Getting a Dental Hygiene Degree for a Lifelong Career

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), a dental hygienist is a licensed professional registered with the ADA or a similar dental association or regulatory body in the country where they practice. A dentist diagnoses and treats dental problems, a dental hygienist provides more general teeth care, including assessing patients' oral health, assisting the dentist, and taking and developing dental radiographs.

The career prospects of a dental hygienist for the coming years are nothing but rosy. Both job openings and salaries in this field are expected to rise in the next few years, thereby spurring current enrollments in dental hygiene college courses.

If you still do not know which career to pursue, you can take a look at these dental hygiene courses as an option to consider. On the other hand, if you are already in the dental/oral health field but are looking to switch careers may want to buy a college degree for the said career.

Enrolling in a dental hygiene course and successfully earning a degree as a dental hygienist will enable you to be eligible for the significant number of jobs that are predicted to open in various dental clinics and facilities all over the US. Building a lifelong career in the dental care industry becomes easier when you have the proper education and training. What, though, if you do not have both?

As mentioned earlier, you have the option to buy a college degree from a reputable provider of online degrees. You may visit this website for more information, but in essence, a degree from an online degree provider is legitimate and sanctioned by the issuing university.  

Taking a Dental Hygienist Course

There are several hundreds of dental hygiene courses that have been given the proper accreditation by the appropriate regulatory bodies in the US.  You could take any one of these courses if you wish to prepare for a dental hygienist career. To enter these courses, you would have to have the essential skills to serve as your foundation in more advanced classes, particularly in math and science subjects.

Taking and passing a college entrance exam is a requirement if you wish to pursue this career. High school can take extra credits in biology, chemistry, and math in preparation for their college entrance application. It would also help if students applying to take a dental hygiene course can gain some experience in related fields. 

Another requirement for entry to the said course is at least one year of college education. Although it only takes two years to finish a dental hygienist course, the one or two years of college that is a prerequisite to this course brings the entire duration of studies to three to four years. 

After completing your course requirements and passing the national board exam, the school will confer an associate degree in dental hygiene.  You will then be deemed ready to take the licensure exam in the state you wish to practice as a dental hygienist. You can take further dental hygiene studies to go higher up in the workplace hierarchy or move on to other dental research and public health fields.

A dental hygiene course involves a combination of classroom instruction and clinical training.  Among the topics covered in this course are anatomy, physiology, microbiology, pharmacology, radiography, histology, periodontology, dental materials, and clinical dental hygiene. Manual dexterity skills are critical, especially since you will be handling dental instruments within a small area. 

Course requirements are not the same for all schools but generally follow the approved minimum standards, which the Commission on Dental Accreditation determines. You will have to pass the written and clinical examination administered by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations of the American Dental Association. Once you have your degree, you will need to fulfill varying licensure requirements per state to practice in your chosen state.

Suppose you wish to pursue studies in dental hygiene could expect to spend a minimum of $22,000 for a 2-year associate degree course in a local community college. Tuition fees and other school expenses in public schools offering 4-year bachelor's degree courses would run up from $40,000 to about $100,000. 

The dental hygienist course can be expensive, which may be why some would instead buy a college degree. There are many online degree providers like we mentioned earlier, and if you buy from them, you will buy a college degree from a real college.

If you are interested in seeking financial assistance to complete your dental hygiene courses, you could avail of federal and private student loan programs. By completing the Free Application for Federal Student Loans (FAFSA), you can determine if you are eligible for the student loans and grants available. Deserving students could also qualify for the various scholarships offered by the American Dental Hygienist Association (ADHA).

Finding the right dental hygiene program is the key to adequately preparing for a lucrative career as a dental hygienist. These professionals are one of the best paid in the dental care industry.  You will find a list of accredited dental hygiene programs that you can get from the ADHA. Enrolling in these programs is a good start towards a rewarding and upwardly mobile career path.

Making a Living in the Dental Care Industry

There is a lot of money to be made as a dental hygienist – maybe not enough to make you an overnight millionaire, but much more than what many jobs today can give. However, the expenses for getting the right degree to become a dental hygienist are also high. Still, the investment is well worth the job security and the high pay scale you will be eligible for when you finish the course. With this kind of prospect, you would not go wrong in choosing to enroll in an accredited dental hygiene program to get the proper education and training.     

To make yourself eligible for the high dental hygiene salary scale, you must prepare adequately for the job's demands and requirements. To reiterate, a dental hygienist takes care of preventive dental care, which includes cleaning, scaling, and polishing. You will examine patients for possible dental and gum problems that might be developing, such as gingivitis.

It is also your responsibility to educate patients about proper dental care and hygiene and practices that prevent dental and gum problems. You will work in dentist's clinics, working side-by-side with other dental professionals as dentists and dental assistants. Your work hours are also pretty much stable, with no need to be on standby for emergency cases. So, you can enjoy holidays and days off for a quality family and social life. 

The median annual dental hygiene salary is around $76,000. It is expected to increase, especially with the growing awareness about the importance of preventive dental care in maintaining overall health and wellness. The highest pay scales for dental hygienists are offered in Alaska, Washington, and Washington DC.

In contrast, the lowest pay scales were paid to dental hygienists in Utah, Alabama, and Georgia.  The pay scales offered differ from one institution to another depending on the dental hygienist's qualifications, education, experience, and the scope of responsibilities assigned to him.  An entry-level dental hygienist can expect an annual income of about $55,000. This is guaranteed to increase over time as you gain more experience and improve your skill level. 

The job demand for dental hygienists is likewise projected to increase nearly 40% in the next five years, assuring graduates of dental hygiene college courses that there will be jobs waiting for them to fill when they finish school. Higher dental hygiene salary scales and better job opportunities are available to those who strive to attain higher educational status. 

You can pursue higher studies to earn bachelor's and master's degrees. There are colleges and universities all across the country offering accredited programs for these degrees. You can choose to enroll at a learning institution offering accredited programs within your state or in another state. The ADHA maintains a list of these accredited programs on their website so students can find the one they feel would best prepare them for their dental hygienist career. Otherwise, you have the option to buy a degree from a regionally accredited college. 

It would be best to prepare physically and mentally for the job if you aspire to be a dental hygienist. Devoting time to developing math and science skills and improving motor skills and dexterity is advisable while in high school. Preparing to pass the admissions test in the college of your choice is also a requirement, along with your high school diploma. Dental hygienist colleges would also look for evidence of completion of one year or two years' worth of college education in the prerequisite fields of study. 

With the proper credentials under your belt, your future in the dental care profession holds much potential. How far you will go in your professional life will depend on how much effort you put into preparing for it and how dedicated you are towards improving your craft. If you feel that a lifetime career in the dental care industry is right up your alley, you can consult with a career counselor to direct you to the right path. Indeed, this field can afford to pay its practitioners well enough to live with some comfort.

Post a Comment