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How do I get Dental Hygienist Training?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2016
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Dental hygienist training is usually done at a vocational school, or community college. These institutions should be accredited by a regional accrediting organization and present a certification that qualifies a person as a dental hygienist. Once the dental hygienist training begins, it typically takes two years to complete the degree, and prepare the individual for a dental hygienist job.

Often, the requirement for dental hygienist training is simply graduation from high school, or obtaining an equivalent diploma through other means. Once that is accomplished, the next step is to research schools that offer the training. Not all vocational schools or community colleges will have a dental program. For most individuals, however, there still should be an option close to where they live. Larger and mid-sized cities may have multiple dental hygienist schools.

For those who know they are interested in dental hygienist careers in high school, the training could even start before graduation. Science courses, in particular, are often pre-requisites for getting into the core part of any college program. Taking those courses in high school will provide a better background for the college work. In some cases, a high school and college may team together to offer dual credit, that which applies to both high school and college, for the same course. Thus, the core curriculum for dental hygienist training may start earlier for those students taking advantage of this.

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In addition to the classroom work, dental hygienist training will involve a certain amount of hands-on experience as well. In some cases, this may be accomplished through internships at local dentist offices. In the vast majority of cases, the school will have a dental clinic set up where members of the public can come in for cleanings at a reduced rate. This gives the student a chance to practice on real clients in a real-world environment. Of course, the dental hygienist cannot take care of any serious oral health issues. If those are discovered, the client will likely be encouraged to seek the services of a dentist.

For more information on finding a school in your area, the website of the American Dental Association lists accredited schools throughout the United States. Those who are not sure where to start looking for dental hygienist training may find that to be a good place to start. Enrolling in such a program is similar to enrolling in any other college program. Requirements often include sending in an application, getting accepted, and attending an orientation.

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Animandel
Post 3

I have a friend who started school to become a nurse. Halfway through the training she quit because she couldn't handle the patients' pain, especially when she was doing a procedure that was causing the pain. She quit the nursing and switched to a dental hygienist program.

mobilian33
Post 2

My niece dropped out of high school, but she earned her GED. She has been moving from job to job since she got out of school. She told me the other day that she wanted to get a real job where she could start a career and bring home a decent paycheck.

I told her I would help her choose a field and get on a path to a career. After reading about the relatively short time the training to become a dental hygienist takes to complete, and also reading about the high demand for dental hygienist, I think this would be a really good career for her to pursue.

Laotionne
Post 1

Everyone should do all they can to take care of his or her teeth. This can be tough when you are on a tight budget and trying to visit the dentist every six months for regular checkups. And this doesn't include all of the other dental issues, like fillings, caps, bridges and the rest of the possible dental repairs.

A friend told me about the clinic at the local dental school where I can have cleanings and some other types of dental work done for a fraction of the cost of going to my regular dentist. Before I found the clinic, I had cut my visits to the dentist to once a year and sometimes I would even stretch

that.

The dental hygienist training students do a really good job of cleaning my teeth, and for the most part, if you didn't know you were at a clinic you would think they were professional hygienist working in a dentist's office.

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