What Education Do You Need to Become a Dental Hygienist?

Dental hygienists are in high demand! If you’re thinking about becoming a dental hygienist, check out this blog post to learn about the education and training you’ll need to get started in this rewarding career.

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Introduction

Earning your dental hygiene degree is the first step toward a career in this exciting and growing field. But what other education do you need to become a dental hygienist? Let’s take a look at the requirements.

Most dental hygiene programs require applicants to have completed at least two years of college coursework before applying. That means you’ll need to have earned your associate degree, or at least 60 college credits. Many programs also require that you’ve taken specific courses, like anatomy and physiology, chemistry, and microbiology.

In addition to your coursework, you’ll also need to complete a certain number of hours of clinical experience before you can graduate from your dental hygiene program. These hands-on experiences will give you the opportunity to put what you’ve learned in the classroom into practice while working with patients under the supervision of a licensed dentist.

Once you’ve completed your dental hygiene program and earned your degree, you’ll be ready to take the next step in your career and sit for your licensure exam. Once you pass your exam, you’ll be a licensed dental hygienist and can begin seeking employment in a variety of settings, such as private practices, hospitals, clinics, or public health organizations.

What Education is Needed to Become a Dental Hygienist?

To become a dental hygienist, you need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. You also need to complete an accredited dental hygiene program, which takes about two years. After you complete the program, you need to pass a national or state-level dental hygiene licensure exam.

High School

If you’re interested in becoming a dental hygienist, you’ll need to complete a dental hygiene program at a school that has been accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

You can usually find these programs at community colleges, technical schools, and some four-year colleges and universities. Admission to dental hygiene programs is competitive, so it’s important to have strong grades in high school, particularly in science and math.

Most programs take three years to complete and include coursework in subjects such as anatomy, physiology, chemistry, microbiology, radiography (x-rays), and of course dental hygiene. You’ll also get clinical experience working with patients.

Once you’ve completed a dental hygiene program, you’ll need to obtain a license in the state where you plan to practice. Licensing requirements vary from state to state, but generally include passing written and practical exams.

Post-Secondary Education

most dental hygiene programs take two to three years to complete, although some programs may last longer. In order to become a practicing dental hygienist, you must first pass a state or regional licensing exam. After passing the exam, you will be able to apply for jobs in dental offices, clinics, or other healthcare facilities.

Certification

In order to become a dental hygienist, you must obtain a degree or certification from an accredited institution. There are many accredited dental hygienist schools across the United States, and most states require licensure in order to practice. The American Dental Association (ADA) provides a list of accredited programs on their website, and the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) accredits programs that meet their standards.

In order to sit for the licensure examination, most states require that candidates have completed an accredited dental hygiene program. Once you have completed an accredited program, you will then need to pass both a written and clinical exam in order to receive your license. After you have met all of the requirements and obtained your license, you will be able to find employment as a dental hygienist.

The Dental Hygiene Profession

A dental hygienist is a vital part of every dental team. They are responsible for providing oral hygiene care to patients and promoting good oral health. A dental hygienist must have a strong knowledge of teeth and gum care, as well as be able to effectively communicate with patients. In order to become a dental hygienist, you will need to complete an accredited dental hygiene program.

Job Description

The dental hygiene profession is one that helps people to maintain good oral health. Dental hygienists are trained in the proper care of teeth and gums, and they work closely with dentists to ensure that patients receive the best possible care.

Dental hygienists typically have an associate’s degree in dental hygiene, although some may have a bachelor’s degree or higher. They must also pass a state-administered examination in order to be licensed to practice.

Dental hygienists typically work in dental offices, where they may be responsible for a variety of tasks such as cleaning teeth, taking X-rays, and providing patient education on oral hygiene. They may also work in other settings such as hospitals or nursing homes.

Work Environment

Dental hygienists work in clean, well-lit offices. They spend much of their time standing, and they sometimes have to stoop over patients. They use dental instruments and x-ray machines.

Salary and Job Outlook

In May 2018, dental hygienists earned a median annual salary of $74,070, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The top 10 percent of earners in this profession made more than $100,610. The BLS projects that employment of dental hygienists will grow by 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is attributed to an increased emphasis on preventive dental care and an aging population.

Conclusion

In order to become a dental hygienist, you will need at minimum an Associate’s degree in dental hygiene. Some states may require you to have a Bachelor’s degree or higher. You will also need to pass a state or national board exam in order to become licensed.

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