Date of publication: 2017-07-08 21:37
Every state requires dental hygienists to be licensed requirements vary by state. In most states, a degree from an accredited dental hygiene program and passing grades on written and clinical examinations are required for licensure. To maintain licensure, hygienists must complete continuing education requirements. For specific requirements, contact your state’s Board of Dental Examiners.
Dental hygienists typically need an associate’s degree in dental hygiene. Bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in dental hygiene also are available, but are less common. A bachelor’s or master’s degree usually is required for research, teaching, or clinical practice in public or school health programs.
The educational requirements for dental hygienists vary, depending on the career field. According to the . Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an associate's degree or certificate is typically needed to work in a private office, while research or public health careers may require a bachelor's or master's degree ( ). Prospective dental hygienists may consider programs that are approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. The BLS states that graduating from an accredited program is required by many states.
Dental hygienists perform routine cleanings and inspect for oral health. An associate's degree or certificate program is the minimum requirement for his job. These provide in-class training and hands-on experience. Licensure is usually required for dental hygienists.
Dental hygienists clean teeth, examine patients for signs of oral diseases such as gingivitis, and provide other preventive dental care. They also educate patients on ways to improve and maintain good oral health.
A career as a dental hygienist offers a wide range of challenges. In the dental office, the dentist and the dental hygienist work together to meet the oral health needs of patients. Since each state has its own specific regulations regarding their responsibilities, the range of services performed by hygienists varies from state to state. Some of the services provided by dental hygienists may include:
There are areas in the United States, typically rural areas, where patients need dental care but have little access to it. Job prospects will be especially good for dental hygienists who are willing to work in these areas.
The How to Become One tab describes how to prepare for a job in the occupation. This tab can include information on education, training, work experience, licensing and certification, and important qualities that are required or helpful for entering or working in the occupation.
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