2023 Edition

NBDHE Dental Hygienist Practice Test

Take this FREE NBDHE sample practice test below to see how prepared you are for a dental hygienist certification exam.

The NBDHE Dental Hygienist exam has 350 questions and has two components - Discipline Based and Dental Hygiene Patient Cases. The first component covers these main exam sections: Scientific Basis for Dental Hygiene Practice; Provision of Clinical Dental Hygiene Services and Principles of Community Health and Research. The second component of patient cases contains at least one each of geriatric, periodontal, pediatric, special needs and medically compromised patient cases.

For complete practice, check out the NBDHE Practice Exam Kit with 750 questions and fully explained answers, including 20 Patient Case Testlets.


1. Hypersensitivity of a root lessens as the tooth forms which of the following?
2. What nerve supplies the intrinsic muscles of the tongue?
3. Which of the following is the most radioresistant?
5. Fluoride is typically introduced in all of the following ways except by ____________?
6. Gingivitas is considered controlled when
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7. A flat stone may be used to sharpen a curette by hand. The face of the curette should be at what angle to the stone?
8. Radiographic intensifying screens are used for
9. After an outbreak of herpetic gingivostomatitis, the herpes simplex virus may remain dormant in which of the following?
10. Which of the following is a characteristic of an overdenture?
11. A dental carie is another name for a _____________.
12. Which of the following is one of the main reasons for a root canal?
13. Vital whitening is performed on which of the following?
14. A vasoconductor does which of the following when used in conjunction with Lidocaine?
15. When a periapical abscess forms, it indicates what?
16. If a dentist is placing a bonded filling, she will do which of the following to ensure the filling bonds to the tooth?
17. A pedicle graft uses a flap of tissue from which part of the mouth?
18. Where does the bone for a bone augmentation typically comes from in an implantation procedure?
19. A veneer will correct all of the following except?
20. Patients should give informed consent to all dental procedures. Which of the following is not a part of informed consent?

Quality starts with who wrote the material.
Our practice exam writer
Sharon Boyd, RDH
, has been a registered dental hygienist for over 10 years. She specializes in creating educational material for dental studies and has been a head continuing education curriculum writer for an American Dental Association CERP provider.

Abby Altergott, RDH
, has been a registered dental hygienist for over 8 years. She has worked in the specialties of oral surgery, periodontics and orthodontics.

Licensing of dental hygienists in the U.S. is regulated by the individual states. Currently, all states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands recognize exam results from the National Board of Dental Hygiene Exam (NBDHE). The exam assesses a hygienist’s ability to understand relevant information including basic biomedical, dental and dental hygiene sciences and the ability to apply the information into a problem-solving context.

The NBDHE consists of 350 questions. There are 2 components to the NBDHE:

Discipline-based questions on the following three areas: Scientific Basis for Dental Hygiene Practice, Provision of Clinical Dental Hygiene Services and Community Health/Research Principles.

Dental Hygiene Patient Cases containing at least one geriatric, periodontal, pediatric, special needs and medically compromised patient.