice), $38 (twice), $39, $40, $44 (twice), and $46 for an average of $39.90.

Dream state: Eight of 10 enjoy that Rocky Mountain High. The other two secretly fantasize about Hawaii and Montana.

Connecticut

Six responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $30, $35 (three times), $44, and $48 for an average of $37.83.

Dream state: Half like the Constitution State just fine. The other half keep a yearning eye on California (twice) and Maine.

Delaware

Two responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $31 and $38.

Dream state: Both were dreaming about Washington State and Minnesota.

Georgia

Four responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $25, $32, $35, and $39.

Dream state: Only one has Georgia on his or her mind. The other three were thinking about North Carolina, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.

Hawaii

One response

Salaries: The hourly rate reported was $38.

Dream state: Hawaii — anything else?

Iowa

Seven responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $27, $28, $32 (twice), $33, $38, and $40 for an average of $32.86.

Dream state: Five think very fondly of the Hawkeye state. The other two indicate their dream states are Illinois and Florida.

Idaho

Two responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were both $35.

Dream state: One fancies practicing in Washington State, while the other dreams of Colorado.

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Indiana

Five responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $26, $27, $29, $31, and $32.

Dream state: Four of five are diehard Hoosiers; the other one contemplates California as a fantasy.

Kansas

Six responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $25, $27, $30, $31, $32, and $34 for an average of $29.83.

Dream state: Half still dream of the sunflowers; the other half desire Missouri, Washington State, and Colorado.

Kentucky

Five responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $20, $25 (twice), $30, and $32 for an average of $26.40.

Dream state: Three still sing, “My Old Kentucky Home.” The other two dream of Colorado and Tennessee.

Louisiana

Eight responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $20, $25, $31, $36, $37, $38, $40, and $50 for an average of $34.63.

Dream state: Five sing, “Give Me Louisiana,” and the other three fantasize of Colorado, Hawaii, and Texas.

Maryland

Four responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $28, $38, $40, and $50.

Dream state: Two want to stay Marylanders, and two contemplate being residents of Washington State and New York.

Maine

One response

Salaries: The hourly salary reported was $33.

Dream state: He or she fantasizes about practicing in California.

Minnesota

Eight responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $27, $33 (twice), $34, $35, $36 (twice), and $39 for an average of $34.13.

Dream state: Five are content to keep gazing at the Star of the North. The other three think Kentucky, Massachusetts, and California are worth a look.

Mississippi

Two responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $23 and $32.

Dream state: One started counting sheep with “one Mississippi,” but the other one counted “one Georgia.”

Missouri

Seven responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $26, $28, $29, $30, $31, $34, and $40 for an average of $31.14.

Dream state: Three are content to call Missouri home, but four residents of the Show Me State wanted to dream of Alaska, California, Hawaii, and North Carolina too.

Montana

One response

Salaries: The hourly salary reported was $32.

Dream state:Wants to stay right in Big Sky Country.

Nebraska

Three responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $28, $31, and $35.

Dream state:One is a true Cornhusker; the other two wanted to plant roots in Colorado and North Carolina.

New Hampshire

Eight responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $30, $32, $36, $37, $38 (twice), $39, and $45 for an average of $36.88.

Dream state: Three sing “Old New Hampshire,” but the other five wonder what tunes would carry them to California (twice), Massachusetts, Colorado, and Washington State.

New Jersey

Seven responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $31, $33 (twice), $35, $37, $38, and $50 for an average of $36.71.

Dream state: Three are deeply rooted in the Garden State; four dream of transplants to North Carolina, Pennsylvania, California, and Massachusetts.

New Mexico

Five responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $27, $32, $34, $42, and $50.

Dream state: Three are perfectly enchanted with New Mexico, while the other two dream of practicing in Alaska and Texas.

Nevada

Five responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $40, $42, $45, $48, and $50.

Dream state: Two are gambling on Nevada permanently, and the other three seek a change of venue in California, Oregon, and Colorado.

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North Dakota

Two responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $35 and $37.

Dream state:Both residents were dreaming of Arizona and New Jersey.

Oklahoma

One response

Salaries: The hourly salary reported was $31.

Dream state:A Sooner who came to stay.

Oregon

Eight responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $32, $35 (three times), $36 (twice), $39, and $50 for an average of $37.25.

Dream state: Six hum “Oregon my Oregon” in their sleep. Two wonder what it would be like to practice in North Dakota and Washington State.

South Carolina

Five responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $27, $27, $29, $32, and $40.

