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How do you become a Dental Hygienist?

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Answered 2011-09-12 23:29:19

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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Related Questions

Where can I find dental hygienist schools?

You can find some dental hygienist schools with this website:

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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.

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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

To be a dental hygienist how long time takes?

It takes 2 years to become a dental hygienest.

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?

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Can a dentist remove plaque?

The dentist can, however this task is usually given to a dental hygienist.The dentist can, however this task is usually given to a dental hygienist.The dentist can, however this task is usually given to a dental hygienist.The dentist can, however this task is usually given to a dental hygienist.The dentist can, however this task is usually given to a dental hygienist.The dentist can, however this task is usually given to a dental hygienist.

Where university in Philippines for dental hygienist course?

To become a practicing dental hygienist you first need to get a diploma in dental hygiene. This course is offered at the following Filipino universities, National University and Manila Central University.

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.

To become a dental hygienist do you go to a dental school or take a dentist program in a college?

To become a dental hygienist you attend a dental hygiene program offered at a college. Some schools have a pre-dental hygiene program where you would complete both pre-requisites and the actual program at the same school. Some dental schools also have dental hygiene programs as well.

How much do dental hygienist be paid?

a dental hygienist gets paid $30 per hour

Where can I obtain dental hygienist certification?

You can find a list of schools that will give you the test required to become a dental hygienist at Make sure to sort the results to just include your desired field.

Dental hygienist pay per hour?

I am a dental hygienist in Houston Texas and I get 38 dollars an hour.

How much does a dental HYGIENIST make in Wisconsin?

The median wage in 2008 for a Wisconsin dental hygienist was $60570.

What are some advantages of being a dental hygienist?

Some benefits of being a dental hygienist are: The field of dental hygiene is growing rapidly so it's not difficult to find a job The median annual pay for dental hygienists is $68,250--a great salary All you need to become a dental hygienist is an associate degree or certificate Dental hygienists have the option of working full-or part-time and have great hours

Where does one become a dental hygienist?

Yes being a dental hygienist is usually a very good paying job and depending on whether you work by yourself or in a larger practice it can have very good benefits as well.

What associates degree is required to become a dental hygienist?

The associate degree in dental hygiene is typically an associates in applied science (AAS).

What training and certification do you need to become a dental hygentist?

To become a dental hygienist you must graduate from a recognised dental hygiene school after passing a written and clinical examination. There are several dental hygiene programme grants available.

What are some places you can be a dental hygienist?

Your question is not clear. Do you mean where you can learn to be a dental hygienist, or where you could work as one?

How much does dental hygienist school cost?

Dental Hygienist schooling can be costly, but not as costly as some schooling can be. Please check out the site I have listed.

Can I take an online dental hygienist course?

Yes, you can take online courses to become a dental hygienist. There are many universities that offer classes in this area and you are sure to find one or more that will fit your needs and budget.

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