Dental Hygiene

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Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene

An increasing demand for dental care has led to major career opportunities for dental hygienists.

The need for dental services will continue to grow due to the aging of the population and the renewed focus on preventative care. To keep costs down, dental offices and other care facilities will increasingly employ dental hygienists to perform services that were traditionally handled by dentists.

Dental hygienists perform a wide range of duties including:

  • Assessing patients’ teeth and gums
  • Recording the presence of diseases or abnormalities
  • Removing soft and hard deposits from teeth
  • Teaching patients how to practice good oral hygiene
  • Taking x-rays and developing film
  • Applying cavity-preventative agents such as fluorides and pit and fissure sealants

Hygienists may prepare clinical and laboratory diagnostic tests for the dentist to review and interpret. Hygienists sometimes work with the dentist during treatments.

If you’re up for a challenge, this is a wonderful career.

Successful Dental Hygienists are truly dedicated to helping their patients. They play a critical role in ensuring that individual patients practice the correct preventive care on a regular basis.

A career as a dental hygienist could be right for you, if you:

  • Like to work with people
  • Are compassionate and supportive
  • Are detail oriented
  • Have an interest in teeth and dental procedures
  • Like clear guidelines
  • Trust facts
  • Have good people and communication skills
  • Feel oral health is very important

What are the career opportunities in this field?

A minimum of an associate degree in dental hygiene is generally required for practice in a private dental office. A bachelor's or master's degree usually is required for research, teaching, or clinical practice in public or school health programs. 

Dental hygienists remove soft and hard deposits from teeth, teach patients how to practice good oral hygiene, and provide other preventive dental care. They examine patients’ teeth and gums, recording the presence of diseases or abnormalities. Hygienists may prepare clinical and laboratory diagnostic tests for the dentist to interpret. Hygienists sometimes work chair side with the dentist during treatment. 

Where do they work?

Dental hygienists work in clean, well-lit dental offices. Flexible scheduling is a distinctive feature of this job. Full-time, part-time, evening, and weekend schedules are widely available. Dentists frequently hire hygienists to work only 2 or 3 days a week, so hygienists may hold jobs in more than one dental office. More than half of all dental hygienists worked part-time – less than 35 hours a week. 

What is the job outlook?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it ranks among the fastest growing occupations. The demand for dental services will grow because of population growth, older people increasingly retaining more teeth, and a growing focus on preventative dental care. To meet this demand, facilities that provide dental care, particularly dentists’ offices, will increasingly employ dental hygienists to perform services that have been performed by dentists in the past.

What certification/licensure does this program prepare you for?

Dental hygienists must be licensed by the state in which they practice. Nearly all states require candidates to graduate from an accredited dental hygiene school and pass both a written and clinical examination. The American Dental Association’s Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations administers the written examination, which is accepted by all states and the District of Columbia. State or regional testing agencies administer the clinical examination. In addition, most States require an examination on the legal aspects of dental hygiene practice. Alabama is the only state that allows candidates to take its examinations if they have been trained through a state-regulated on-the-job program in a dentist’s office.

Minneapolis

  • Dental hygiene graduates will be prepared to sit for the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, Jurisprudence Exam, and the CRDTS Examination, which (upon successful completion) would provide the graduate the opportunity to become a Licensed Dental Hygienist (LDH).

What is the program title, length, and content?

DENTAL HYGIENE PROGRAM INFO CHART

PROGRAM AVAILABILITY VARIES BY LOCATION.

Program Credits Months
Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene 120 36*
Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene - Bridge 120 36*
*Transfer credits may allow for faster completion of this program.

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN DENTAL HYGIENE

The dental hygiene program at Herzing University prepares graduates to provide direct patient care under the supervision of a licensed dentist. Students gain the academic knowledge and hands-on capabilities needed to effectively assess patients as well as scale, polish teeth and apply sealants. They learn to work with patients to manage pain and encourage good oral healthcare practices.

Acceptance into the dental hygiene program is on a selective basis. Students who meet the minimum criteria for admission will be further evaluated on a competitive basis through entrance test scores and prior academic performance, as well as other criteria determined by Herzing University. Download Program Course Sheet

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN DENTAL HYGIENE - BRIDGE

The goal of the dental hygiene program is to prepare students with the knowledge and skills required to manage and maintain a dental clinic, effectively instruct dental hygiene students, and build upon previous learned education in dental hygiene. This program prepares students with the necessary skills and academic knowledge for entry-level leadership opportunities with an emphasis on dental hygiene. It is structured as a “three-plus-one” degree where students who have already completed a typically lengthy associate’s degree in dental hygiene (in the range of 90 semester credit hours) can top off that degree with an advanced curriculum. Combined, this gives the graduate both the technical grounding in a dental hygiene program (from earlier training in dental hygiene from their associate’s level studies) and the higher-level skills to effectively lead, manage, and teach in the dental hygiene profession. Download Program Course Sheet

Which locations offer this program?

Minneapolis Campus

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