Admission Test for Dental Hygiene (ATDH)

The ATDH is an admission test for anyone interested in pursuing a career in dental hygiene. The ATDH should be taken before entering a dental hygiene education program in the United States. 

Important Note to Candidates Testing in Quebec

Effective August 23, 2023, examination administrations will no longer be offered in the province of Quebec in Canada. Candidates with existing appointments will be asked to reschedule those appointments to a location outside Quebec.  We apologize for any inconvenience.
About ATDH

The Admission Test for Dental Hygiene is a nationally administered standardized admission test for individuals applying to dental hygiene programs. It is administered to understand the skill levels of applicants and used to assist with admissions decisions. Find additional information about the test in the ATDH Candidate Guide.

The Admission Test for Dental Hygiene is administered to understand the skill levels of applicants.

Recent and Forthcoming Updates

Please download and check Recent and Forthcoming Updates to Examinations and Tests (PDF) often as you prepare for your  examination.

ATDH Available Year-Round

Effective on September 1, 2023, the ADA’s Department of Testing Services (DTS) implemented year-round testing for the ATDH Program. This change will provide candidates and dental hygiene programs with additional flexibility. Under year-round testing, a candidate will be permitted to attempt the ATDH on any day of the year for which they can secure a testing appointment, provided they meet established ATDH eligibility criteria. Download the Notification of year-round testing (PDF) for more information.
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Prepare for the ATDH

Review the provided guide, practice test and quick facts before taking the test. After reading all the materials, apply and schedule your appointment.

Find everything you need to know about taking the test before you apply.
Review the types of questions and question format used for the test.
Read for guidance on using the ATDH to inform admission decisions.
Learn more about the purpose, eligibility and cost of the test. 
Candidates can review and find answers to frequently asked questions about the ATDH.
If you have applied to test (or taken a test), retrieve your existing DENTPIN. 
Apply for the ATDH

Ready to start? Be sure to review the prep materials and read the ATDH guide before submitting your application.

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Get my scores

See your ATDH score report, review scoring FAQs or request an audit.

ATDH Webinar

The Admission Test for Dental Hygiene (ATDH): A Valid, Reliable, and Fair Examination Built Specifically for Dental Hygiene

On April 18, 2023, DTS staff and members of the Council on Dental Education and Licensure (CDEL) presented an informative webinar on the Admission Test for Dental Hygiene (ATDH).

This webinar provided important information concerning the fast-growing ATDH, its validity, reliability, and fairness, and how dental hygiene programs can take advantage of this important new tool for use in admission procedures.

Additional ATDH information

Examinee Information Report

The ATDH was first administered in September 2021. The information provided in this report reflects data collected during 2021 and 2022. The Examinee Information Report (PDF) contains:

  • information about examinees’ self-reported gender
  • ethnicity
  • whether they spoke English as a first language
  • state of residence
  • science and math-related courses taken in high school and college
  • completed college courses, years of college completed, review courses taken and
  • anticipated enrollment year for their dental hygiene program


Download information from the March 2023 ADEA Section on Dental Hygiene Education


Presented on June 5, 2022 at the ADEA Allied Dental Program Directors' Conference

Topics include purpose and governance, standards for development, content areas and test specifications, administration, test security, scoring, and reporting, validity evidence, Program participation, and more.

ATDH Program Director Webinar

Presented on March 31, 2021
Speakers at the  webinar were Paul R. Leary, DMD, Chair, Admission Test for Dental Hygiene Steering Committee, and David M. Waldschmidt, Ph.D., Director, Testing Services. This webinar was written for Dental Hygiene Program Directors and includes the following topics:


  • ATDH purpose and Governance 
  • ATDH Development and Validity Evidence
  • Examination Content
  • ATDH Administration
  • ATDH Scoring and Score Reporting

ATDH Candidate Webinar

Presented on August 25, 2021

The August webinar was designed for candidates who will be taking the ATDH, with the goal of helping such candidates prepare for the examination. It includes the following topics:

  • Introduction to the ATDH Candidate Guide
  • Topics covered by the examination
  • ATDH practice questions
  • Administration schedule and procedures
  • Partial fee waiver
  • Q & A

Speakers were able to answer a portion of the many questions that arose during the webinar. Download FAQs for ATDH Candidates (PDF) for additional answers to questions from the webinar.

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