Tips & Advice
Are dental hygienists required to attend continuing education classes?
Dental hygienists are required to attend continuing education classes, and the amount of continuing education that is needed varies from state to state. Depending on the state, dental hygienists must renew their licenses every one, two, or three years. A certain amount of continuing education is necessary to successfully have this license renewed.
Can dental hygienists perform teeth whitening?
Dental hygienists can perform teeth whitening. This procedure is used to brighten a discolored smile. It's possible to whiten teeth at home, but you'll often get faster results if you turn the process over to a trained and skilled professional. Dentists and dental hygienists often use stronger bleaches to whiten teeth than those that are available to consumers over the counter.
How much does it cost to get the education required to become a dental hygienist?
The costs associated with getting the education required to become a dental hygienist depends on the type of degree chosen. For an associate's degree, expect to spend an average of $22,000. For a bachelor's degree, the average cost rises to $36,000. For a master's degree, it would take an additional $30,000 on top of the costs associated with getting a bachelor's degree.
How long does it take to become a dental hygienist?
It takes a minimum of two years to become a dental hygienist. This is the time required to obtain the associate's degree that qualifies them for licensing in a particular state. After obtaining a degree, they'll need to pass national, state, and regional exams to begin working as a dental hygienist.
What is the difference between a dental hygienist and a dental assistant?
The are certain key differences between a dental hygienist and a dental assistant. A dental assistant performs tasks such as disinfecting instruments, managing patients' dental records, and assisting dentists during procedures. Dental hygienists perform a more advanced set of tasks, such as polishing teeth and removing tartar, plaque, and stains.
Are dental hygienists required to have certification?
A dental hygienist must be licensed, and licensing requirements vary from state to state. To qualify for licensing, you need to graduate from an accredited dental hygiene program from a two-year or four-year college. You also need to successfully complete the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as all relevant regional or state board exams.
Can dental hygienists perform teeth cleaning?
Dental hygienists can perform teeth cleaning, and in many dental offices, the dentist will turn this task over to him or her. A professional cleaning handled by a dental hygienist involves scaling the teeth to remove plaque and tartar buildup. The teeth are also typically polished to improve whiteness and shine.
What is the most common task or procedure performed by a dental hygienist?
The most common task or procedure performed by a dental hygienist is the clearing of calculus and plaque from teeth. These hard and soft deposits can cause cavities and gum disease if left unaddressed. Dental hygienists can also take patient x-rays and provide counseling on proper oral care practices.
What type of education and training is required to become a dental hygienist?
The minimum educational requirement to become a dental hygienist is an associate's degree from an accredited dental hygiene program. This is a two-year degree that can be obtained from a career college or dental hygienist school, and it qualifies you for the national, state, or regional licensure exams that are required to work in a dental office. Universities offer dental hygiene programs that provide a bachelor's or master's degree, and these additional degrees might be necessary if you plan to teach or practice in school or public health programs.
What is a dental hygienist?
A dental hygienist is a professional who is licensed to provide dental care. Dental hygienists are typically registered with a regulatory body or dental association. Dental hygienists might work alongside dentists in a dental office, or they might work independently in hospitals, nursing homes, or public health clinics.