hygienist license application

Hygienist Application and Information

Process for Dental Hygienists to be Certified to Administer Local Anesthetics

With the recent passage of SB 146 which allows certification of dental hygienists to administer local anesthetics in North Carolina, the Board has developed temporary rules and a process to receive certification. Click here for the process and instructions on how to submit your documents.

Board Order Extending Acceptance of ADEX Perio Typodont Exam

Click here to read the order effective January 21, 2021 extending acceptance of ADEX Perio Typodont exam relating to the State of Emergency.

Board Order Temporarily Accepting Perio Typodont Exam

Click here to read the order effective June 19, 2020 accepting ADEX Perio Typodont exam during State of Emergency.

Updated Temporary Rules

On October 9, 2020 the NC State Board of Dental Examiners voted to extend the emergency rules which allow for temporary licenses for dental hygienists during a time of emergency. The new emergency rules became effective on Thursday, October 22, 2020.

Link to the Rule.

The rule will be effective until March 31, 2021, unless the state of emergency ends sooner.


On May 13, 2020, the NC State Board of Dental Examiners (the Board) voted to adopt emergency rules which allow for temporary licenses for dental hygienists during a time of emergency, as authorized pursuant to S.L. 2020-3, s. 4.38 and G.S. 90-28.5.  The emergency rules became effective on Friday, May 22, 2020.

Link to the Rule.

Temporary licenses may not be issued to anyone whose application was received after July 31.

Licensure by Credentials

Attention all Applicants!!

Background checks are required for ALL license applications. The NC Board of Dental Examiners now participates in LiveScan fingerprinting for all North Carolina residents. See information on criminal background checks here.

Please note that once your application is received by the Board office, the process takes at least 90 days.

North Carolina does not have reciprocity with any other state. The Board offers Licensure by Credentials for qualified individuals, effective January 1, 2003.  A copy of the rule and the statute covering this type of licensure is included in the application packet.  Click below to download.

Download Dental Hygiene Licensure by Credentials Application

Licensure by Military Endorsement

Rules for Licensure by Military Endorsement/Military Spouse went into effect September 1, 2013.

Download the Application for Dental Hygiene Licensure by Military Endorsement/Military Spouse

Statement of Explanation regarding Dental Hygiene Licensure by Military Endorsement/Military Spouse.

General Requirements

All candidates for licensure in this state who do NOT qualify for Licensure by Credentials or Military Endorsement are required to participate in written and clinical examinations.

Written examinations are offered on-line in two subject areas: infection control/sterilization and North Carolina jurisprudence.  The only acceptable clinical exams are the ADEX Dental Hygiene or the CITA Dental Hygiene exam.  Both written and clinical exams must be passed before a license will be issued.  Passing either the written or clinical exam alone does not fulfill requirements for licensure.  No candidate may engage in the practice of dental hygiene until the license is issued and properly displayed as required by 21 NCAC 16I .0109.

Exam Dates and Locations

The North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners now accepts the results of the ADEX clinical dental hygiene examination.  Any applicant who took and passed the ADEX clinical dental hygiene examination AFTER November 21, 2015 may submit ADEX scores as part of the application process for a dental hygiene license.  The Board also continues to accept the results of the CITA clinical dental hygiene examination passed within the last 5 years.

CDCA (formerly NERB) offers the ADEX examination.

CITA offers either their examination or the ADEX examination.

Scheduling and information may be found on their websites.

NC Dental Hygiene Schools

Provisional Licensure

• A provisional license enables a dental hygienist to practice dental hygiene in this State under the direction of a dentist licensed in North Carolina.

• To be eligible for a provisional license, a dental hygienist must hold a license in another state and have passed a clinical exam.

• A provisional license will be valid for one year or until a full license is issued. The provisional license may not be renewed or extended for any reason.

• Verification of  licensure from any and all states in which the candidate is licensed is required. All verifications of licensure must include the signature of the Board’s secretary and the Board’s seal. An original license or copy of the license is not acceptable.

• The application fee for a provisional license is $60.00 (non-refundable).

• The dentist with whom the candidate intends to practice must send a letter verifying employment before the provisional license can be issued.

• All applicants must take and pass the jurisprudence test and the sterilization/infection control test with a minimum grade of 80 before receiving the provisional license.  This test is administered online or can be taken in the Board office Monday-Friday between the hours of 9:00am and 4:00pm.

• It is not necessary to have employment before taking the written exams.

• Any dental hygienist who has failed any portion of the ADEX exam is not eligible for a provisional license.  By the same token, if a provisional license holder fails any portion of the ADEX exam, their provisional license immediately becomes null and void.

In addition, the Board reserves the right to further test any applicant who applies for a provisional license in order to be assured of his or her clinical proficiency.

Application for Dental & Provisional Licensure

Download the Hygiene/Provisional Licensure Application
(This application is for those individuals who took or will take the ADEX or CITA exam)

• Applications by mail may also be requested by 
Email: info@ncdentalboard.org  or by Electronic Forms
Executive Office: 2000 Perimeter Park Dr., Suite 160
Morrisville, NC 27560
Office: (919) 678-8223 or Fax: (919) 678-8472

Functions of the Board of Dental Examiners
The administration of licensure examinations for dentists and dental hygienists
The promulgation of rules and enforcement of laws and regulations governing the practice of dentistry and dental hygiene in this state
The issuance and renewal of licenses to dentists and dental hygienists