Getting ready to become a dental hygienist? There are several degrees in dental hygiene that one can pursue. You can choose a two-year Associate’s Degree and start working right after its completion. Or you can continue studying toward a degree of a higher level. Having a graduate degree in dental hygiene you will be able to find a better job or start your own business.
There are a variety of dental hygienist education programs out there. Students of different backgrounds and age groups can easily find a program that meets their educational needs and career goals. Yet you have to keep in mind that school admission is highly competitive in this field, therefore you must be well-prepared. To enter a degree program in dental hygiene students must have a strong knowledge of math, English and sciences.
As you can see getting into the college of your dream takes hard work and self-discipline. As a rule, dental hygienist education involves the following stages.
Taking Prerequisite Courses
To strengthen your knowledge of the core subjects (English, math and Science) you’ll need to undergo prerequisite courses. Clearly, to become a dental hygienist you must have a good ground knowledge of the main subjects. Students are required to take an exam when the prerequisite courses are over. The results you get will become a key factor to determine whether you’re qualified for the further dental hygienist education.
College Degree Completion
In general, dental hygienist education programs take 2 to 4 academic years. It’s up to you which program to go for. An Associate’s Degree can be obtained in 2 years, whereas a Bachelor’s Degree will take you 4 years. Master’s Degree generally takes 6 years in total to complete it. The college curriculum includes both theoretical classes and practical hours 2-3 days a week. As part of dental hygienist education, students can try out their skills in practice in public dental institutions.
Getting a License
As soon as your dental hygienist education is completed you can start practicing. However, to be eligible for the independent practice you must get a license from the State where you’re planning to work. As a rule, you’ll be required to take two exams to justify your qualifications. These are the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination plus the regional or state clinical exam. If you manage to successfully pass them, you’ll be more than welcome to start your practice as a dental hygienist. For more information about dental hygiene exams go at http://www.ada.org/2662.aspx. To maintain your license you will have to pay an annual fee of $100 -$ 200 depending on the State.