Your Path to Become a Dental Hygienist

Preventative dental healthcare is becoming more and more the norm in dental healthcare. A dental hygienist is one of the dental care professions that are in line with this trend and the proof is in the increased demand for these professionals.

Dental hygienists ensure patients have clean teeth, by cleaning their teeth and advising them on how an individual can maintain clean and healthy teeth to prevent oral diseases.Dental Hygiene

The guide below is the path you will take in order to become a dental hygienist:


  • To enroll into this dental program you will first need a high school diploma or a GED.
  • You then need to enroll into a college or university and to do so you will need to show that you have your GED or high school diploma first. Your certificate or diploma should be backed by a good track record in English, biology, chemistry, and mathematics subjects while you were in high school.
  • The bottom line for enrolling into most colleges is that you pass your SAT or CAT exams. These pre-college courses determine if you will enroll or what kind of institution you can get into.
  • Depending on your qualification scores, preference and budget for the course, you will then be able to apply and be accepted for the dental hygiene program in either:
    • An accredited certificate or associate program takes 2 years to complete.
    • An applied sciences associate degree in dental hygiene at a community college that will also take you 2 years on average or,
    • A bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene at a university takes four years.
  • After you complete your studies, you then need to apply for a state license. Find out what the requirements for your preferred state will be. The requirements may vary from state to state but the basic requirement is to have an accredited certification for the course you have completed above and that you can prove it.
  • Most states will also require that you have taken a CPR course.


  • You then need to apply for an exam with the American Dental Association. They do have some requirements but nothing you need to worry about if you passed your exams and attended classes and have a recommendation from one of your lecturers.
  • You will also need a state license. Since you have already done your research on what your state requirement are, this should be a breeze.
  • Once you have passed the state requirements, you are ready to practice as a Dental hygienist.


  • Once you have all the certification and licenses required, take a deep breath and a little time congratulate yourself on your achievements so far. You have been through a lot and you are almost there.
  • You now need to search for a job. This part is not so hard; you could start by going online and searching for sites like give you an idea of where you can find opportunities that suit you the most.

Of course, you need to do some networking of your own to find out where your best interests in your chosen career will find fulfillment.

About the Author

Daniel Kush has been practicing dentist for the last 10 years; for more information and to get career advice on becoming a dentist visit



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