Dental Hygienist Programs Near Me: One of the requirements to become a dental hygienist is to either study online, go to a trade school, or any of the dental colleges where you can earn a degree.
A dental hygienist is one of the professions in high demand due to the increasing number of aged people.
As simple as it sounds, to take care of the teeth, you need to be professionally trained and licensed before you can do that.
Training will have to be in an approved and accredited dental hygienist trade school whether online or in any of the colleges with great programs near you.
Going to any of the trade schools for dental hygienists will afford you the opportunity to build a career where you can help and interact with people in need of oral care.
Here in this article, we have brought you tips on how to find the best dental hygienist colleges with accredited programs near you!
Dental hygienist colleges with the right programs can make it possible to have a fulfilling career.
Also, we have ensured you have a handful of guides that will help decide to build a career in this direction or not.
If you allow me to walk you through this piece, you have your academic journey decided in a few minutes.
Welcome Aboard Scholar!!!
Who is A Dental Hygienist?
Dental hygienists are healthcare professionals responsible for cleaning patients’ teeth and checking for signs of various oral health concerns.
It’s in the job description of the dental hygienist to educate the patients in need of oral care on the importance of oral health and goes on to enlighten them on the strategies for maintaining good oral hygiene.
What a dental hygienist does is to help forestall future oral health problems of their patients which is an essential role.
Also, dental hygienists are the ones who detect signs of other illnesses through clinical examinations and forward the results to the dentist.
Other responsibilities of a dental hygienist include;
- Takes and develops X-rays of the mouth
- Focuses on preventive care and patient education.
- Performing both independent and supervised clinical tasks.
- tools such as scrapers and polishers to remove tartar, plaque, and stains.
- Applies preventative treatments such as fluoride and sealants.
- Records findings during cleanings and reports information to the dentist.
- Assists the dentist during procedures with tasks like administering anesthesia and removing sutures
Do not mistake the dental hygienist for a dentist. Both have different job responsibilities, you can refer to our article on Dental Hygienist Vs Dentist for clarity.
What are the Educational Requirements To Become A Dental Hygienist?
On the journey to becoming a dental hygienist, you will need to have the required education requirements.
It’s one of the first things that set you up for a possible journey to practicing dental hygiene.
The educational requirement to become a dental hygienist is to earn a dental hygienist degree.
Starting out as a dental hygienist, you need to go for a two-year associate degree in dental hygiene or a four-year bachelor’s degree.
Admission requirements for An Associate Dental Hygiene Program
Though school dependent, here are the admission requirements for an associate degree in dental hygiene:
- Complete the prerequisites for basic science high school courses such as
- Have a GPA of 2.5 or higher.
Admission requirements for A Bachelor’s Dental Hygiene Program
A bachelor’s program is also school dependent, but here are some of the general admission requirements;
- Meet the prerequisites.
- Have a GPA of 2.5 or higher.
Keep in mind that some dental hygienist programs in some colleges and trade schools require certain college-level course credits as a prerequisite before you can enroll.
So before applying to any dental hygienist trade school or online school, find out if the school requires any course credit prerequisite and see if your high school courses fit.
Besides the associate and bachelor’s degree programs, other types of dental hygienist programs do exist but are much less common.
What Should I Look Out For When Choosing a Dental Hygiene School?
There are many dental hygienist colleges in the world and sometimes it can be such a task to make a choice from the pool of great schools.
Having a particular location to study in mind will go a long way to help you make a choice.
But what should make you settle for a particular school?
Here are the factors that should guide your choice of dental hygienist trade school anywhere in the world even if you want to do online programs;
#1. Is the School Accredited
For a professional course such as dental hygiene, without accreditation, you just lived in denial for 2 or 4 years.
On your checklist of schools for dental hygiene ensure any school of your choice will tick the box of accreditation.
Find out if the program you are going for is properly accredited.
Also, extend your research to find out if the school has quality instructors, and offers a hands-on curriculum and informative classes.
#2. Does the Dental Hygienist Trade School Fit Your Budget?
Going further, the cost of tuition would be a determining factor to apply or not.
As much as the school fits your academic needs, does it fit your budget?
Do you have enough finances to fund your education?
Review the tuition and fees required for each program before selecting a school.
#3. Does The School Have A Good Pass Rate For Licensure Exams?
You don’t want to study for years and get bumped when the license results show up.
