Dental Hygienist Jobs: With a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene, the job description of a Hygienist is defined which earns them a salary as long as they have a license.
The journey to become a dental hygienist is an interesting one, especially the clinical training and workshops.
For a profession that is often confused with being a dentist, the job outlook of dental hygienists seems to gain traction over the years.
Following the report made by the U.S Bureau of Labor and Statistics, dental hygienist jobs are expected to grow approximately by 15.3% through the year 2030.
This means there would be more jobs made available for existing and fresh graduates who studied dental hygiene.
The availability of these jobs can be traced to the increase in the aging population all over the world.
Someone would need to take care of the dental health challenges that come with that age and the dental hygienist would have to take the job up.
In this article, we have carefully defined the job description of a dental hygienist, their salary structure, and what degree defines your stance.
Also, we have instructed you on the need to get a dental hygienist license and how to go about the license renewal when it’s time.
If you’ve ever been torn between being a dentist or studying dental hygiene, our article Dental hygienist vs Dentist: What is the Difference, Meaning, Roles and Salaries will help you decide.
But until then let’s lead you to explore the available dental hygienist jobs if you’re on a job hunt.
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Who is a Dental Hygienist?
By virtue of description, a dental hygienist is a medical professional who works in the dental department or clinic.
Often confused with being a dentist, the dental hygienist has a different job description entirely.
While the Dentist is in charge of examining, diagnosing, and treating patients who have teeth problems, a dental hygienist is in charge of preventing and treating disorders of the mouth.
It’s safer to say that the dental hygienist is a preventive care doctor that ensures your teeth and oral care do not damage to the point where a dentist has to be called in.
Although most Dental hygienists work independently, they are still required to be supervised by a certified dentist.
When they work in a hospital or clinic, they are an essential component of dentist-led teams.
What Does a Dental Hygienist Do?
The job description of a dental hygienist is distinct compared to other practitioners in the dental department.
If you’re about to enroll in a dental hygiene school like the Best Dental Hygienist Schools in Georgia, then you need to acquaint yourself with what you are expected to do once you graduate from school with a bachelor’s or associate’s degree.
However, if you’re about securing or applying for dental hygienist jobs near you, you need to know what your job description will be in case you sit across the table for an interview.
If the dental hygienist is not a dentist, what does a dental hygienist do?
- Dental hygienists are responsible for cleaning patients’ teeth and checking for signs of various oral health concerns.
- Takes and develops X-rays of the mouth.
- Performing both independent and supervised clinical tasks.
- They use tools such as scrapers and polishers to remove tartar, plaque, and stains.
- Applies preventative treatments such as fluoride and sealants.
- Records findings during cleanings and reporting information to the dentist.
- Assists the dentist during procedures with tasks like administering anesthesia and removing sutures
- They educate the patients in need of oral care and enlighten them on the strategies for maintaining good oral hygiene.
- Dental hygienists forestall future oral health problems of their patients.
By taking these actions, the dental hygienists relieve the dentist of major responsibilities within and around the clinic.
Are Dental Hygienists High in Demand?
For a job with a 15.3% job growth expectation by 2030, we say that dental hygienists are a profession that is not only in demand at the moment but also will never go out of demand.
What this means is that, if you get to study dental hygiene at this point, you will never look for or be out of a job as long as you have a bachelor or associate degree and a dental hygienist license.
Dental hygienists are in high demand due to the ever-increasing aging population who have a need for oral care that comes with age.
Besides that, children who will never leave sweet things alone will need oral care and braces.
Embracing all these possibilities, we see that there is an increase in demand for dental hygienists all over the world.
However, the demand may differ with respect to states, countries, and regions.
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How Do I Become a Dental Hygienist?
The journey to become a dental hygienist is a smooth one if you’re well guided.
So, do not make the mistake of running off to any schools and picking up a form to study dental hygiene without proper guidance on the dental hygienist career journey.
There are several steps needed to become a dental hygienist, here is how to go about it;
#1. Obtain The Needed Dental Hygienist Education.
There is no dental hygienist without a proper education degree from a CODA-approved university or trade school.
The first step to becoming a dental hygienist is to get a proper professional education.
As a dental hygienist, you’re required to have an associate or a bachelor degree in dental hygiene.
Also, for those who want to take the notch a little higher, you can go behind the undergraduate degree and pursue a master’s degree.
For dental hygienists who would want to build a career in research, teaching, or clinical practice a bachelor or master’s degree will do you good.
Whichever career part you choose as a dental hygienist, you will need a professional educational degree.
#2. Apply And Pass All The Necessary Clinical Examinations.
Once you obtain a bachelor or an associate degree in any of the dental hygienist schools, the next is to write your clinical exams.
Yes, dental hygiene is a professional course. That means before you practice, you must be tested to be certified and allowed to practice.
You will need to write all the written and clinical exams as a prerequisite to obtaining your license.
#3. Obtain Your License
A dental hygienist license is approved by your state dental board that allows you to practice as a certified dental hygienist.
