Related job titles are: Dental Hygienist, Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH), or Hygienist.
How Much Does a Dental Hygienist Make? | Dental Hygienist Salary
The median yearly salary for dental hygienists was $68,250 in May 2010 (the most recent data available). This median salary is simply the salary where half the employees earned more and half earned a lesser amount. Employees in the lower 10 percent had an annual salary less than $45,000, and those employees in the top 10 percent earned greater then $93,820.
What Does an Dental Hygienist Do? | Job Description
Dental Hygienist is one of U.S. News and World Report "100 Best Jobs of 2013." Dental hygienists clean teeth, examine patients for signs of oral diseases such as gingivitis, and provide other preventative dental care. They also educate patients on ways to improve and maintain good oral health.
Dental hygienists use many types of tools to do their job. They clean and polish teeth with both hand and powered tools, as well as ultrasonic devices. In some cases, they remove stains with an air polishing device, which sprays a combination of air, water, and baking soda. They polish teeth with a powered tool that works like an automatic toothbrush. Hygienists use x-ray machines to take pictures to check for tooth or jaw problems.
How to Become an Dental Hygienist?
Dental hygienists typically need an associate's degree in dental hygiene. Every state requires dental hygienists to be licensed; requirements vary by state. High school students interested in becoming dental hygienists should take courses in biology, chemistry, and mathematics. Some dental hygiene programs also require applicants to have completed at least one year of college.
Dental Hygienist Classes and Courses | Degree Programs
Dental hygienists typically need an associate’s degree in dental hygiene to enter the occupation. certificates, bachelor's degrees, and master's degrees in dental hygiene are also available but are less common among dental hygienists. Private dental offices usually require a minimum of an associate's degree or certificate in dental hygiene. A bachelor's or master's degree is usually required for research, teaching, or clinical practice in public or school health programs.
Dental Hygienist Jobs | Who is Hiring?
Employment of dental hygienists is expected to grow by 38 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Ongoing research linking oral health and general health will continue to spur the demand for preventative dental services, which dental hygienists often provide. New and increasingly accurate technologies to help diagnose oral health problems are also expected to increase demand. For example, new tests use saliva samples that a hygienist takes to spot early signs of oral cancer.
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