Becoming a dental hygienist; you need to do a training program that’s recognized by the Commission for Dental Accreditation and you need to graduate. Once you graduate, you get to qualify for entry-level job as a dental hygienist. While you could work your way up in your field and become a senior dental hygienist one day, choosing to undertake dental hygiene continuing education can get you there far more quickly. Further education can also open up new career opportunities. For the professional dental hygienist seeking career advancement, there are all kinds of continuing education possibilities.
Now to even become an entry-level dental hygienist, you need to have completed an associate’s degree in the subject. The next step up from this is most often a program that grants you a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in dental hygiene.
There are all kinds of private and public universities across the country that offer bachelors and master’s degrees. There are resources that will point you to the right dental hygiene continuing education possibilities that you’ll find on adha.org, the website of the American Dental Hygienists Association. If you’re already a dental hygienist, you can register for membership with the association, and they even offer you discounts on dental hygiene continuing education.
These courses are usually put together with the aim of helping beginner dental hygienists gain access to more advanced positions. But there are programs that offer refreshers in the basic skills as well. For instance, the ADHA has classes that help you brush up on skills like the treatment of osteoporosis of the jaw and healthcare collaboration. When you graduate with a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree, you can even find employment as a teacher, teaching in dental gene is a college.
Once you have your higher education in dental hygiene in place, you’ll need to prepare for the new responsibilities you’ll be handed as a better-qualified dental hygienist. The responsibilities given to dental hygienists do change from one state to the next. Typically though, the job is all about cleaning a patient’s mouth and teeth, and looking for signs of decay or damage that a dentist can fix.
Throughout the country, a dental hygienist needs to earn a license to actually practice. The license itself is granted by the ADHA, through a written test. In some states like Alabama, you need actual on-the-job training to qualify for a license.
Nine out of ten dental hygienists work at the dentist’s office. Job growth opportunities in this field are quite great – 30% over the next five years. The job isn’t without its rewards either. The average dental hygienist salary today is $70,000.