Montana Dental Hygienists’Association
State Licensing Requirements
The Montana Board of Dentistry is the licensing agent for Dental Hygienists. We have several links to their web site and information to assist you with your questions. If your questions are not clearly answered please contact them directly.
Montana Board of Dentistry
301 S Park , 4th Floor
PO Box 200513
Helena, MT 59620
Montana Department of Commerce Division of Professional & Occupational Licensing Board of Dentistry
Substantive – Dental Hygienists
8.16.601 INTRODUCTION (1) No provisions in these rules shall be interpreted so as to conflict or be in contradiction with Montana statutes. (History: Sec. 37-1-131, MCA; IMP, Sec. 37-4-401, MCA; Eff. 12/31/72; TRANS, from Dept. of Prof. & Occup. Lic., C. 274, L. 1981, Eff. 7/1/81; AMD, 1993 MAR p. 393, Eff. 3/26/93.)
8.16.602 FUNCTIONS FOR DENTAL HYGIENISTS (1) Allowable functions for the dental hygienist practicing under the supervision of a licensed dentist shall include dental procedures as allowed by Title 37, chapter 4, MCA, and board rule, and subject to (2) below, in which:
(a) the hygienist was instructed and qualified to perform in a school of dental hygiene accredited by the commission on dental accreditation or its successor; or
(b) the hygienist was instructed and trained by a licensed dentist; or
(c) the hygienist was instructed and trained in a board acceptable continuing education course; or
(d) the hygienist is functioning in the capacity of a dental auxiliary as allowed by board rule.
(2) A dental hygienist will be allowed to perform the following dental auxiliary functions, under general supervision, including, but not limited to:
(a) making radiographic exposures, as prescribed by the supervising dentist;
(b) taking impressions for study or working casts;
(c) removing sutures and dressings;
(d) applying topical anesthetic agents;
(e) providing oral health instruction;
(f) applying topical fluoride agents;
(g) removing excess cement from coronal surfaces;
(h) placing and removing rubber dams;
(i) placing and removing matrices;
(j) collecting patient data;
(k) polishing amalgam restorations;
(l) placing pit and fissure sealants; and
(m) coronal polishing.
(3) A dental hygienist shall not be allowed to perform the following:
(a) diagnosis and treatment planning as per 37-4-401, MCA;
(b) cutting hard or soft tissue (except root planing and soft tissue curettage) or extracting teeth;
(c) prescribing any drug as per 37-4-401, MCA;
(d) administering or dispensing any drugs, without the prior authorization and direct supervision of the supervising dentist. This does not pertain to topical agents or to sulcular medicaments;
(e) placing, carving or condensing any permanent restorations;
(f) taking final impressions of the involved arch for crowns, bridges, implant prosthesis, partial or complete dentures;
(g) bonding or cementing orthodontic brackets, or orthodontic appliances that would provide activation upon cementation;
(h) bonding or cementing any fixed prosthesis, including veneers, except for provisionals.
(4) Dentists shall refrain from delegating to dental hygienists any duties or responsibilities regarding patient care that cannot be delegated to dental hygienists under 37-4-401, MCA, and board rules.
(5) The assignment of tasks and procedures to a dental hygienist shall not relieve the dentist from liability for all treatment rendered the patient.
(6) A dentist shall not employ, supervise or otherwise use more dental hygienists than the dentist can reasonably supervise in keeping with the dentist’s ethical and professional responsibilities.
(7) It shall be the responsibility of the employing dentist to verify that a dental hygienist’s qualifications are in compliance with the statutes and rules of the board of dentistry.