You will need to follow the criteria set forth by the laws of your state or the state in which you want to work to obtain your license.
Once you are a certified RDH (a licensed dental hygienist), then you can start searching for dental hygienist jobs.
These are the above steps that will help you become a dental hygienist and as well secure jobs of your interest in your state.
What Kind of Programs are Offered in a Dental Hygienist School?
Before we go on to enlighten you on the salary, available jobs, and the schools to get a bachelor degree to build a dental hygienist career, let’s enlighten you on the programs you will come across in dental hygiene schools.
Majorly, dental hygiene programs will cover laboratory, clinical, and classroom instruction on the scientific basis for dental hygiene practice.
Also, the dental hygiene programs will equip students with the skills and procedures required to provide dental hygiene services with high professional standards, and community health and research principles.
Some of the courses in dental hygiene schools include;
- Dental Science.
- Oral pathology
- Dental materials.
- Oral health education
- Radiographic imaging.
- Chemistry and biology
- Head and neck anatomy
- Community dental health
- Psychology and sociology.
- Ethics and professionalism
- Medical and dental emergency care
- Pharmacology and pain management.
- Tooth morphology (tooth identification)
- Periodontology (study of gum disease).
- Infection and hazard control management
- Child, adolescent, adult, special needs, and geriatric dental care
- Oral embryology and histology (dental development, structure, and function)
Are there Dental Hygienist Jobs Near Me?
Depending on the area where you are job hunting, there may be dental hygienist jobs near you.
First, where do you look for dental hygienist jobs?
Let’s start with that.
Dental hygienists can work in several different types of environments.
The job description of a dental hygienist does not limit their career to just a hospital or clinic.
Although research says that the most common workplace for a dental hygienist is a dental office with over 94% of them as stated by the US Bureau of Labor statistics.
A dental hygienist works in different areas and environments such as;
- Dental offices.
- Nursing homes.
- Personal facility
- Schools and institutions.
- Other medical facilities.
Away from that.
Keep in mind that a dental hygienist can work in different capacities depending on their job description.
Dental Hygienist Jobs According To Time Duration.
#1. Part-Time vs. Full-Time Dental Hygienist Jobs
Dental hygienists can work part-time or full-time jobs depending on choice and yeh office demands.
The job presents great flexibility. Some dental hygienists only need to perform their tasks a few days a week.
#2. Pediatric vs. Adult Dentistry Dental Hygienist Jobs
In this career as a dental hygienist the pay or salary is a little higher than in other jobs in the dental hygiene department.
This dental hygienist job description will mean working with patients of all ages, from kids to adults to seniors.
Also, for Better efficiency, you can choose to work with a particular age group.
To help you, if you want to work with the aged population, seek jobs in nursing homes or senior facilities.
If you would prefer to work with children, a pediatric clinic will solve the puzzle for you.
You will get to work with children and tend to their oral health needs.
#3. Registered Dental Hygienist Jobs
A registered dental hygienist is a licensed dental hygienist.
You will need a dental hygienist license to be referred to and work as an RDH.
Countries such as the USA require all their active dental hygienists to have a license to work with patients.
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17 Ongoing Dental Hygienist Jobs With Good Salary in 2022
If you’re leaving in Burlington, North Carolina, here are some of the ongoing hygienist jobs for you;
#1. Registered Dental Hygienist
- Facility: Cone Health
- Salary Structure: Not Specified
- Location: Greensboro, NC 27401
- Job Description: Responsible for proper maintenance of operatories and dental equipment in the dental clinic.
#2. Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH)
- Facility: Aspen Dental
- Job Status: Full time
- Salary Structure: Not Specified
- Location: Burlington, NC 27215
- Job Description: Providing long-term dental maintenance for dental implant and implant-borne prostheses.
- Facility: Dr Lane & Associates
- Job Status: Full-time
- Salary Structure: $69.9K – $88.5K
- Location: Greensboro, NC 27410
- Job Description: Responsive employer
#4. Dental Hygienist
- Facility: North Carolina Animal Federation
- Job Status: Full-time
- Salary Structure: $50,170 – $66,189 a year
- Location: Hillsborough, NC 27278
- Job Description: Exposes and mounts X-rays
#5. Registered Dental Hygienist
- Facility: Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry
- Job Status: Full-time
- Salary Structure: $64.9K – $82.1K a year
- Location: Greensboro, NC 27410
- Job Description: Delivers direct patient care using established dental hygienist procedures.
#6. Registered Dental Hygienist
- Facility: General Dentistry office
- Job Status: Part-time; 8-hour shift
- Salary Structure: $37 – $40 an hour
- Location: Greensboro, NC 27405
- Job Description: Sterilizing dental instruments and maintaining dental equipment.
#7. Registered Dental Hygienist
- Facility: Night and Day Dental
- Job Status: Full-time; $36 an hour
- Salary Structure: Not Specified
- Location: Greensboro, NC 27403
- Job Description: Assess dental condition and needs of patients using patient screening procedures, including medical history review, dental charting, and perio-charting.
