The Easy Guide to Dental Hygienist Training  
 
 

The Easy Guide to Dental Hygienist Training

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According to The United States Department of Labor, the field for dental hygienists is currently one of the fastest growing and in-demand careers. It is expected that the number of jobs available will continue only to increase over the next ten years. There are several schools throughout the United States that offer programs for dental hygienists.

If the area of dentistry is interesting to you, but you don’t necessarily want to be a dentist, training to become a dental hygienist might be a good option. Dental hygienists work primarily in private dentist offices in the area of preventive oral health services and care. They can also work in nursing homes and private hospitals.

Some of the duties of a dental hygienist would include cleaning patient’s teeth, removing stains from teeth, and recording problem areas in patients‘ mouths. Patients will learn from you about how to take proper care of their teeth and gums. You’ll get to share amazing facts with them such as flossing prevents heart disease! Other tasks include administering fluoride, taking x-rays and placing sealants on teeth. A few states allow hygienists more responsibility. They might remove stitches, fill cavities, and anesthetize patients.

Dental hygienists also prepare laboratory tests for the doctor to review, even though they aren’t permitted to give a diagnosis to the patient themselves.
Dental hygienists have flexible hours and schedules, which appeals to many single mothers. It is a well-paid job and in a respected field. The average hourly rate is around $29. Those who hold a master’s degree would have opportunities to teach and make up to $40 an hour.

Basic admission requirements vary depending on the school. However, a high school diploma or GED is required along with high school courses completed in math, chemistry, biology and English. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and carry a minimum of a ‘C’ average. College entrance exam scores are also considered.

An associate’s degree or a four-year degree in dental hygiene are required to be considered in the field. Trade schools and community colleges both offer the two-year degree. Trade schools might ask that you have one year of college before attending their school. Universities offer the four-year program which leads to a bachelor’s degree. Some bachelor’s programs ask that you already have two years of college completed before enrolling in a dental hygiene program. Biology, speech, English, sociology, anatomy and chemistry would be required along with other classes. A good place to begin searching for a dental hygiene school is online at the Dental Hygienist Training Schools Directory.

Once your degree is obtained from an accredited dental hygiene program and you take written and clinical exams, your license would be granted by the state in which you choose to practice. In addition to the regional or state written and clinical exams, most states also ask that you take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination. Once you are licensed, you may place the letters “RDH” after your name to show that you are a Registered Dental Hygienist.



 

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