While searching for dental hygienist programs, you will no doubt come across a multitude of training options. From certificate programs to degree programs in dental hygiene, there are many training paths available. Any of these dental hygienist programs will provide you with the basic knowledge and skills needed to begin your career.
However, you will have to take some time to learn more about a specific program before enrolling to make sure it will help you achieve your career goals. For more information about the different dental hygienist training options available, take a look at the list of open programs below.
About Dental Hygienist Training
Depending on the dental hygienist program you enroll in, you may engage in a brief, highly career-focused curriculum, or you may complete a mix of dental hygienist career courses and general education subjects.
If you enroll in a dental hygienist certificate program, your training will be more focused and can usually be completed within a year. Dental hygienist certificate training programs are more geared for students who already hold a degree in another field.
If you enroll in an associate’s degree program, you will receive a basic general education along with your dental hygienist course content. These programs are designed for students with little or no postsecondary education.
Private dental offices typically prefer dental hygienists who have graduated from one of these two types of dental hygienist programs. However, if you plan to work in a clinical practice or would like to take part in research, you will encounter a different level of dental hygienist education. A bachelor’s or master’s degree may be required. These types of dental hygienist programs typically last several years and will involve a full roster of coursework beyond classes strictly related to the dental hygienist field.
Becoming a Licensed Dental Hygienist
After graduating from one of the dental hygienist training programs above, you will still need to become a licensed dental hygienist. Besides Alabama, every state in the country requires dental hygienists to become licensed in addition to earning a degree from a dental hygienist program.
While earning a degree or a certificate is a part of the licensing process, you will be required to pass a written and practical examination in order to become licensed. Some dental hygienist programs may offer training courses and practice exams to prepare you for this part of the process. Contact schools for more information while you are exploring your options.
Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.