Is becoming a dental hygienist right for me?
The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:
Still unsure if becoming a dental hygienist is the right career path? Take the free CareerExplorer career test to find out if this career is in your top matches. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a dental hygienist or another similar career!
Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.
How to become a Dental Hygienist
High school students interested in becoming dental hygienists should take courses in biology, chemistry, and mathematics.
Dental hygienists typically need an associate degree in dental hygiene to enter the occupation — private dental offices usually require a minimum of an associate degree or certificate in dental hygiene. Also, every state and province requires dental hygienists to be licensed. Most schools offer laboratory, clinical, and classroom instruction. Hygienists study anatomy, physiology, nutrition, radiography, and periodontology, which is the study of gum disease.
Certificates, bachelor's degrees, and master's degrees in dental hygiene are also available but are less common among dental hygienists. A bachelor's or master's degree is usually required for research, teaching, or clinical practice in public or school health programs.