Dental Hygienist Certificates
Do you take pride in your teeth? Do you have an interest in dentistry? You may want to pursue an education in dental hygiene. Continue reading to find out how you can promote clean, healthy teeth and prevent future cavities in your patients. Schools offering Dental Hygiene degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Dental Hygienist Programs Are Available?
Associate of Science and Bachelor of Science degree programs are available in dental hygiene. Certificate programs can be found, they're not as widely available. Several schools offer these programs both online and on-campus. Only some online programs require you to participate in clinical work. Other online programs don't require clinical work because they focus on providing a foundation for graduate studies and research work.
What Education Can I Expect?
These programs will teach you how to maintain oral health, use hygienist tools, clean teeth, use X-ray machines, provide fluoride treatments, prevent tooth decay and assist with local anesthesia. You'll take courses in dental hygiene procedures, periodontology, oral health, pain management, radiography, oral pathology, oral diseases, pharmacology and dentistry methods. If you take these programs on-campus, you can expect to participate in clinical work.
If you decide to pursue a bachelor's degree, you would need to meet additional general requirements during your first year. Bachelor's degree programs also allow you to take more specialized courses focusing on dental implants, dental hygiene education, research and management.
What Should I Do After I Complete My Program?
Every state requires you to pass a written and clinical exam for licensure. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the written exam is provided by the American Dental Association's Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations and that state agencies are in charge of the clinical exam (www.bls.gov). You might also have to demonstrate your understanding of the law related to dental hygiene.
What Is My Career Outlook?
The BLS expects a 36% increase in dental hygiene positions between 2008 and 2018. This increase is due to hygienists taking on more roles that were previously done by dentists, people prioritizing healthier teeth and people maintaining their teeth into later stages of life. As of May 2010, the BLS estimated that dental hygienists earned a median salary of $68,250.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: