Dental Hygiene Careers in Mississippi

For those in Mississippi who are interested in a dental health career, dental hygiene may be an ideal option. Working alongside dentists and dental assistants, these valued professionals focus on oral cleanliness and health. Dental hygienists’ services include teeth cleaning, sealant application, x-ray exposure and development, and patient oral health education. Dental hygienists can continue their education to eventually become dentists.

For information dental assistant schools in Mississippi, see this page.

The Path to Dental Hygiene

In order to practice legally, dental hygienists must obtain licensure through the Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners. The Board requires these preliminary steps for all applicants:

  • Completion of dental hygiene training at a school accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)
  • Successful completion of the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam (NBDHE) as administered by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations
  • Passing of a regional clinical exam administered by either the American Board of Dental Examiners (ADEX), Council on Interstate Testing Agencies (CITA), Southern Regional Testing Agency (SRTA) or Western Regional Examining Board (WREB)
  • Completion of the Mississippi Jurisprudence exam covering the Mississippi Dental Practice Act and Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners rules and regulations

Mississippi Dental Hygiene Schools

The first step to becoming a dental hygienist is to receive a degree from a school accredited by CODA, such as:

  • Mississippi Delta Community College. Located in Moorhead, MS, this school offers a Dental Hygiene Associate Degree in Applied Science (AAS). Two semesters of prerequisite courses are required in order for applicants to be considered, and there are a total of 89 credit hours required to earn the degree. Course fees for residents of Mississippi are $1,500 per semester.
  • Pearl River Community College. Dental hygienists can obtain their Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene Technology at the Forrest County Center in Hattiesburg, MS. In addition to the completion of 37 prerequisite course hours, applicants must also submit ACT scores and a personal autobiographical essay.

How to Obtain Dental Hygiene Licensure

The Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners charges a $150 fee to all first-time dental hygiene license applicants. Proof of professional liability insurance, CPR training and testimonials of moral character are required at the time of application. Furthermore, Mississippi dental hygienists must practice at least three months each year to keep their licenses active. For $25, a provisional license in dental hygiene can be secured, which allows hygienists who have completed all standard license requirements to practice in Mississippi Board-approved dental school clinics.

Mississippi Dental Hygienist Salary and Employment Levels

Dental hygienists in Mississippi earned a mean salary of $27.70 per hour in 2017, which was lower than the national median income of $35.61 reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that year. While the national employer demand for dental hygienists is expected to increase 20 percent by 2026, Mississippi’s projected increase is less than 1 percent. However, because the requirements to become a dental hygienist overlap in many states, certification can be transferred state-to-state relatively easily. Often, proof of credentials, experience and a state exam will allow dental hygienists to obtain licensing in a new state.

Popular Programs

Working as a Dental Hygienist in Mississippi

In 2017, there were 1,340 dental hygienists employed in the state of Mississippi. Twenty-eight percent of that total was employed in Jackson and another 28 percent was located in the Northeast Mississippi metropolitan area. However, the Northwest Mississippi nonmetropolitan and Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula areas paid the highest, with each paying a median salary to dental hygienists that was over $30 per hour.

College Listings

Meridian, MS

Meridian Community College

910 Hwy 19 N, Meridian, Mississippi 39307-5801
(601) 483-8241 x799
http://www.meridiancc.edu/portfolio/dental-hygiene-technology/

The Associate’s program at Meridian Community College is taught at their Meridian campus. This program of study is accredited by the ADA. The majority of the school’s 4,138 students are on 2-year programs. Typical in-state tuition is approximately $2,410 per year. Tuition for students from outside Mississippi is $3,690.

Indianola, MS

Mississippi Delta Community College

Hwy 3 and Cherry St, Moorhead, Mississippi 38761
(662) 246-6322
http://www.msdelta.edu/index.php/2013-06-15-11-38-47

The Associate’s degree program is imparted at the college’s Moorhead campus. This program of study is ADA accredited. The college has approximately 3,119 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Typical in-state tuition is approximately $2,450 per year. Tuition for students from outside Mississippi is $4,058.

Northeast Mississippi nonmetropolitan area

Northeast Mississippi Community College

101 Cunningham Blvd, Booneville, Mississippi 38829
(662) 728-7751
http://catalog.nemcc.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=3&poid=122&returnto=89

The Associate’s program in Dental Hygiene Technology at Northeast Mississippi Community College is offered at their campus in the town of Booneville. This program of study is accredited by the ADA. The college has around 3,407 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. In-state tuition fees are approximately $2,301 per year. The fees for students from outside the state of Mississippi are $4,551.

Memphis, TN-MS-AR

Northwest Mississippi Community College

4975 Hwy 51 N, Senatobia, Mississippi 38668-1714
(662) 562-3200
http://www.northwestms.edu/index.php/?page_id=4183

The Associate’s degree program is imparted at the college’s Senatobia campus. This private, not-for-profit college has about 8,224 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. Typical in-state tuition is approximately $2,250 per year. The fees for students from outside the state of Mississippi are $4,450.

Picayune, MS

Pearl River Community College

101 Hwy 11 N, Poplarville, Mississippi 39470
(601) 403-1000
http://www.prcc.edu/career-tech/dental-hygiene

The Associate’s degree program is imparted at the college’s Poplarville campus. Most of the school’s 5,306 students are on 2-year programs. Typical in-state tuition fees are approximately $2,630 per year. Tuition for students from other states is $5,028.

Jackson, MS

University of Mississippi Medical Center

2500 N State St, Jackson, Mississippi 39216-4505
(601) 984-1000
https://www.umc.edu/sod/Departments/Dental-Hygiene/Dental-Hygiene.html

The University of Mississippi Medical Center at Jackson offers a Bachelor program in Dental Hygiene. This program of study is accredited by the ADA. Of the 2,147 students, about 71% are postgraduates.

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