Dream state:Three don’t think of leaving the Palmetto State, ma’am. The other two keep thinking about Hawaii and Montana too.

Tennessee

Six responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $20, $23, $28, $30, $31, and $33.

Dream state:Four volunteer to keep on dreaming about Tennessee. Two entertain thoughts of California and South Carolina too.

Utah

One response

Salaries: The hourly rate reported was $33.

Dream state: Favored a relocation to Colorado.

Vermont

Three responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $28, $32, and $33.

Dream state:Two are not leaving the Green Mountains. The third one fantasizes about a nearby neighbor — Maine.

Virginia

12 responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $23, $30, $31, $32, $35, $36, $38, $40, $43, $45, $49, and $50 for an average of $37.67.

Dream state: You don’t need to carry back half of them to Old Virginia; they’re already there. The other six think of life in California (twice), Washington State (twice), District of Columbia, and Florida.

Washington

14 responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $32, $36, $39, $40 (twice), $41 (twice), $42 (twice), $43, $44 (twice), and $45 (twice) for an average of $41.

Dream state:Washington ranked fourth on our overall list of “dream states.” The locals like it too, as 10 of the 14 find peace in the Evergreen State. Four of the dental hygienists, though, listed New Mexico, Pennsylvania, California, and Mississippi as alternatives.

West Virginia

One response

Salaries: The hourly salary reported was $23.

Dream state:Would like to move across the border to Virginia.

Wisconsin

11 responses

Salaries: The hourly salaries reported were $24, $25, $26, $27 (twice), $28, $30 (twice), $32, $35, and $45 for an average of $29.91.

Dream state:Only two dream of staying in the Badger State. The others fantasize about California (three votes), Colorado (two votes), Arizona, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington.

Wyoming

Three responses

Salaries:The hourly salaries reported were $30, $35, and $36.

Dream state: One respondent finds all things equal in the Equality State. The other two are dreaming of Washington State and California.

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At this point, you should be ready to transfer your dental hygiene license to another state.

If you’ve decided to move away from your current state of residence, it’s important to know that the process for transferring your dental hygiene license is a bit different than it was when you initially obtained it. Although all states require that you pass an exam, some states also require a criminal background check or other forms of verification before they’ll issue a new license.

To begin the process, find out what documents are required by your new state and how long it will take to get them in order. You’ll need proof of citizenship (if applicable), transcripts from any schools attended (including high school), and documentation on any previous licenses held (including dentist assistant or dental hygienist certificate).

Once all of these documents have been obtained and submitted with your application for transfer, all that remains is waiting for approval from the board of dentistry in both states so that you can start practicing again!

relocating as a dental hygienist

Imagine that you arrive at work one day and find that your services are no longer needed; maybe you have worked in the dental practice for a few years, maybe much longer. In a different hypothetical scenario, your hours are suddenly cut “due to the economy.” Or, suppose that you are attempting to find work after a hiatus due to illness, the need to care for a loved one, an injury, or the birth of a baby. What about looking for work after moving to a new city or state?

These are just a few of the possible scenarios that more and more dental hygienists are finding themselves in these days. Successfully landing a new clinical dental hygiene position can be daunting. It is probable that most dental hygienists will find themselves in one of these scenarios at one time or another during their careers.

Any of these life-changing events can be stressful in itself. Add to this the need to find a new job, and an already-anxious RDH is likely to experience even more apprehension. I have heard many dental hygienists complain about the state of our profession – not enough positions, too many hygienists graduate from dental hygiene schools annually. Some dental hygiene schools are even increasing the number of graduating hygienists. Throughout my 30-plus years of being a practicing RDH, my recent move to a new state was the first time the lack of positions has been shoved right in my face.

The stress of moving to a place where we knew no one was compounded by the fact that my husband and I did not have jobs. The situation was made yet further challenging by our move to a state in which I did not have a license to practice. For many of us, losing a position, moving, or coming back after a leave could be frustrating to the point of making us want to give up. I know this, for I wanted to just give up many times during my pursuit. Instead of giving up, I used the challenges to find new strengths.

For those who have time to plan – that is, if you know ahead of time that you will be moving or taking some time off – this can give you the ability to learn new skills or hone old ones. Age does not matter, as I was able to move and succeed, even at 53.

Having worked in private dental offices my whole life, it was easy to become complacent, feeling comfortable with providing care for middle- to high-income patients. It was easy to become bored and burnt out. As I was preparing for my move, I wondered, “Oh my goodness: What will I do? How will I find a job, especially at my age?” I had a lot of fear and self-doubt. But finding a new position doesn’t have to fill us with fear and self-doubt because it can offer us the type of challenges that push us from complacency to something new.

