(a) The board shall issue a dental hygienist license to an applicant who meets the following requirements:
(1) Is at least eighteen years of age;
(2) Is of good moral character;
(3) Is a graduate with a degree in dental hygiene from an approved dental hygiene program of a college, school or dental department of a university;
(4) Has passed the national board dental hygiene examination, a regional or state clinical examination and a state law examination that tests the applicant's knowledge of subjects specified by the board by rule;
(5) Has not been found guilty of cheating, deception or fraud in the examination or any part of the application;
(6) Has paid the application fee specified by rule; and,
(7) Not be an alcohol or drug abuser, as these terms are defined in section eleven, article one-a, chapter twenty-seven of this code: Provided, That an applicant in an active recovery process, which may, in the discretion of the board, be evidenced by participation in a twelve-step program or other similar group or process, may be considered.
(b) A dental hygienist license issued by the board and in good standing on the effective date of the amendments to this section shall for all purposes be considered a dental hygienist license issued under this section: Provided, That a person holding a dental hygienist license shall renew the license.