If you are interested in becoming a dental hygienist, the usual way to qualify is by earning an associates degree, though some students do take a dental hygiene bachelors. States in the US and provinces in Canada require dental hygienists to be registered or licensed in order to work there. To obtain a license, you must be a graduate of an accredited dental hygiene college and have passed the appropriate licensing exam.
Dental hygiene students learn all of the techniques that are needed for examining, treating and educating dental patients by working their way through a dental hygiene curriculum. On this page you can find out more about these programs for a dental hygienist career, where to find them, the career prospects, and more.
What is a dental hygienist and what training is involved?
Completing a dental hygienist certificate program or earning a degree are two of the ways that are available so to become a certified hygienist. The student will learn all of the main tasks that a hygienist will need to do when assisting a dentist when working directly with many patients in regard to their oral health. Some of these task will include taking x-rays, cleaning soft and hard deposits off of a patients teeth, examining and also recording problems in regard to diseases and teaching patients all about good oral hygiene. There are even some offices that will allow a hygienist to perform more advanced procedures such as removing stitches, and also placing different filling materials.
All of these skills will be taught in conjunction along with an assortment of other procedures and practices which make up this type of profession. The students shall be required to learn and understand just how to clean the patients teeth and gums by using the standard equipment and the practices that are needed to help the patients. This includes polishing teeth, using ultrasonic technology and developing x-ray film.
Some of the general courses a student will take are radiography, pharmacology, microbiology and also pre-clinical hygiene. There will be tooth and gum care which is learned through courses which center on the cleaning of a patients teeth, and the student will learn to educate patients in regard to hygiene.
You will also need to be a person who has a caring and patient disposition, because there are many people who are frightened of having dental work done. If you are interested in this field of work, you might also like to check out the education and training for dental assistants.
Salaries and job prospects with a dental hygiene degree?
For graduates, the dental hygienist job outlook is good. It is predicted that the employment for a dental hygienist will expand much quicker than average through the year of 2014. This is due to the increased demand for more dental care along with the use of hygienist to help perform the procedures that were formally taken on by the dentist.
Dental hygiene salaries are good – a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) in the US earns between US$46,000 and US$88,000. If you are wanting to become part of the health care or medical field, then a career in dental hygiene is a good choice that will lead to a bright and rewarding future.
List of schools and programs
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- Dental Assisting - Associate's
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