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National BoardDental Hygiene Examination2015 GuideRead this Guide before submitting an application to test.At the time of application, you will be required to acknowledgethat you have read and understood this Guide and the policiesand procedures contained within.Print this Guide for your records.NBDHE Guide 2015 Joint Commission on National Dental ExaminationsAll rights reserved.211 East Chicago AvenueChicago, Illinois 60611-2637800.232.1694ADA.org

TABLE OF CONTENTSOVERVIEWAbout this Guide 3Dental Hygiene Licensure and the NBDHE .3Purpose of the NBDHE .4Recognition of the NBDHE Certification 4Ethical Conduct and the Licensure Process for Dental Hygienists 4EXAMINATION CONTENT AND PREPARTION MATERIALSScope of the Examination .5Examination Specifications .6Sample Item Formats 9Examination Preparation . 10Confidentiality of Examination Materials. .11RESULTS INFORMATIONScoring .12Reporting .12Reports .12Results Audits . .13ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTSDental Hygiene Student 13Graduate of an Accredited Program 13Graduate of a Non-Accredited Program .14Dental Student .18Dentist . 18Eligibility for Reexamination .18EXAMINATION INFORMATIONTest Centers 19Examination Fees .19Examination Schedule 20Obtain a DENTPIN and Apply for Examination 20Privacy and Security . .22Schedule a Testing Appointment 22Reschedule or Cancel a Testing Appointment .23Testing Accommodations .24Request for Testing Accommodations and Appropriate Documentation .25Unacceptable Forms of Documentation . .26EXAMINATION RULES AND REGULATIONSRules of Conduct 27Test Center Procedures .29Examination Regulations and Prohibited Conduct 31EXAMINATION IRREGULARITIES AND MISCONDUCTIrregularities and Appeals .35Arbitration Requirement .36

OVERVIEWAbout this GuideThis document is the official guide to policies for the NationalBoard Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE). It providesinformation about application and examination procedures,examination content and scoring.You are required to read this document before you apply to take the examination.At the time of application, you will be required to confirm that you have read thisdocument, understood its contents, and agree to the policies and procedures containedherein.Changes in the NBDHE may occur after publication of this Guide, and will be posted here. Youwill be subject to the policies and procedures in effect at the time you test.Dental HygieneLicensure and theNBDHELicensure of dental hygienists in the United States is theresponsibility of an individual state, district, or jurisdiction. Alicense issued by one such authority is applicable only within thegeographic confines of that particular jurisdiction. Agencies instate government that administer dental hygiene licensure underlaws adopted by state legislatures typically are called stateboards of dentistry. A list of state boards can be found atwww.dentalboards.org.Specific dental hygiene licensure requirements vary amongjurisdictions, but all jurisdictions have three basic requirements:an educational requirement, a written examination requirement,and a clinical examination requirement. All jurisdictions acceptgraduation from a dental hygiene program accredited by theCommission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) as fulfilling theeducational requirement. Most jurisdictions also acceptgraduation from a Canadian dental hygiene program accreditedby the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC).The NBDHE is intended to fulfill or partially fulfill the writtenexamination requirement, but acceptance of National Boardresults is completely at the discretion of the individual state. Astate may place any limit on acceptance of National Board resultsthat it deems appropriate. For example, some states acceptNational Board results only if earned within the last five to tenyears.The Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE)is the agency responsible for the development and administration3NBDHE Guide 2014 Joint Commission on National Dental ExaminationsAll rights reserved.

Dental HygieneLicensure and theNBDHE(Continued)of the NBDHE. This 15-member Commission includesrepresentatives from dental schools, dental practice, state dentalexamining boards, dental hygiene, dental students, and thepublic. A standing committee of the JCNDE includes other dentalhygienists who act as consultants regarding this examination.Clinical examinations are conducted by individual state boards ofdentistry, or by regional or independent clinical testing agencies.Purpose of the NationalBoardDental HygieneExaminationRecognition of theNBDHE CertificationEthical Conduct and theLicensure Process forDental HygienistsThe purpose of the NBDHE is to assist state boards indetermining qualifications of dental hygienists who seek licensureto practice dental hygiene. The examination assesses the abilityto understand important information from basic biomedical,dental and dental hygiene sciences, and the ability to apply suchinformation in a problem-solving context. State boards use theinformation provided by the National Board Examination to helpprotect the public health.Currently, all United States licensing jurisdictions recognizeNBDHE results. These jurisdictions include all 50 states, theDistrict of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islandsof the United States.Dental hygienists play an important role in society by providingoral health services that contribute to the health and well-being ofindividuals and their communities. The dental professionrequires its members to behave ethically in the practice ofdentistry or dental hygiene at all times. This obligation begins atthe time of application to a dental hygiene education programand continues through the educational process, the licensureprocess, and the entirety of professional practice.As professionals devoted to the prevention of disease and thepromotion and improvement of the public’s health, dentalhygienists hold a position of trust within society. The AmericanDental Hygienists’ Association’s Code of Ethics for DentalHygienists establishes standards of behavior to guide the public’sexpectations and support dental hygiene practice, laws, andregulations. By holding themselves accountable to the standardsstated in the Code, dental hygienists enhance the public’s truston which their professional privilege and status are founded.NBDHE applicants are expected to abide by these ethicalstandards and to read, understand, and comply with the Rules ofConduct and Examination Regulations guiding the NationalBoard examinations. The obligation to abide by the ethicalstandards of the profession includes a commitment to honesty,4NBDHE Guide 2014 Joint Commission on National Dental ExaminationsAll rights reserved.

