Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Is Dental Hygienist School Hard?

Becoming a dental hygienist requires commitment and intense study and very good people skills. However, the benefits in terms of building a rewarding career and a sound income are more than making-up for the effort.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Dental Hygienist?

In order to get a dental hygienist degree, you need in principle to study for two years. You can expect to study anatomy, material science, periodontology, oral anatomy, pharmacology, nutrition, microbiology, histology, radiography and clinical studies. Depending on the specific school, the studies can take up to four years and master's up to six years.

There is also an advanced degree set by the American Dental Hygienists' Association, i.e. the Advanced Dental Hygiene Practitioner degree.

What Are The Pre-requisites For Becoming A Dental Hygienist?

In order to be sure, you need to check with the community college or whatever school you plan to attend. However, to get an idea, you usually are require to have as pre-reqs: biology, anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, a few math classes and English. There may be also ACT and SAT minimums as requirements. Then there are the immunizations and CPR certification that is required for al health workers.

Dental Hygienist License

If you would like to practice as a dental hygienist, you need:
  • a degree from a dental hygiene school and 
  • a state license.
In order to get your license there are two exams:
  • written, administered by ADA, i,e, American Dental Association Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations and 
  • clinical exam, administered by state or by the regional testing agencies.
There is one exception for the above exams structure, i.e. Alabama, where there is no ADA written exam. The local requirements are as per the Alabama Dental Hygiene Program and include taking the course, attending clinical training and then passing an exam, which is administered by the state of Alabama.

How Much Does It Cost To Become Dental Hygienist?

The cost can vary by school, engine usually from $20,000 to $50,000. However, the best way to find out is to make a list with the dental hygiene schools in your area and contact them for the exact tuition fees.


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