School Dental Hygienists

Dental Hygienists Section President
 Deb Barr

Past Presidents

Lois Zugel
Natalie Davis
Linda Powell
Martha Rhodes
Donna Kipila
Karen Buis


Dental Hygienists Resources:

School Dental Hygienist Certification Requirements:

  • Active PA Dental Hygiene License: renewal every 2 years with 20 hours by the PA Board of Dentistry.
  • Bachelor Degree
  • School Certification: Obtained through the Pennsylvania Department of Education:
    • Nancy Cheris, Certification Specialist Advisor:
    • West Chester University online certification program
  • Act 48 continuing education obligations: 24 graduate credits completed for certification to become permanent. Maintenance - 180 hours every 5 years.
  • Act 31 Child Abuse Recognition & Reporting requirements:
    • Licensed/certified  under the Department of State
    • Initial:  3 hours
    • Renewal: 2 hours every 2 year, coincides with DH license renewal
    • is a "free" course approved by the PA Board of Dentistry
  • Act 71 of 2014: (begins 2015-16 school year), includes:
    • Youth Suicide Awareness & Prevention training - 4 hours every 5 years
    • Child Exploitation Awareness - 4 hours every 5 years
  • Act 114 FBI Criminal Background Checks & Fingerprinting: PA renew every three years. Visit to register
  • Public School Code 1205.4 CPR Certification: Renewal every 3 years to coincide with DH License requirements

License & Certification Governing Organizations:

Use of Public Health Dental Hygiene Practitioners (PHDHP) in School Health Programs:
The Pennsylvania Dental Law was amended by Act 51 of 2007 to include the definition and practice of a public health dental hygiene practitioner. While limiting their practice sites, the law does list schools as an allowable practice site for a PHDHP. The Department of State, Board of Dentistry, updated their regulations to provide clarity regarding PHDHP practice. 49 PA Code, Section 33.205b(c) state that a PHDHP "may perform dental hygiene services without the supervision of a dentist in the following practice settings: (1) Public and private education institutions that provide elementary and secondary instruction to school aged children under the jurisdiction of the State Board of Education, and in accordance with all applicable provisions of the Public School Code of 1949, the regulations relating to the certification of professional personnel in 22PA Code Chapter 49, and the regulations of the Department of Health." (Emphasis added)

The provisions referenced from the Departments of Education and Health require that dental hygienists may only function in schools as part of an approved dental hygiene services program and must have attained certification from the Department of Education as an Educational Specialist.







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