How To Become a Dental Hygienist in 4 Steps

Are you interested in becoming a dental hygienist? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for dental hygienists is projected to grow much faster than average over the next ten years, making this a great career choice for anyone looking for a rewarding and stable job. Becoming a dental hygienist requires completing certain educational and licensing requirements, but with the right guidance, you can make your dream a reality.

Here are the four steps you need to take to become a dental hygienist:

1. Earn a Degree: The first step you need to take is to obtain a degree in dental hygiene from an accredited college or university. You can find many dental hygiene programs available at both traditional colleges and online schools. The degree programs typically take two to four years to complete, depending on the program and the individual’s academic progress. The courses you take will cover topics such as anatomy, physiology, nutrition, dental materials, and dental radiology.

2. Pass the National Board Exams: After completing your degree, you will need to pass the National Board Exams. The National Board Exams are administered by the American Dental Association and are designed to evaluate the knowledge and skills acquired during your dental hygiene program. Successfully completing this exam is required to become a certified dental hygienist.

3. Obtain a State License: Once you have passed the National Board Exams, you will need to obtain a state license to practice in the state where you plan to work. Licensing requirements vary from state to state, so it is important to research the specific requirements of the state where you plan to practice. This may include passing a state-administered exam and completing a certain amount of continuing education credits each year.

4. Consider Advanced Training: Although a degree and state license are necessary to become a dental hygienist, you may want to consider furthering your education and training by enrolling in a master’s degree or specialty certification program. This will make you more competitive in the job market and will open up more opportunities to advance in your career.

Becoming a dental hygienist is an exciting and rewarding career choice. With the right guidance and dedication, you can make your dream of becoming a dental hygienist a reality in just four steps.  

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