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How to Become a Dental Hygienist in Illinois - IL



Illinois holds the headquarters of the American Dental Association and the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, so the Land of Lincoln’s dental professionals are as close to the center of action as they can be. However, compared to some other states, Illinois dental hygienists lagged for a while in gaining some responsibilities, like the right to administer anesthesia (although they have since caught up and may do so now, with certification). Dental hygienists in Illinois must work under the supervision of a licensed dentist.

How to Become a Dental Hygienist in Illinois

After graduating from an accredited program, you must pass the American Dental Hygiene Licensing Examination (ADHLEX) to become a registered dental hygienist in Illinois. This is administered by the North East Regional Board (NERB) as well as the Central Regional Dental Testing Service (CRDTS). It is also administered by the Southern Regional Testing Agency (SRTA) or the Western Regional Examination Boards (WREB). The test involves a written or multiple-choice section, a practical where you will actually clean someone’s teeth and an identification section where you will have to interpret photographs, radiographs and charts.

You must have your school transcript forwarded to the Illinois licensing board and submit the four-page application and fee.

If you have already been licensed in another state, you need not re-take the exam. You can apply to receive your Illinois license by endorsement by proving that you previously passed the test elsewhere, earned your license, and have not committed any crimes or act that would jeopardize your good standing.

Illinois requires you to maintain a CPR certification from the American Red Cross, American Heart Association or an equivalent organization.

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