United States of America

Information to work in this country is available from

American Dental Hygienists’ Association
444 N. Michigan Avenue Suite 400, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA
Tel: +1 312 440 8900 • Fax: +1 312 440 8929 • Email: communications@adha.net

Procedures and/or documents that are necessary to be able to work in this country

The applicant must graduate from a program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Requires successful completion of the written National Board Dental Hygiene Examination. Also requires successful completion of a regional or state clinical board examination.

Official licensing body in the country

There are individual licensing authorities for each state and U.S. territory. A list is available from the ADHA, and further information is available at https://www.dentalboards.org/state-board-list.

Special conditions that may apply for hygienists that obtain employment

Conditions vary from state to state. More information on regulations/legislation that can impact dental hygienists can be found at http://www.adha.org/advocacy.

Contact for Work Permit and/or Visa

Immigration and Naturalization Service

More information may be obtained from the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in the country of residence.

Is a job offer required before a Work Permit/Visa is issued?


Main local and/or official language(s)

English is the official language. It is necessary to be fluent in this language.

Are hygienists qualified overseas required to sit the country's national examination?

Yes for both national and state examination(s).

No specific course exists, but many overseas graduates find it necessary to enroll in additional coursework at an accredited program in the United States before taking the national and state examinations.


Information on the local working environment

Dental hygienists work in all sectors. Most work in private practice on average 30 hours per week. To learn more about different types of workforce opportunities within dental hygiene, visit https://www.adha.org/RDHprofessionalroles

Standard tasks that a hygienist is allowed to undertake in the country

The ADHA Standards for Clinical Dental Hygiene Practice assist dental hygiene clinicians in the provider-patient relationship, and can be used to facilitate the implementation of collaborative, patient-centered care in multidisciplinary teams of health professionals. 

  • Takes medical histories
  • Examines head, neck and oral cavity for disease
  • Performs oral cancer and blood pressure screenings
  • Removes supra and sub gingival deposits
  • Gives oral hygiene instructions
  • Applies fluorides and fissure sealants to the teeth
  • Takes and interprets radiographs
  • Places and removes temporary dressings
  • Removes sutures
  • Polishes and re-contours amalgam fillings

Further information

Job opportunities are good and expected to continue in this way.

Links to related web sites

Information based on data received by IFDH in:


NOTE: The information provided above is for general guidance only. The International Federation of Dental Hygienists advises all hygienists to contact the country’s relevant licensing bodies and agencies for current information and regulations.