(8) A dentist licensed to use or direct the use of an x-ray producing device must assure that the radiation source under the dentist’s jurisdiction is used only by individuals competent to use it, as per ARM 17.70.603. (History: Sec. 37-1-131, 37-4-205, 37-4-408, MCA; IMP, Sec. 37-4-401, 37-4-405, 37-4-408, MCA; Eff. 12/31/72; AMD, Eff. 7/5/76; AMD, Eff. 9/23/77; AMD, 1978 MAR p. 1182, Eff. 8/11/78; AMD, 1979 MAR p. 1497, Eff. 11/30/79; AMD, 1980 MAR p. 1188, Eff. 4/11/80; AMD, 1981 MAR p. 686, Eff. 7/17/81; TRANS, from Dept. of Prof. & Occup. Lic., C. 274, L. 1981, Eff. 7/1/81; AMD, 1984 MAR p. 921, Eff. 6/15/84; AMD, 1985 MAR p. 1323, Eff. 9/13/85; AMD, 1987 MAR p. 155, Eff. 2/14/87; AMD, 1989 MAR p. 2179, Eff. 12/22/89; AMD, 1991 MAR p. 2415, Eff. 12/13/91; AMD, 1994 MAR p. 1120, Eff. 4/29/94; AMD, 1995 MAR p. 2795, Eff. 11/23/95; AMD, 1996 MAR p. 3118, Eff. 12/6/96.)
8.16.603 BOARD MEETINGS is hereby repealed. (History: Sec. 37-1-103, 37-4-205, MCA; IMP, Sec. 2-3-103, MCA; Eff.12/31/72; TRANS, from Dept. of Prof. & Occup. Lic., C. 274, L. 1981, Eff. 7/1/81; REP, 1991 MAR p. 2415, Eff. 12/13/91.)
8.16.604 APPLICATIONS is hereby repealed. (History: Sec. 37-1-103, MCA; IMP, Sec. 37-4-402, MCA; Eff. 12/31/72; TRANS, from Dept. of Prof. & Occup. Lic., C. 274, L. 1981, Eff. 7/1/81; REP, 1989 MAR p. 2179, Eff. 12/22/89.)
8.16.605 DENTAL HYGIENIST EXAMINATION (1) All candidates for licensure shall verify passage of the national board examination and submit a national board certificate and score card from the national board of dental examiners.
(2) The board accepts, in satisfaction of the practical part, successful completion of an examination administered by the western regional examining board. The examination results of the western regional examination board shall be valid for a period of five years from the date of successful completion of the examination.
(3) A jurisprudence examination shall be taken once the application for licensure has been approved. The grading may be done by a board member or department staff. A final grade of at least 75% is required for passing the examination. (History: Sec. 37-1-131, 37-4-205, 37-4-401, 37-4-402, 37-4-403, 37-4-406, MCA; IMP, Sec. 37-4-401, 37-4-402, 37-4-403, MCA; Eff. 12/31/72; AMD, Eff. 10/4/76; AMD, 1980 MAR p. 1188, Eff. 4/11/80; AMD, 1981 MAR p. 686, Eff. 7/17/81; TRANS, from Dept. of Prof. & Occup. Lic., C. 274, L. 1981, Eff. 7/1/81; AMD, 1982 MAR p. 1476, Eff. 7/30/82; AMD, 1985 MAR p. 1323, Eff. 9/13/85; AMD, 1989 MAR p. 2179, Eff. 12/22/89; AMD, 1989 MAR p. 2187, Eff. 12/22/89; AMD, 1991 MAR p. 2026, Eff. 11/1/91; AMD, 1991 MAR p. 2415, Eff. 12/13/91; AMD, 1993 MAR p. 393, Eff. 3/26/93; AMD, 1996 MAR p. 3118, Eff. 12/6/96.)
8.16.605A DENTAL HYGIENIST LICENSURE BY CREDENTIALS (1) The applicant for dental hygiene licensure by credentials shall fulfill the following requirements and submit an application and supporting documentation to be licensed by credentials:
(a) certificate of graduation from an accredited dental hygiene school;
(b) successful completion of the national board of dental hygiene examination. The applicant for licensure by credentials must submit his/her official score;
(c) successful completion of a clinical examination;
(d) the applicant is currently licensed in another state or territory of the United States; and submits license verification from the licensing board(s) of the state(s) under whose jurisdiction the applicant is licensed;
(e) proof that the applicant has practiced dental hygiene continuously for a minimum of 500 hours during the one year immediately prior to application;
(f) submits a current CPR card;
(g) upon approval of the application, successful completion of the Montana jurisprudence examination; and
(h) payment of appropriate fees. (History: Sec. 37-1-131, 37-4-205, 37-4-402, MCA; IMP, Sec. 37-4-404, MCA; NEW, 1991 MAR p. 2026, Eff. 11/1/91; AMD, 1994 MAR p. 3090, Eff. 12/9/94.)