So many of us tend to stay on the same path, so there is discomfort when we are put in a position that requires us to do something different. I am not talking about discomfort as in physical pain but the discomfort of finding oneself in a situation that is unfamiliar and that requires a little work. Stepping up to the challenge and experiencing the discomfort can create new opportunities for us to increase our self-confidence and create something we never may have dreamed of or imagined we could do. It happened for me.

Not everyone has the luxury to plan ahead, so my recommendations and suggestions for those of you who are looking for work include tasks with quick turnarounds, as well as much longer-term options.

Licensure

Acquiring state licensure is the first thing that needs to be done by those who are moving to a new state. Each state has specific requirements that can be accessed on the website for that state’s dental board. Some states might require that you take the clinical board; many will allow you to apply for licensure without taking an exam. Various states may require any of the following: a minimum number of hours worked within a specific timeframe, an application, a large sum of money (of course), a jurisprudence exam, and/or fingerprinting. It can take at least four to six weeks, and sometimes longer, to become licensed after the board has received your application. It took three months for me.

Postcards for new friends

Here are some other ways that I networked. I talked to hygienists I knew and asked if they knew anyone in the area where I was moving. This gave me several connections. Then, I emailed those connections, an effort that led to some good professional friendships. At the suggestion of my friend, Amy Petrillo, I also made postcards with my photo that highlighted my strengths and my availability. I had about 250 double-sided postcards made for a cost of about $40. Although I had to pay to make the postcards, it would have been even more difficult to make connections without investing something.

Postcard

I also invested time; I spent countless hours on the computer, searching for dental offices in my area. My postcards were sent to more than 75 dental offices, and I hand delivered my updated resume to at least 50.

Walking into a dental practice, smiling, introducing yourself, and handing over your resume in an area that you know is saturated with dental hygienists can be depressing. But my postcards brought me several calls to temp, one of which resulted in a job offer. Delivering my resume in person resulted in a handful of temp days and one day providing free care to low-income children.

Networking

Networking is a great way to get your name out there and meet people in the field or others who might know someone in the field. One way to network is to get involved with the local dental hygiene component. You will meet people who are already working in the area who might know which offices are looking for candidates to fill permanent positions, temping opportunities, etc. Do your research, look at the state’s components, and email board members before a move or if you need to meet people in your current area to get your name out there.

By doing this, I was able to get some temp days, and I also met some awesome people. One of the board members I met gave me valuable information about a local dental temp agency. Even with all of the searching I had done on the Internet, this particular temp placement agency was mostly invisible to outsiders.

Other networking ideas include contacting the directors of local dental hygiene programs to see if there are any clinical teaching positions or volunteer opportunities available. I did this, and although I did not get to teach in a clinic, the director recommended me to a dentist who had asked her for recommendations to fill a long-term temp position. In order to get noticed, you have to be willing to go out and meet people in person. Yes, I also scoured Craigslist, but in today’s job climate, you cannot wait for a position to come to you.

If you are looking for work in an area where you have lived for a while, networking should be a little easier. When I was getting ready to move a year ago and trying to find my replacement in the practice I had worked in for more than 25 years, our office wanted to be selective; that is, the office wanted to bring on a dental hygienist whose personality was similar to mine and who had a similar work ethic. Most practices will find new hires through word-of-mouth, so if you are new to an area, getting recommendations from your peers will be limited, if you get any at all. This is why networking is so important.

Volunteering

Volunteering is another way to meet people, to provide a much-needed service, and to feel good. Do some research and find out what dental and nondental opportunities are available in your area. My realtor invited me to join a service group where I met numerous women who wanted to help me, one of whom had connections with people in the county dental program. I volunteered on the dental van one day and at a Mission of Mercy (MOM) event on another. I also did free screenings with the county program on some other days. Volunteering can help you to expand your skills and make yourself more marketable.

Finally, if your state or the state you are moving to allows it, you can obtain an alternative or expanded practice permit. In Oregon, we can obtain expanded practice permits to work outside of traditional settings. This can open up so many more opportunities.

After I obtained my permit, I bought some equipment, started my own business, and began to see patients who were otherwise unable to access care. My permit also led to a part-time position with the county where I live. Through this position, I am able to visit schools, where I administer screenings, sealants, and fluoride varnish.

One of the board members I met gave me valuable information about a local dental temp agency; even with all my searching on the Internet, this particular temp placement agency was mostly invisible to an outsider.

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