#8. Registered Dental Hygienist
- Facility: Compassionate Dental Care NC
- Salary Structure: Full-time $32 – $40 an hour
- Location: Greensboro, NC 27401
- Job Description: Responsible for proper maintenance of operatories and dental equipment in the dental clinic
#9. Dental Hygienist
- Facility: Mebane Oaks Family Dentistry
- Job Status: Full-time; 8 hours shift
- Salary Structure: $63.7K – $80.7K a year
- Location: Mebane, NC 27302
- Job Description: Responsible for patients oral care.
#10. Full time / Part-time Dental Hygienist
- Facility: Reidsville Family Dental
- Job Status: Full-time and Part-time
- Salary Structure: $66.2K – $83.8K a year
- Location: Reidsville, NC 27320
- Job Description: Responsible for proper patient oral care.
Other dental hygienist jobs include;
- Dental Hygienist at Scott Hudimac
- Hygienist at Tender Care Pediatric Dentistry
- FT Dental Hygienist at Carolina Bright Smiles
- Dental Hygienist at Orange County Government
- Dental Hygienist Advanced Dental Associates, Inc.
- Registered Dental Hygienist at Donegal Dental Center, P.C.
What is the Salary Structure of a Dental Hygienist?
It will be difficult to tell how much the pay for a dental hygienist will be because the salary will depend on factors such as;
#1. Level of Experience
A dental hygienist looking for jobs in an area will be questioned on the level of experience.
This is an important question during an interview because your level of experience as a dental hygienist will determine your pay.
#2. What Degree Do You Have?
In our article Dental Hygienist Programs Near Me, we discuss the two types of degrees a dental hygienist can earn: bachelor or associates.
The type of degree you get will determine how long you will spend in school.
For instance, for a dental hygienist bachelor degree, you will need to spend four years in the university as opposed to an associate degree which requires just 2 years of study.
These degrees affect your pay and career as a dental hygienist.
Dental hygienists who have a bachelor’s degree earn higher than those who hold an associate degree.
So invariably, the dental hygienist jobs may define the job description as well as the salary structure which will depend on your degree and license.
#3. Location of Expertise
A Dental hygienist salary structure is also largely determined by the location of expertise.
Even in a particular country, some states pay dental hygienists higher than others.
According to Indeed.com, the average salary of a dental hygienist per year in the USA is $82,115 per year.
Dental hygienists in Canada earn about $70,647 per year.
ALSO READ: 21+ California Dental Hygienist Schools To Get Into 2022-2023
Where Do Dental Hygienists Get Paid the Most in the United States?
As we stated the salary of a dental hygienist will depend on location.
Using the USA as a case study, here are the top ten best. paying states for dental hygienists;
- Napa, California — $113,870
- Vallejo, California — $115,050
- Fairbanks, Alaska — $117,760
- San Jose, California — $120,340
- Santa Cruz, California — $116,960
- Riverside, California — $112,030
- Santa Rosa, California — $118,980
- Santa Maria, California — $133,730
- Bremerton, Washington — $112,900
- San Francisco, California — $117,470
States such as Alaska, California, Washington, Nevada, and New Jersey topped the charts.
The dental hygienist pay is lucrative and secure, but the salary depends on which part you reside.
How Do I Obtain RDH Licensure?
The process of getting a license to become a dental hygienist will differ by state, region and country.
Some countries will require you to complete the Application to Practice Dental Hygiene through the Western Regional Examination Board (WREB).
Here are the eligibility criteria and requirements to apply for a dental hygienist license;
- Be a graduate of a board-approved and accredited Dental Hygiene program.
- Successfully complete a dental hygiene clinical examination accepted by the state of California.
- Complete approved courses in the administration of local anesthesia, and nitrous oxide.
- Also, ensure to pass the National written examination.
- Then apply for your dental hygienist license and practice.
Do I Need to Be Certified to Be a Dental Hygienist?
If by certified you mean getting a license then yes.
All dental hygienists willing to practice must be licensed.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Dental Hygienist Degree?
Dental hygienist programs through community colleges and technical schools typically take about 2-3 years to complete for an associate degree.
A bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene will take four years to complete and a master’s degree will take 2 years to complete.
A BSc in dental therapy and hygiene program takes 3 years while a degree in oral health science takes 3-4 years.
Also, a foundation degree in oral health science takes two years and a degree in dental hygiene and therapy can be completed in three years.
A certificate of higher education in dental hygiene takes two years while that in dental hygiene and therapy takes 27 months.
Following this guide, I believe you have come to terms with what is expected of you when you apply for dental hygienist jobs.
Although the salary of a dental hygienist is dependent on location, your license and bachelor’s degree will go a long way to help your career.
If you found this article beneficial, don’t stop at reading, share it with friends and family.
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- Registered Dental Hygienist Jobs in Burlington, NC
- Dental Hygienist jobs in Mount Pleasant, PA
- Where Dentists and Dental Hygienists Get Paid the Most and Least in the United States
- How to Become a Dental Hygienist
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