How To Become A Dental Hygienist – An Overview of This Career Choice
Finding the perfect career is vital in making your life a success. There are not many careers out there that offer both growth potential and a great job that makes you feel good about yourself.
This is what is so wonderful about becoming a dental hygienist. There is an expected 36 percent growth in the job market for dental hygienist within the next six years.
But you may wonder how to become a dental hygienist. Your first step on the track to becoming a dental hygienist is to obtain at least a two-year associate degree or certificate program from a school that has been accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. There are two degrees that you may wish to obtain.
First is the certificate. This program takes two to three years to complete and will include both classroom and practical studies involving clinical rotations. Students will get hands-on experience with sensitive gums, tooth decay and taking patient histories. Students will also learn oral and dental hygiene applications, oral pathology and dental pharmacology.
The second-degree option that you have is an associate degree. This degree plan will also teach students in the classroom setting and also clinical rotations. Students that chose this course of study will also have the chance to work with dentists in a specialized area such as periodontists. Students will learn to seal cavities, apply fluoride treatments, conduct x-rays and advise patients on proper oral care. In the classroom setting, they will learn proper community dental health procedures, oral biology, nutrition and legalities of dental care.
Once a degree has been obtained from an accredited school, it is required by all fifty states that you become licensed before you can practice legally. Licensing is done by each individual state and will require that you take and pass the written portion of the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam and a state clinical exam.
Before you can take the National Board Dental Hygiene test you must apply for a DENTPIN from the American Dental Association. You are also required to read and agree to the testing guidelines, you must then pay the exam fee and sign up for the testing to be done. Once your application has been approved you will receive an email detailing all the testing procedures.
You may then set up a time to take your computer-based portion at any of the Pearson Vue nationwide testing centers. It is suggested to schedule your time and date for testing at least sixty days in advance to ensure that you get the testing date and time that you requested. Once you have completed the computer-based test your score will be mailed to your home address in about four weeks.
The clinical exam is conducted by individual state boards of dentistry or by the regional dentistry testing services. There are five different boards that currently do these tests and the requirements and testing procedures will depend on which board your state or region uses. As you can tell learning how to become a dental hygienist is a fairly involved process, but don’t get nervous, it’s not as hard as it seems.
These boards are Council of Interstate Testing Agencies, North East Regional Examining Board, Central Regional Dental Testing Services, Southern Regional Testing Agency and Western Regional Examining Board.
Once you have your degree and you have successfully passed both the written and clinical exams you can apply for your state license. Some states may require additional things before you can be licensed such as a background check, fingerprints, vaccinations or an interview. Registration and issuance of your license will depend on the state that you intend to work in and obtain your license from. Once you have been licensed and completed all of your education you are ready to work as an officially licensed dental hygienist.
This is a career that you can be proud of having. You are helping to make a difference in the lives of others and teaching them how to properly take care of something as important as their teeth.
Becoming a dental hygienist is a very important step in your life so make sure that before you take this task on you are ready and able to commit yourself to this career. It is a very important and lucrative way to earn your living and be proud of what you do.
As people become more aware of the importance of good oral hygiene, they want to become a dental hygienist grows rapidly. There is a steadily increasing earning potential for those who wish to become a dental hygienist. If you are among those who wish to become a dental hygienist, then you have probably wondered what the requirements of the position are.
There are several steps you can follow to become a dental hygienist.
Become a Dental Hygienist: duties and responsibilities
Dental hygienists work in dental healthcare facilities. They may work in private dental practices, public healthcare facilities, hospitals, schools, dental specialties, dental schools, and dental equipment sales. Duties vary depending on the requirements of each state and the education level of the dental hygienist.
If you want to become a dental hygienist, you need to have excellent communication skills and be able to work with your hands. Dental hygienists work closely with dentists and dental assistants to provide direct patient care. They are trained to repair teeth, diagnose specific dental conditions, and to educate patients about proper oral health care. Because of their extensive clinical training, some dental hygienists have the ability to perform procedures such as root scaling and planning to treat periodontal disease and administer anesthetics. Routine dental office duties include charting abnormalities and decay for further treatment, assisting dentists during procedures, preparing laboratory tests, taking x rays, and documenting conditions.
Become a Dental Hygienist: licensing requirements
All states require dental hygienists to be licensed due to the broad range of their duties. Most states require dental hygiene schools to be accredited by the American Dental Association. They require dental hygienists to complete and pass a written exam that is administered by the American Dental Association Join Commission on National Dental Examinations and a clinical exam that is administered by each state.
Become a Dental Hygienist: education program
Most training programs take from two to three years to complete. Dental hygienists who complete these programs receive an Associate’s degree in Applied Sciences. There are approximately 280 schools that are accredited by the American Dental Association. Most of these schools require students to have a high school diploma and to pass a college entrance exam. Some programs even require students to have one year of college experience before applying.
There are also programs available where you can obtain a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree. These programs are more extensive and prepare you for other career options available such as teaching or research.
Become a Dental Hygienist: career opportunities
Once you have completed your training and education and have become licensed, it is time for you to look for a job. There are several opportunities out there so it shouldn’t be hard to find a career opportunity that matches your skills.
An average dental hygienist salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is a little more than $86,660 a year. If you become a dental hygienist, you will have the opportunity to increase your earning potential considerably. This, in a nutshell, is how to become a dental hygienist…please browse the site and collect other pertinent information.