Nursingdegrees > Dental Schools > Dental Hygienist

Dental Hygienist Schools

Dental hygienists are one of the fastest-growing occupations in the nation, and it's no wonder because they can often work part time or on flexible schedules, and can be ready to work with only a two-year degree. What's not to love about this important health care career?

Dental Hygienist Schools: What to Expect

Some of the tasks that dental hygienists perform include:

  • Examining teeth and gums for signs of disease
  • Cleaning soft and hard deposits off of the patient's teeth, removing tartar, stains and plaque
  • Educating the patient about brushing, flossing, and nutrition
  • Taking x-rays of patients' teeth
  • Performing lab tests

Dental hygienist schools usually offer two-year associate's degree programs. Training typically includes on-the-job experience in dental offices through internships. There are certificate, bachelor's, and master's degree programs in this field as well. Individuals who go on to earn an advanced degree may work in specialities like dental education or public health.

Dental hygienist school prepares students to take the required licensing exam in their state. After passing the exam, the student can apply to work as a dental hygienist.

Dental Hygienist Salary and Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment in this field should grow as much as 36 percent between 2008 and 2018, making this one of the fastest-growing occupations in the nation. Dental hygienists earned a median annual salary of $67,340 in 2009, and the top ten percent earned more than $92,000, the BLS reports.

Click here for more information on Dental Hygienist Salary levels.

Dental Hygienist Schools