Dental Hygienist Schools in Iowa

If your dream is to live in a charming Midwestern state, it is hard to beat the enchantment of Iowa. Bordered by Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota, Iowa is a quintessential slice of rural America. While it is best known for its agricultural industry, it has experienced growth in quite a few sectors, including IT, finance and biotechnology. It is considered to be one of the safest of all states.

The largest city in Iowa is the state’s capital of Des Moines. Des Moines is renowned for its economic growth, ranked by Forbes magazine in 2010 and 2013 as the “Best Place for Business.” NBC meanwhile has ranked it as the “Wealthiest City in America.”

In Des Moines, fans of the arts can enjoy Broadway shows at the Des Moines Performing Arts center, and also watch performances at the Des Moines Playhouse and the Temple for Performing Arts. Des Moines is also home to the Des Moines Symphony, the Des Moines Metro Opera, and the Metro Arts Alliance.

Other attractions in Des Moines include the Iowa State capital, the State of Iowa Historical Museum, Terrace Hill, Blank Park Zoo, and the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.

Those who prefer the great outdoors can explore Pikes Peak State Park or Maquoketa Caves State Park. You will also find plenty to do on the Iowa Great Lakes and of course the Mississippi River.

Career Outlook and Salary

Now you know some reasons why you might consider moving to Iowa, but can you make a living there as a dental hygienist? Let’s take a look at the figures provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Across the country, the mean annual salary for dental hygienists is $73,630. In Iowa, it is significantly lower at $68,970. Dental hygienists in some of the surrounding states make more, while those in others make less. In all likelihood, all of these variations are tied to the varying costs of living from one state to the next.

How many dental hygienists are working in Iowa? The BLS data dates back to May 2016, when 2,470 dental hygienists were employed within state borders. The growth rate for the profession is 19%, which is high. So more and more dental hygienist jobs are starting to open up. That means if it is your dream to become a dental hygienist in Iowa, you should have a bright road of opportunity ahead of you.

License Requirements

How can you become a dental hygienist in Iowa? You will need to meet the following requirements in order to obtain your license to practice:

  • Pay the $100 licensing fee as well as additional relevant fees for the background check and (if applicable) your local anesthesia permit.
  • Fill out and submit your application.
  • Within the past 5 years, you must have passed examinations administered by the following testing agencies: the Western Regional Examining Board (WREB), the Central Regional Dental Testing Service (CRDTS) and the Southern Regional Testing Agency (SRTA). You must also have passed the American Board of Dental Examiners, Inc. exam administered by the Council of Interstate Testing Agencies (CITA) and the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments (CDCA).
  • Take and pass the National Board exam and provide your score card.
  • If you have previously held a license for a year or more in another state, you can only apply by credentials (not examination).
  • You are required to disclose any medical conditions which might impact your performance, as well as any criminal history, malpractice claims or disciplinary actions on your file.
  • Take and pass the Jurisprudence Examination.
  • If your name differs on some of your documents because you were married or divorced, provide a notarized copy of the relevant certificate or decree.
  • Graduate from an accredited program in dental hygiene and provide your transcript, signed and dated along with your college’s seal.
  • If applicable, provide documentation which verifies prior-approval remedial education. This may be necessary if you have failed more than twice in the past.
  • Submit verification of any licenses held in other states or territories.
  • Submit a NPDB/HIPDB self-query and provide the results (only if you are applying by credentials).


Now you know how you can become a licensed dental hygienist in the state of Iowa! Embark on your educational journey by checking out our list of accredited dental hygiene programs in Iowa below.

Des Moines Area Community College
Department of Health & Public Services
Dental Hygiene Program
2006 S. Ankeny Blvd. #9
Ankeny, IA 50023-8995

Programs Offered
Associate: AAS

Hawkeye Community College
School of Health Sciences
Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene Programs
1501 East Orange Road, P.O. Box 8015
Waterloo, IA 50704-8015

Programs Offered
Associate: AAS

Indian Hills Community College
Dental Hygiene Program
525 Grandview Avenue
Ottumwa, IA 52501-0000

Programs Offered
Associate: AAS

Iowa Central Community College
Health Science Division
Dental Hygiene Program
One Triton Circle
Fort Dodge, IA 50501-0000

Programs Offered
Associate: AAS

Iowa Western Community College
Creighton School of Dentistry Affiliation
Department of Dental Hygiene
2700 College Road, Box 4C
Council Bluffs, IA 51502-3004

Programs Offered
Associate: AAS

Kirkwood Community College
Allied Health Department
Dental Hygiene Program
6301 Kirkwood Blvd. SW, P.O. Box 2060
Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-0000

Programs Offered
Associate: AAS