Beyond accreditation and cost, do the dental hygienist programs have the ability to properly prepare you for the licensure exams?
Review reports of past students so you know what you’re signing up for.
Your license determines whether or not you will work as a registered dental hygienist.
Considering the above factors will help you make a choice of the best dental hygienist colleges with accredited and approved programs that will train you effectively.
Which Schools Can I Apply To For Dental Hygienist Programs?
A good start for a great career in dental hygiene is a good school.
Although there are numerous schools such as the Best Dental Hygienist Schools in Florida, there is also a vast number you can apply for depending on your location.
Here are some of the dental hygienist colleges with great programs in the world;
- Parkland College
- Griffith University
- University of Essex
- University of Missouri
- The University of Dundee
- University of Newcastle
- Wichita State University
- University of Pittsburgh
- University of Minnesota
- New York University
- The University of Winnipeg
- Shoreline Community College
- Auckland University of Technology
- Northwest Missouri State University
- The University of Michigan
- University of Southern California
- Ohio State University
- Texas A&M
- University of Washington
- University of North Carolina
- North Dakota State College of Science
- University of South Dakota
- Oregon Institute of Technology
- Taft College
- Farmingdale State College
- Ferris State University
- Southern Adventist University
- University of Southern Indiana
- University of New Haven
- Western Kentucky University
We do not limit the best dental hygienist schools to these.
You can make a search based on your location by visiting our site for a specific list of schools for dental hygienists in different locations.
What Are The Prerequisites For Dental Hygiene Programs?
Now you know you need to earn an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree before becoming a dental hygienist anywhere in the world.
However, before you proceed with that, there are prerequisites that you will need to meet before you’re enrolled in any dental hygienist trade school or on-campus college.
The Dental hygienist required education prerequisites include;
- A High school diploma or GED equivalent.
- Course credits from high school in math, science, and English courses.
Additionally, some dental hygienist colleges may request that you:
- Pass their entrance exam.
- Complete a personal interview.
- Take a dexterity test.
- Submit an essay.
Are there Dental Hygienist Programs Near Me?
If there are dental hygienist colleges near you, there will be programs in dental hygiene.
Dental hygienist programs in any of the trade schools focus on teaching prospective dental hygienists how to help people maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Also, colleges that offer dental hygienist programs train their students to become specialists in identifying issues with oral hygiene.
And educating clients on how to improve or maintain their current practices.
What Courses Do Dental Hygienist Programs Cover?
Studying dental hygiene anywhere in the world will require you to take on some courses that will fashion you professionally for the task ahead.
To enroll in dental hygienist programs and take the required courses, you need to take some prerequisite courses in high school to lay a foundation for the courses in dental hygiene colleges.
In dental hygienist colleges, you have to take on important and relevant subjects to fashion you in a particular area.
All combined will fashion you into a professional dental hygienist.
Here are the courses dental hygienist programs cover;
- Dental Science.
- Oral pathology
- Dental materials.
- Oral health education
- Radiographic imaging.
- Chemistry and biology
- Head and neck anatomy
- Community dental health
- Psychology and sociology.
- Ethics and professionalism
- Medical and dental emergency care
- Pharmacology and pain management.
- Tooth morphology (tooth identification)
- Periodontology (study of gum disease).
- Infection and hazard control management
- Child, adolescent, adult, special needs, and geriatric dental care
- Oral embryology and histology (dental development, structure, and function)
We do not limit the courses to these few above. But we are certain you will cross paths with these ones.
These courses are spread across different semesters during your study year to earn you a dental hygienist degree.
If you plan further your education by obtaining a master’s degree, your study courses will include
- Educational theory.
- Research methods and applications.
Do Dental Hygienists Undergo Clinical Training?
Yes, dental hygienists undergo clinical training.
In addition to classroom and lab-based learning, dental hygienists also participate in a substantial clinical training
Usually, dental hygienists undergo clinical training in an on-site dental clinic or community facility.
This is a very important part of dental hygienist programs. Also, it is one of the requirements to graduate from a dental hygienist trade school or online college.
The clinical training is important to sharpen your skills and prepare you to meet licensing requirements.
How Long Does It Take To Complete Dental Hygienist Programs?
If you’re enrolled in any of the dental hygienist programs near you you should plan on graduating sometime.
The duration of a dental hygienist program is more specific than any of the other dentistry programs.
Usually, if you’re going for an associate degree in dental hygienist, the available programs last for two years.
