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In order to graduate from an accredited hygiene school, you must first be accepted. This is often the hard part. It tends to be VERY competative to get accepted to dental hygiene school since it is a good paying job. Especially on the west coast. I think it is a little easier to get accepted in certain parts of the south, and the Midwest. Basically any state that has a lot of dental hygiene programs (like more than 10) it will probably be easier to get accepted.

You generally need to complete between 1 and 2 years of pre-requisites before you can apply. Generally your grades in these courses is the main criteria they use for selecting get good grades. On the west coast you will need almost all As in these classes. Common pre-reqs are chemistry, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, nutrition, public speaking, writing, algebra or pre-calculus, and several humanities and social sciences.

Once accepted the program lasts at least 2 years, some are 3 years. In school you will take

a full load of academic classes while simultaneously maintaining a clinic schedule 2-3 days a week. You will treat live, paying patients on designated clinic days (with supervision, of course). You usually begin working on each other the first term and then the second term you start working on the public. It is a very busy and challenging 2 years, but well worth it. You'll have to be organized, dedicated and good at science to make it through school. Working a part-time job is possible (I did it) but most students focus 100% on school because it is intense.

You will need to pass the national dental hygiene board examination prior to graduation. If you pass that, you will be eligible to sit for your regional or state's clinical board examination where you are graded on a live patient. If local anesthesia (injections) are permitted in your state you will probably need to pass a separate test for that.

To become licensed in your state you will also need to pass a state exam regarding the laws and scope of practice and ethics for that state. Then you pay a fee of about $100 to $200 a year to maintain your license. Most states require that you do a certain minimum hours of continuing education each licensure cycle.

You will probably need to pass a background check and possibly a drug screen.

Once you've jumped through all the hoops, it is a very rewarding and well paid career. But I warn you it is harder than you think and you do a lot more than just "clean teeth" and it's a lot bloodier and grosser than you could ever imagine. The repetative physical work it is especially hard on your back, neck and wrists, so if you already have issues in those areas of your body, then dental hygiene wouldn't be a good fit for you. If you are outgoing, compassionate and a general "nurturer" or "helper" this may be a great career for you, but warning: MONOTONY is a common complaint!!!

With all that said, I'm glad I went this route. I currently make $36 an hour with great benefits and great hours. I work in a fun office and I love my patients and co-workers. My body hurts most days after work though.

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โˆ™ 2011-09-12 23:29:19
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Q: How do you become a Dental Hygienist?
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Related questions

Where can I find dental hygienist schools?

You can find some dental hygienist schools with this website:

Where can I receive dental hygienist training?

you can get freelancer dental hygienist training from for American dental hygiene association

How entertained is dental hygienist training?

Dental hygienist training is not supposed to be entertaining or fun, rather it is supposed to be an academic training regiment to become a dental assistant.

Why should you become a dental hygienist?

My daughter trained for a year to become a Dental Assistant, who helps the dentist. She choose to get a job working with an Orthodontist. A dental hygienist has to go to school longer and can get a higher salary.

How many years does it take to become a dental hygienist?


Where can one find information on how to become a dental hygienist?

The American Dental Hygienist's Association (ADHA), has a website designed with all the information you need to decide to become a dental hygienist. The ADHA website also has information to apply for scholarships and grants to assist with your financial costs.

To be a dental hygienist how long time takes?

It takes 2 years to become a dental hygienest.

Where can I find dental training to become a hygienist in Boston, Mass?

you can visit to find dental training in Boston, Mass. To find information about training to become a dental hygienist in Boston, Mass, go to

How many years of schooling do you need to become an dental hygienist?

Generally in the US a Dental Hygienist must hold an Associate's Degree in Dental Hygiene, which typically requires about 3 years of college.

What is the pension of a dental hygienist?

The pension of a dental hygienist can vary from job to job. Some dental hygienist do not receive a pension plan at all.

How much does a dental hygienist earn in Dubai?

salary of dental hygienist in dubai

How much schooling to become a hygienist?

In Quebec (Canada), it takes about 3 years of schooling after highschool to become a dental hygienist. This time is different from country to country.

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