Want to achieve a successful career in dental hygiene? Then you will have to get a good education in the accredited college or university. Through the advanced dental hygienist programs and hands-on experience students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to meet their professional goals in the future.
Owing to the fact that dental hygienists perform responsible tasks, they must be well-educated and trained. Colleges and universities offer a great number of educational programs to choose from. They mostly differ in length and complexity of the curriculum. Read this article to get the idea of what kinds of degrees in dental hygiene there are out there.
Certificate in Dental Hygiene
Many universities in the U.S. offer various certificate programs in dental hygiene. The length of these programs ranges from 2 to 3 years. As a rule, the curriculum of the certificate program is composed of the core courses, such as dental anatomy, nutrition, microbiology, local anesthesia and others. In the final academic years students usually have a lot of practice in nursing homes, community health centers, and other health care institutions. Many graduates of certificate programs choose to continue their education toward a Bachelor’s Degree in dental hygiene.
Associate’s Degree in Dental Hygiene
An Associate’s Degree in dental hygiene can be obtained through a community or technical college. This program gives a minimum education required for becoming licensed and employed. An Associate’s degree program is 2 years in duration. As a rule, the curriculum for an Associate’s Degree includes general studies followed by the prerequisite coursework in the liberal arts, humanities, social and natural sciences. The final year is focused on the theoretical and practical courses which prepare students for their future career. An Associate’s Degree in dental hygiene enables students to work under the supervision of a licensed dental hygienist. And to enter an independent practice you will have to continue studying toward a Bachelor’s Degree in dental hygiene.
Bachelor’s Degree in Dental Hygiene
Bachelor’s Degree in dental hygiene is available for practicing dental hygienists as well as for those without previous experience in the field. Bachelor’s Degree programs in dental hygiene are 4 years in duration. The first academic years are focused on the general subjects, such as natural and social sciences, math, and liberal arts. And through the next two years students are introduced to such disciplines as radiology, oral pathologies, community health, dental anatomy, preventative oral health care, dental materials, etc. A Bachelor’s Degree in dental hygiene allows graduates to conduct clinical practice, research or be involved into the education or health programs.
Master’s Degree in Dental Hygiene
Many undergraduate students decide to go further with their studies and get a Master’s Degree in dental hygiene. With a Master’s Degree you’ll be able to become a researcher, administrator or an educator. A Master’s Degree in dental hygiene offers academic courses specially designed for students who want to get a deeper insight into dental hygiene. Through the academic years students participate in research work and get some practical experience. Graduates are trained to be hygiene leaders, practitioners, educators, oral health promoters, administrators and researchers.