However, if you are opting for a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene, it will take you four years to complete.
What Next After Completing Dental Hygienist Programs?
Dental hygiene is a professional course.
What this means is that before you’re allowed to practice, you need to undergo some form of validation called licensing.
When you graduate from any of the Dental hygienist colleges on-campus or online and get your degree, the next is to get your license.
Upon graduation, you’re eligible to take the national and state/regional examinations.
When you pass the exams at the national, state, and regional levels, you meet the requirements to apply for licensing, and receive approval.
The board will license you and consider you a registered dental hygienist (RDH).
What are the Licensing Requirements For Dental Hygienists?
As we earlier established, dental hygiene is a professional course.
That means you will need to be licensed by the board before you can practice as one.
The minimum level of education you need to earn your license in any state is an associate’s degree.
The licensing requirements for dental hygienists are not peculiar. This means each state and country will have its own licensing requirements, terms, and conditions.
However, the licensing requirements that serve as a guide for all dental hygienists are stated below;
- Graduate from an accredited program.
- Gather the following licensure requirements
- Personal interview.
- A background check.
- High school or post-secondary transcripts.
- Letters of recommendation from dentists or registered dental hygienists.
- Register for the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination.
- Pass the NBDH Examination successfully.
- Also, register and pass other clinical or written examinations in your state or region.
These are the requirements you need to become a registered dental hygienist
However, keep in mind that other additional requirements may apply depending on where you reside.
Also, most states have stipulations for continuing education throughout your career.
So ensure that you stay up-to-date on current technologies, infection control practices, and advancements in the field.
These requirements usually need to be met annually or bi-annually, but they differ from state to state.
You will also need to keep your CPR certification current in case of any medical emergencies you may encounter on the job.
What is The Tuition Cost of Dental Hygienist Programs in Dental Hygiene Colleges?
The tuition cost to earn a dental hygienist degree will vary based on factors such as your school of choice, location, and the program you’re going for.
Because an associate degree in dental hygiene takes 2 years to complete, the tuition cost will be less than that of a bachelor’s degree.
Also, some countries’ systems of education are naturally expensive due to the quality of education and a track record of academic excellence.
Definitely, a dental hygienist program in the UK will be more expensive than in other countries.
However, according to a survey by the American Dental Association, the average tuition cost of accredited dental hygiene programs range between $29,707 and $43,215.
Keep in mind that out-of-state students will pay higher than in-state students in any country.
Must I Go To An Accredited Dental Hygienist School?
Accreditation is a very important criterion when choosing a school of choice, especially for dental hygiene.
Before choosing any of the dental hygienist colleges with great programs near you, ensure you have the required education and then check out if it’s accredited.
It will be sad news to give hir 2 or 4 years into studying and not be allowed to practice your profession.
Chances are that that would happen if you went to a dental hygienist trade school that was not accredited.
To earn a viable dental hygienist degree that will be locally and internationally recognized, you need to attend an accredited dental school.
Becoming a licensed hygienist requires attending a program that’s been approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).
The essence of Accreditation is to ensure that the programs meet the highest quality standards for education and help ensure future patient safety.
Can I Attend Dental Hygienist School Online?
Most dental hygienist colleges are on-campus.
However, with the advent of technology in the educational sector, prospective dental hygienist students can school online.
Majorly, a dental hygienist online school is ideal for students who need flexibility with their education.
Currently, there are online dental hygienist associate degree programs.
The sad truth about the dental hygienist online schools is that most of their programs are not CODA-approved.
This is so because you cannot complete a CODA-approved dental hygiene program online due to laboratory and clinical practice requirements.
Therefore, we often recommend that you explore the dental hygienist online school option if you’re pursuing a higher degree.
Online classes on dental hygiene will also be perfect for those taking continuing education classes for license requirements.
How Much Does A Dental Hygienist Earn?
Dental hygienists earn very good pay in their jobs.
According to information obtained from Best Jobs US News, Dental Hygienists made a median salary of $76,220 in 2019.
Then, the best-paid 25% made $91,560 that year, while the lowest-paid 25% made $64,260.
At this point, you can agree with me that you can make a choice of school for yourself if you decide to study dental hygienist programs.
Be sure to follow our guide on the major factors to look out for in dental hygienist colleges before settling for it.
With the right dental hygienist requirements, you can get a degree online or in a trade school easily.
We hope you found this piece as an answer to your many questions.
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