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Examinations for Licensure
Dental Hygiene

National Board Dental Hygiene Examination

The National Board Dental Hygiene Examination is given by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations of the American Dental Association. This examination is conducted as a service to the dental hygiene profession with an ultimate goal of helping maintain a high standard of dental hygiene care for the public.

Dental hygiene practice, like that of dentistry and other health professions, is subject to individual state laws. Nearly all states now accept the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination Certificate for the written portion of state licensing examinations. Generally, dental hygiene students take this examination in the spring of their senior year. However, the exam is also offered at other times. Information and application forms will be distributed at the beginning of the spring semester.

The National Board examination must be taken online after Spring 2009.

Northeast Regional Board Examination (NERB)

The NERB examination consists of a clinical/patient experience and a computer based examination at Prometric Learning Centers. The clinical exam is given in May, August and December.

Maryland State Board Examination

Graduate dental hygienists must hold a valid license in the state in which they wish to practice. The Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners accepts the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination Certificate and the Northeast Regional Board (NERB) Examination. A separate application must be completed for each state in which the applicant wishes to be licensed. Applications for Maryland will be available to seniors during their last semester of study. Applicants are required to pass a prometric/written exam on the State practice act, governing dental/dental hygiene practice in Maryland.