Practicing in WA

Washington State Department of Health:

 Call 360-236-4700 or go to, then:

Information on State Comparisons      

Resources you may need:

  • WREB (Western Regional Examination Board) - WREB Home Page

  • WREB Candidate Guide - Local Anesthesia, Dental Hygiene, Restorative, Policy Guides

  • Andy Future RDH - National Board Review ... and a whole lot of fun!

  • AmyRDH - This site is developed and managed by Amy Nieves, RDH (Nevada), featuring over 200 pages of resources for dental hygiene students and practicing RDHs. An especially helpful tool is the "searchamyrdh" link.


WA Initial Limited License:

There is no longer a temporary license available in Washington. The initial limited license replaced the temporary license a couple of years ago. The initial limited license gives you 18 months to get your local anesthesia and nitrous credentials, but you do not have to meet the restorative requirements. You have to have graduated from an accredited program, taken the dental hygiene national board exam, have a substantially equivalent scope of practice as Washington, and have 560 hours of practice within the last 2 years.

Once you fulfill the anesthesia/nitrous requirements, then you are issued a limited license. This allows you to practice the full scope of practice, minus restorative. However, there is nothing stopping you from getting your restorative credentials, too, thus receiving a full, unencumbered license.

If you are a new graduate from out-of-state, you will have to meet the same requirements as a graduate from an accredited Washington State dental hygiene program and must take the same exams for a license, including anesthesia and restorative.

Vicki Brown is the Health Services Consultant for the Dental Hygiene Examining Board at the Department of Health. Her number is 360-236-4865 and email is if you have questions.

Washington State laws regulating dental hygiene are the most up-to-date on-line:

Current RCW language is best obtained from the web sites at:

 The copies that we currently have printed are not up to date due to a variety of RCW and WAC changes.

 New background checks required for out-of-state license applicants

 As of January 1, 2009, the Washington State Department of Health will use federal fingerprint-based background checks for out of state applicants for health professions licenses. The state legislature authorized these checks in 2008.