Dental hygienist programs that are appropriately accredited are well-equipped to train those who want to join the field of dental hygiene and dental care. Becoming a dental hygienist is a great profession. It is a highly recognized profession that allows you to do basic dental procedures; it’s like being just one step away from becoming a dentist, but it’s a more relaxed job too. Dental hygienists also come into contact with a lot of patients, who start to rely on them for an important aspect of their health: dental care. Thus, all in all, it could be a very interesting profession.
There are several job opportunities waiting for those interested in becoming a dental hygienist. Thus, the number of these potential hygienists is also growing. As a result, more and more universities and colleges are offering special hygienist programs to provide training and open the doors for these prospective dental professionals. Lists of available dental hygienist programs can be found online. They are categorized by state so you can easily find the program that is nearest to you.
Here are some more pertinent information that could help lead you down the proper path towards becoming a dental hygienist.
Finding the Right Dental Hygienist Programs
1. For High School Students
Are you a high school student eyeing the dental hygienist profession? Here’s what you should know. The easiest path towards your desired profession is through a pre-license dental hygiene program. This is not widely offered, so you’re going to have to pin down some universities who do offer it. It is also sometimes termed as “entry level” programs.
According to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, there are two kinds of entry level programs, namely Associate’s Degree programs and Bachelor’s Degree programs. A list of such available programs are available at the ADHA website.
If you have found your desired profession early on and are determined to become a hygienist, you can make preparations even while you’re still in high school.
2. For College Students or Employees on Non-Dental Hygienist Program
If you find the dental hygienist job interesting but you are enrolled in another course, you can still pursue the hygienist path. If you really want to focus on this path, you can simple finish a course that’s related to behavioral sciences of humanities, then apply in a dental hygiene program afterwards. However, if your course is not related to the dental hygienist program, you can simply take prerequisite courses and have credits transferred to a hygienist program.
If you are already a graduate but you would like to change from another career and just become a dental hygienist, the same entry level programs are your main options.
3. For Dental Hygienists Seeking Further Studies
Dental hygienists can also pursue further studies, thanks to the Master’s Degrees and Doctoral Degrees in Dental Hygiene that are available. Both types of dental hygienist programs aim to prepare licensed dental hygienists for another milestone in their careers, that of teaching at colleges and universities so they themselves can train more hygienists. Doctoral degree programs are more limited although still available.
4. For Former Dental Hygienists Who Wish to Re-Enter the Field
If you used to be a dental hygienist but practiced a different profession for some time, and now wish to re-enter the dental hygiene field, you may seek follow-up training so you will be updated with the latest technologies and skills needed by today’s dental hygienist. There are re-entry programs especially designed for people in your position.
Are Dental Hygiene E-Courses Available?
Becoming a dental hygienist can also happen even without your leaving the home, except for when you take the licensing examination. There are several dental hygiene education programs that offer hygienist training that is conducted only over the Internet through remote learning. This is ideal for those who have other professions or jobs but would like to try their hand at the dental hygiene field, since it is one of the very flexible and promising careers this day. It is flexible because most dental hygienists are only required to work part-time, so a lot of them are really engaged in other careers or work two different dental hygiene jobs at the same time. As you can see, there are appropriate dental hygienist programs for every type of prospective hygienist.