The Key Facts About Dental Hygiene Schools

The following information provides a short guide to dental hygiene schools and provides some useful background knowledge to help you further your career as a dental hygienist. A dental hygienist provides a specialized service focusing on preventative dental care; that is to say that a dental hygienist works on the hygiene of the teeth and mouth before the need to see a dentist and hopefully prevents much more wearisome or serious procedures undertaken by a dentist or dental operator later on down the road.

To practice dental hygiene in the U.S, you need to have graduated from dental hygiene schools offering accredited dental hygiene programs. Dental hygiene is a highly specialized profession and along with completing a degree level course, it is also necessary to undertake a series of exams. After study and qualification a dental hygienist then needs to register in the state in which they are practicing.

What Does Study At Dental Hygiene Schools Entail?

The key ways in which to become a dental hygienist is to study at one of the many dental hygiene schools across the U.S.; there are two options available:

  • Take a four year bachelors degree in dental hygiene
  • Take a two year dental hygiene program after having completed a first degree

In order to qualify as a dental hygienist it is necessary to pass a dental hygiene program; this will include studying in a class environment for at least two years at an accredited organization and also passing a written exam and a practical clinical exam. Dental hygiene schools provide the tuition and examination support for students to become qualified and accredited dental hygienists.

Dental hygiene schools are now commonplace across the U.S. with dental hygienist becoming a popular career choice for many. There are a number of institutions from which you can become a qualified dental hygienist. Dental hygiene schools must be accredited by the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) in order to offer programs or courses for dental hygiene.

There are a number of different paths you can take to become a dental hygienist. The most common route is to take a first degree in a science subject, or a degree related to dental hygiene and then take a two year course at an accredited dental hygiene school.
It is also possible to become a dental hygienist by taking a four year graduate degree in the field of dental hygiene. In order to be eligible for this four year course you must have a high school diploma; however some entrants to this course have bachelor’s degree and hope to learn more about their areas of expertise. Only institutions accredited with by the ADHA are able to offer dental hygiene courses.

How To Find The Best Dental Hygiene Schools In The U.S.

The American Dentists Hygienist’s Association can provide you with a list of all dental hygiene schools in the U.S. in order to make your decisions. The American Dentist Hygienists Association has an extremely robust system to accredit dental hygiene schools. There are three levels of accreditation as a dental hygiene schools across the U.S.

Dental hygiene schools may be ‘Approved without reporting requirements’; this means that the program achieves or exceeds the requirements for accreditation. An institution can also be ‘Approved with reporting requirements’. This means that the dental hygiene school has been accredited as an approved dental school; however that there are some concerns about areas of weakness. Unless these areas of weakness are improved upon over a set period of time the current accreditation as an approved dental hygiene school can be removed. Finally some dental hygiene schools may be awaiting accreditation and as such be classed as having received ‘Initial Accreditation’ which is granted to any dental program which is planning a dental hygiene program which is not yet fully operational. It is expected that those institutions which have achieved ‘Initial Accreditation’ will receive approval within a set time period.

It is important to choose an institution with an appropriate level of accreditation and to be satisfied that if your school is ‘Approved with reporting requirements’ that these will be met in order for you to become and accredited dental hygienist and licensed to work in the U.S.

There are currently more than three hundred courses available which will enable you to become an accredited dental hygienist. It is possible to qualify as a dental hygienist at one of the numerous dental hygiene schools in the U.S or at an online school for dental hygiene.

If you are looking for an online school for dental hygiene there are a number of good quality options available to you which can provided you with a cost effective and convenient way in which to become a dental hygienist. There are a number of benefits in choosing an online school for dental hygiene as it can afford you the convenience of studying at home and during times which are convenient to you. Virtual schools dental hygiene undertake the same rigorous accreditation system as actual schools for dental hygiene. However, it may be that you require more personal support from both your peers and your tutors and it is only by attending a physical dental hygiene program that you will be able to be with these people on a regular basis.

What Is The Next Step After Attending Accredited Dental Hygiene Schools?

Training to be a dental hygienist at one of the many accredited dental hygiene schools in the U.S. can be a lot of hard work but it can also be an extremely rewarding and interesting career. The amount of money which can be earned by working as a dental hygienist in the United States of America varies massively depending on your level of experience, both in terms of length of service as a dental hygienist and the type of work you have undertaken and also on which region of the U.S you have decided to start practicing. However, the salary of a dental hygienist is higher than the national average wage in each state.

Once you have qualified as a dental hygienist it may be that you wish to further expand your skills and knowledge in this area. On completing an Advanced Dental Hygiene program at one of the dental hygiene schools in the U.S., it is possible to become a Dental Therapist of Advanced Dental Hygiene Practitioner.

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