About Dental Hygienist Jobs
Dental hygienists provide an important service to a dental office and its patients. They work closely with the dentist to assist in the examination and maintenance of patients’ oral health. In addition to administering professional teeth cleaning and polishing, they advise patients about proper brushing and flossing techniques, cavity and gum disease prevention, and apply fluoride treatments and sealants. They assist in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the mouth. Dental Hygienists may also take and develop x-rays and work with the dentist in deciding the best treatment plan for the patient. Dental hygienists are licensed professionals with an excellent bedside manner and the ability to ease patient anxiety during dental treatments. Dexterity, flexibility and the ability to sit or stand for long periods of time is important due to the nature of work they perform. Dental hygienists usually enjoy flexible work schedules with the ability to accept either full-time or part-time employment. Sometimes, they work in multiple dental offices.
The median annual salary for Dental Hygienists in Washington D.C. is $67,860.00 per year. Because of the flexible work schedules that dental hygienists enjoy, their pay rate can be determined either as salary, hourly or by way of commission.
The dental hygienist program takes two years of full time schooling to compete, after a minimum of 31 general education college credits of pre-requisite classes are fulfilled. Most of the pre-requisite classes involve science related courses, such as chemistry, microbiology and anatomy. In addition to the dental hygiene program, the general education requirements take about one year to complete. The dental hygiene program incorporates classroom and hands-on laboratory instruction. Once an Associate’s degree in Applied Science is earned, students must pass a clinical examination and the written national board exam in order to obtain a District of Columbia state license, which also requires a written exam in order for the license to be obtained. The limited number of educational institutions in Washington, DC that provide dental hygienist programs account for the high demand of dental hygienists in that area.
Dental Hygienist Schools in Washington, DC
Howard University College of Dentistry
Dept. of Preventive Services, Dental Hygiene Div.
600 W Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20059