Ethical Conduct and theLicensure Process forDental Hygienists(Continued)truthfulness, full disclosure, accuracy, fairness, and integrity incompleting the examination application, in the examinationprocess itself, and in applying for licensure.The purpose of the examination is to ensure that eachexamination candidate and applicant for licensure has achievedthe level of knowledge, skill, and judgment necessary to practicein a safe and responsible manner. Accordingly, all candidatesare expected to pass the examination on their own merit withoutassistance, and are expected to maintain the confidentiality of theexamination. Members of the public who entrust dentalhygienists with their well-being expect that they are trustworthyand competent individuals.Behavior that results in misconduct or irregularity in the licensureexamination process is a very serious matter. Violation of theNBDHE Rules of Conduct or the Examination Regulations mayresult in civil liability, voiding of examination results, or otherappropriate penalty. Under certain circumstances, misconduct orirregularity in the examination process may be reported to therelevant licensing authority. A candidate who acts unethicallyrisks potential delay, denial, suspension, or loss of licensure.The JCNDE, the state boards of dentistry, and the profession atlarge, expect strong ethical behavior in all candidates forlicensure. The JCNDE annually publishes information about thepolicies and procedures applicable to misconduct andirregularities in the NBDHE application and examination process.This information is available in this document beginning on page27. The JCNDE expects all candidates to carefully read andunderstand this information and their obligations as candidatesfor National Board certification. Questions regarding theseprinciples and policies should be directed to the JCNDE.EXAMINATION CONTENT AND PREPARTION MATERIALSThe NBDHE is a comprehensive examination consisting of 350multiple-choice examination items.Scope ofthe ExaminationAlthough performance on the examination is reported by meansof a single official result report, the examination has twocomponents. The discipline-based Component A includes 200items addressing three major areas:I. Scientific Basis for Dental Hygiene PracticeII. Provision of Clinical Dental Hygiene ServicesIII. Community Health/Research Principles5NBDHE Guide 2014 Joint Commission on National Dental ExaminationsAll rights reserved.

Scope ofthe Examination(Continued)Component B includes 150 case-based items that refer to 12 to15 dental hygiene patient cases. These cases presentinformation dealing with adult and child patients by means ofpatient histories, dental charts, radiographs, and clinicalphotographs. Each examination includes at least one caseregarding patients of the following types: geriatric, adultperiodontal, pediatric, special needs, and medicallycompromised. A compromised patient is one whose healthstatus may require modification of standard treatment or specialconsideration.Case-based items address knowledge and skills required in thefollowing:1. Assessing patient characteristics2. Obtaining and interpreting radiographs3. Planning and managing dental hygiene care4. Performing periodontal procedures5. Using preventive agents6. Providing supportive treatment service7. Professional responsibilityExaminationSpecificationsExamination items cover functions that a dental hygienist isexpected to be able to perform. Only functions that may bedelegated to a dental hygienist in a majority of states areincluded in the examination.Examination items are selected by test construction committeesin accordance with the Dental Hygiene ExaminationSpecifications. Examination constructors are appointed basedon expertise in six areas: basic sciences, radiology, periodontics,dental hygiene curriculum, clinical dental hygiene, andcommunity dental health.The American Dental Association Universal/National toothnotation system is used on all National Board Dental and DentalHygiene Examinations. This system is a sequential toothnumbering system, designating the permanent dentition withnumbers 1-32, and the primary dentition with letters A-T.The distribution of items in Component A is defined by the outlineon the following pages.Examination items are selected by test construction committeescomposed of subject-matter experts in accordance withexamination specifications approved by the JCNDE.The Universal/National System for tooth notation that has beenadopted by the American Dental Association is used on allNational Board Dental and Dental Hygiene Examinations. This6NBDHE Guide 2014 Joint Commission on National Dental ExaminationsAll rights reserved.

system is a sequential tooth numbering system, designating thepermanent dentition (numbers 1-32), and the primary dentition(letters A-T).1.0.2.03.0.4.0.5.0.6.0.1.0.2.0.3.0.SCIENTIFIC BASIS FOR DENTAL HYGIENE PRACTICE [60 items]Topic# of ItemsAnatomic Sciences1.1. Anatomy1.1.1.Head and neck anatomy161.1.2.Dental anatomy1.1.2.1.General anatomy1.1.2.2.Root anatomy1.2. Histology and EmbryologyPhysiology5Biochemistry and Nutrition6Microbiology and Immunology10Pathology135.1. General5.2. OralPharmacology10PROVISION OF CLINICAL DENTAL HYGIENE SERVICES [116 items]Assessing Patient Characteristics1.1 Medical and dental history1.2. Head and neck examination171.3. Periodontal evaluation1.4. Oral evaluation1.5. Occlusal evaluation1.6. GeneralObtaining and Interpreting Radiographs2.1. Principles of radiophysics and radiobiology132.2. Principles of radiologic health2.3. Technique2.4. Recognition of normalities and abnormalities2.5. GeneralPlanning and Managing Dental Hygiene Care3.1. Infection control (application)3.2. Recognition of emergency situations and provision ofappropriate care3.3. Individualized patient education3.3.1.Planning of individualized Instruction3.3.2.Provision of instruction for prevention andmanagement of oral diseases3.3.2.1.Dental caries343.3.2.2.Periodontal disease3.3.2.3.Oral conditions7NBDHE Guide 2014 Joint Commission on National Dental ExaminationsAll rights reserved.

3.43.5.3.6.4.0.5.0.6.0.7.0.1.0.2.0.3.0.Anxiety and pain controlRecognition and management of compromised patientsDental hygiene treatment strategies3.6.1.Diagnosis3.6.2.Treatment plan3.6.3.Case presentation3.7. GeneralPerforming Periodontal Pro

The Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE) is the agency responsible for the development and administration . 4 NBDHE Guide ... Specifications Examination items are selected by test construction committees in accordance with the Dental Hygiene Examination