8.16.605B DENTAL HYGIENIST APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS (1) Applications for licensure shall be submitted 20 days prior to taking the jurisprudence examination.
(2) Applicants for licensure shall submit an application, which shall be furnished by the board and shall include:
(a) certification of successful completion of the national board written examination;
(b) certification of successful completion of the western regional examining board practical examination;
(c) copy of the national board score card;
(d) two affidavits of good moral character;
(e) certificate of graduation from a board-approved dental hygiene school or a letter from the dean of the school of dental hygiene attesting to the program of study and that graduation status was attained;
(f) original dental hygiene school transcripts;
(g) license verification from all jurisdictions that the licensee has held or currently holds a license;
(h) copies of all other state licenses that are held by the applicant;
(i) recent photograph of the applicant;
(j) copy of current CPR card (active licensees only);
(k) jurisprudence examination fee; and
(l) original licensure fee.
(3) Applicants shall successfully pass the jurisprudence examination.
(4) No licensed dental hygienist shall administer local anesthetic agents during a dental procedure or dental-surgical procedure unless and until he or she possesses a local anesthetic permit issued by the board. Application for a local anesthetic permit shall be made by letter of request to the board with proof of successful completion of a WREB local anesthetic certificate, and a valid and current CPR card. (History: Sec. 37-4-205, 37-4-402, MCA; IMP, Sec. 37-4-402, MCA; NEW, 1996 MAR p. 3118, Eff. 12/6/96.)
8.16.605C DENTAL HYGIENE OUT-OF-STATE APPLICANTS is hereby repealed. (History: Sec. 37-4-205, MCA; IMP, Sec. 37-1-304, MCA; NEW, 1996 MAR p. 3118, Eff. 12/6/96; REP, 1999 MAR p. 209, Eff. 1/29/99.)
8.16.606 FEE SCHEDULE
(1) Jurisprudence examination fee $ 85
(2) Re-examination fee 85
(When re-examination does not occur at the same testing date and site as the initial examination)
(3) Active renewal, in-state 70
(4) Inactive renewal, out-of-state 70
(5) Original license fee 100
(6) Duplicate license fee 30
(7) Late renewal penalty fee 100
(8) Documents 30
(9) Certification of license 20
(10) Out-of-state application fee 75
(11) Laws and rules packet 10
(History: Sec. 37-1-134, 37-4-205, MCA; IMP, Sec. 37-4-402, 37-4-403, 37-4-406, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 429, Eff. 2/1/80; TRANS, from Dept. of Prof. & Occup. Lic., C. 274, L. 1981, Eff. 7/1/81; AMD, 1982 MAR p. 1476, Eff. 7/30/82; AMD, 1983 MAR p. 69, Eff. 1/28/83; AMD, 1985 MAR p. 1323, Eff. 9/13/85; AMD, 1994 MAR p. 3090, Eff. 12/9/94; AMD, 1995 MAR p. 2686, Eff. 12/8/95; AMD, 1996 MAR p. 3118, Eff. 12/6/96.)
8.16.607 APPLICATION TO CONVERT AN INACTIVE STATUS LICENSE TO AN ACTIVE STATUS LICENSE (1) Licensees may place their license on inactive status upon written request to the board.
(2) An inactive status license does not entitle the holder to practice dental hygiene in the state of Montana. Upon application and payment of the appropriate fee, the board may reactivate an inactive license if the applicant does each of the following:
(a) presents satisfactory evidence of operative competency, which may include, but not be limited to:
(i) evidence that the applicant has actively and competently practiced in another jurisdiction during the year immediately prior to the application for reactivation; or
(ii) evidence that the applicant has not been out of active practice for more than five years. If the applicant has been out of practice for longer than five years, the request for reactivation will be at the board’s discretion; or
(iii) evidence that, within the last year, the applicant has successfully passed the board’s regional licensure examination.
