Dental Hygienist

Department of Inspections, Appeals, and Licensing


Dental hygienists provide direct patient care under the supervision of a dentist. Patient care includes removal of deposits and stains from patients’ teeth, exposing and developing dental x-ray films, performing various preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic and educational services.

Code Citation Code of Iowa 153

Who Applies All dental hygienists who wish to practice in Iowa.

When To Apply Prior to employment in Iowa.

Initial Requirements Application for licensure must be made to the Iowa Dental Board along with satisfactory evidence of graduation from a CODA-accredited school of dental hygiene, completion of the examination administered by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations, and other examinations as required. If applying on the basis of examination, the applicant must have completed an approved clinical examination within the previous five years: CRDTS, CDCA (WREB, SRTA, CITA have merged with the CDCA). The applicant must also complete the jurisprudence examination approved by the board. Applicants who have been licensed in another state for more than one year, or have completed an examination not approved by the Board must apply on the basis of credentials. If applying for a license by credentials, the applicant must be a graduate of a CODA-accredited school, have held a license as a dental hygienist in another state, and have practiced for a minimum of three years immediately preceding application. Alternatively, individuals who have been issued a license with a similar scope of practice in another state may be eligible for a dental hygiene license.

Dental hygienists are required to make separate application for issuance of a local anesthesia permit prior to administering local anesthesia in Iowa.

Duration Initial license is current to August 31 of odd-numbered years, then renewed every two years.

Processing Time Allow 6 to 8 weeks.

Fee Structure Application: $100 by examination; $200 by credential; Fingerprint packet: $46; Renewal: $150; Exam: Paid to testing agency; Jurisprudence examination – paid to proctor; Other: Applications for license renewal must be completed prior to the expiration of license, accompanied with the appropriate fee. Renewals are issued for two years.

Renewal Requirements Thirty hours of continuing education are required biennially for license renewal. A minimum of one hour must be in the area of infection control, and a minimum of one hour in the area of Iowa jurisprudence. Mandatory training for child abuse and dependent adult abuse reporting is required for those who actively practice in Iowa. Applicant must also have a current certification in CPR. Online-only CPR certification is not acceptable. Licensees may claim up to three hours of continuing education credit for CPR recertification.

Exam Applicant must take the National Board administered by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations, a clinical examination approved by the Board, and a jurisprudence examination administered by the Iowa Board. Beginning February 2021, the Board also accepts the manikin-based examinations offered by CRDTS, WREB and CDCA.

Additional Information All dental hygienists who wish to practice in Iowa.

Services Provided

Service Category

  • Service SubCategory
Contact Information
Christel Braness
400 SW 8th St
Suite D
Des Moines, IA 50309