Education Needed For Dental Hygienist

Do You Want to a Dental Hygienist? Berkeley, CA


If you are considering a career in dental hygiene, it’s important to know the education requirements for this field. Dental hygienists play a vital role in maintaining oral health and preventing dental diseases. They work closely with dentists to provide preventative care, clean teeth, and educate patients on proper oral hygiene practices.

High School Education

The first step in becoming a dental hygienist is to obtain a high school diploma or equivalent. This is a requirement for admission into a dental hygiene program. High school education provides a foundation in math, science, and communication skills that are essential for success in this field.

Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene

To become a dental hygienist, you must complete an associate degree program in dental hygiene. These programs typically take two to three years to complete and include both classroom and clinical instruction. Coursework covers topics such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and dental radiography.

Licensing and Certification

After completing an accredited dental hygiene program, graduates must obtain a license to practice in their state. Licensing requirements vary by state, but typically involve passing a written and clinical exam. Some states also require dental hygienists to obtain certification in specialized areas such as anesthesia or periodontics.

Bachelor’s Degree in Dental Hygiene

While an associate degree is the minimum education requirement for dental hygienists, many choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. This degree provides advanced training in areas such as research, community health, and leadership. A bachelor’s degree can also open up opportunities for career advancement and higher salaries.

Continuing Education

To maintain their license and stay current in their field, dental hygienists are required to complete continuing education courses. These courses cover new techniques, technologies, and advancements in dental hygiene. Continuing education is essential for dental hygienists to provide the best possible care to their patients.

Skills Needed for Success

In addition to formal education, dental hygienists need certain skills to be successful in their field. These skills include strong communication skills, attention to detail, critical thinking, and physical dexterity. Dental hygienists must also be compassionate and able to work well with patients of all ages and backgrounds.

Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dental hygienists is projected to grow 6 percent from 2022 to 2032, about as fast as the average for all occupations. As the population ages, demand for preventative dental services is expected to increase. This is good news for aspiring dental hygienists.


Becoming a dental hygienist requires a combination of formal education and essential skills. With the right education and training, you can enjoy a rewarding career in a growing field. If you are passionate about oral health and helping others, dental hygiene may be the perfect career for you.