(b) submits license verifications from all jurisdictions where the applicant is licensed or has held a license;
(c) submits 12 hours of continuing education for each year the license has been inactive, for a maximum of 36 hours each three-year cycle;
(d) submits a current CPR card; and
(e) applicant must take the jurisprudence examination if the applicant has been inactive for five years or longer. (History: Sec. 37-1-131, 37-1-319, 37-4-205, 37-4-406, MCA; IMP, Sec. 37-1-319, 37-4-406, MCA; NEW, 1985 MAR p. 1323, Eff. 9/13/85; AMD, 1991 MAR p. 2415, Eff. 12/13/91; AMD, 1995 MAR p. 2469, Eff. 11/23/95; AMD, 1996 MAR p. 3118, Eff. 12/6/96; AMD, 1997 MAR p. 1265, Eff. 7/22/97.)
8.16.608 DENTAL HYGIENIST MANDATORY CPR (1) All licensed active status dental hygienists shall possess a current CPR certificate, a copy of which shall be submitted each year with the annual renewal application.
(2) A dental hygienist who has a current advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) card may submit proof of such as a valid substitute for a current CPR certificate. (History: Sec. 37-1-131, 37-4-205, 37-4-406, MCA; IMP, Sec. 37-4-406, MCA; NEW, 1989 MAR p. 2179, Eff. 12/22/89; AMD, 1996 MAR p. 3118, Eff. 12/6/96; AMD, 1999 MAR p. 209, Eff. 1/29/99.)
8.16.609 DEFINITIONS (1) “Coronal polishing” is defined as a dental procedure limited to the utilization of abrasive agents on the coronal surfaces of natural and restored teeth for the purpose of plaque and extrinsic stain removal. Coronal polishing by itself, without an appropriately licensed dentist or licensed dental hygienist inspecting for and removing any supragingival and subgingival calculus and gingival irritants deemed necessary for removal by an appropriately licensed dentist or licensed dental hygienist, shall not be represented or recorded as an oral prophylaxis.
(2) “Prophylaxis” is defined as a preventive and therapeutic dental health treatment process by which gingival irritants, including any existing combination of calculus deposits, plaque, materia alba, accretions and stains are removed supragingivally and/or subgingivally from the natural and restored surfaces of teeth by a method or methods, which may include scaling, root planing and subgingival curettage, that are most suitable for the patient, by an appropriately licensed dentist or licensed dental hygienist, as ordered by the supervising dentist. (History: Sec. 37-1-131, 37-4-205, 37-4-401, MCA; IMP, Sec. 37-4-401, MCA; NEW, 1994 MAR p. 1120, Eff. 4/29/94; AMD, 1995 MAR p. 2469, Eff. 11/23/95.)
8.16.610 COMPLAINT PROCEDURE (1) A person, government or private entity may submit a written complaint to the board charging a licensee or license applicant with a violation of board statute or rules, and specifying the grounds for the complaint.
(2) Complaints must be in writing, and shall be filed on the proper complaint form prescribed by the board.
(3) Upon receipt of the written complaint form, the board office shall log in the complaint and assign it a complaint number. The complaint shall then be sent to the licensee complained about for a written response. Upon receipt of the licensee=s written response, both complaint and response shall be considered by the screening panel of the board for appropriate action including dismissal, investigation or a finding of reasonable cause of violation of a statute or rule. The board office shall notify both complainant and licensee of the determination made by the screening panel.
(4) If a reasonable cause violation determination is made by the screening panel, the Montana Administrative Procedure Act shall be followed for all disciplinary proceedings undertaken.
(5) The screening panel shall review anonymous complaints to determine whether appropriate investigative or disciplinary action may be pursued, or whether the matter may be dismissed for lack of sufficient information. (History: Sec. 37-4-205, MCA; IMP, Sec. 37-1-308, 37-1-309, MCA; NEW, 1996 MAR p. 3118, Eff. 12/6/96.)