Dental Hygienist Programs

Find accredited dental hygienist associate’s degree and certificate training programs at local trade schools and online technical colleges near you. Use the search application to find a dental hygienist school near you.

How much money does a Dental Hygienist make? The median annual wage for dental hygienists was $74,070 in May 2017. … The lowest 10 percent earned less than $51,180, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $101,330.

How to Become a Dental Hygienist

Most dental hygienists start out in a community college or trade school in the dental hygiene program. Typically, an Associate’s in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene is the most common path and the one most preferred by potential employers. Most dental hygiene programs require one year of college curriculum with a GPA of 2.5 of higher before entering the program. Programs will take anywhere from two to four years, depending on whether you’re going for an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. All programs are similar, whether you’re going for an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree. Both have general ed classes, as well as those that pertain directly to dental hygiene. However, when going for a bachelor’s degree, the courses go more in-depth, allowing the student a deeper knowledge of the field. While the bachelor’s degree option is perfect for those who plan on teaching, going into the research aspect of dental hygiene, or working in a clinical setting for schools or public health programs, an associate’s degree plus the certification is all that’s necessary to be employable.

In the associate’s degree program for dental hygiene, there are 24 credits of general education and 50 credits of core courses required, along with 8 elective credits. Bachelor’s degrees have a higher course credit requirement. 45 general elective credits, 68 core class credits, and 6 elective credits.

Dental hygiene coursework will include both classroom and practical, or hands-on, learning. Most programs include anatomy and physiology, microbiology and immunology, intro to dental hygiene, dental anatomy, periodontics, head and neck anatomy, and radiology in their curriculum.

What do Dental Hygienists do?

Dental hygienists are the ones who prep their patient’s mouth for the dentist. They clean the teeth, examine the mouth for signs of any concerning oral conditions such as gum disease or oral cancers. They also document the visit and educate the patient on how to take better care of and explain preventative measures of their mouths, teeth, and gums. Dental hygienists may take mouth x-rays, and apply tooth sealants and protectants. Tools hygienists use to clean teeth and gums are usually manual, powered, or ultrasonic, and they may use lasers, as well.

Colleges with Dental Hygienist Programs

These colleges are accredited and offer financial aid assistance to those who qualify.