How Many Years to Become a Dental Hygienist in America

Selecting dental hygiene as a career option in the United States can be an exciting, fulfilling and dynamic professional journey.

Countdown GIF

But one question frequently asked by potential candidates is “How Many Years to Become a Dental Hygienist in America?”

We will tackle this topic extensively throughout this post and provide answers.

Unraveling the Role of Dental Hygienists

Before we answer the question of “How Many Years to Become a Dental Hygienist in America,” it’s essential that we establish what this role entails.

Unraveling the Role of Dental Hygienists
Unraveling the Role of Dental Hygienists

Hygienists play a central role in preventative healthcare; performing teeth cleanings, screening for oral diseases and providing preventative measures while also providing educational materials on how to maintain oral hygiene are just a few duties they fulfill as part of this career field.

Prerequisites: Establishing the Foundation

Step one in answering “How Many Years to Become a Dental Hygienist in America” begins in high school education.

Prerequisites: Establishing the Foundation
Prerequisites: Establishing the Foundation

Prospective dental hygienists should prioritize courses such as mathematics, biology and chemistry during this stage to provide a firm basis for more advanced courses they will encounter in dental hygiene programs.

Undergraduate Study: Beginning The Journey

At its heart, “How Many Years to Become a Dental Hygienist in America” lies undergraduate study.

Undergraduate Study: Beginning The Journey
Undergraduate Study: Beginning The Journey

Most dental hygienists pursue an associate degree in dental hygiene; typically this takes about three years including prerequisites.

Programs will offer classroom, laboratory and clinical instruction.

Licensure: An Essential Step

After you’ve completed an accredited school The next step to becoming a dental hygiene professional is the issuance of a license.

Licensure: An Essential Step
Licensure: An Essential Step

All dental hygienists working within the United States must obtain licensure to legally practice dentistry.

Requirements vary according to state, but typically include passing both the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam and state regional dental exams, a process which may take several months post graduation.

Continuous Professional Development as the Path to Excellence

Answering “How Many Years to Become a Dental Hygienist in America” does not end at licensure. Dental hygiene, like many healthcare professions, involves continuous learning.

Continuous Professional Development as the Path to Excellence
Continuous Professional Development as the Path to Excellence

Most states require dental hygienists to complete continuing education courses to maintain their license – this process may continue throughout your professional career.

To answer the question “How Many Years to Become a Dental Hygienist in America”: approximately six to seven years can pass between graduating high school, receiving your three-year associate degree and becoming licensed.

Professional development should continue after licensure as this field continues its pursuit.

As we’ve explored “how many years it takes to become a dental hygienist,” are you excited to begin this path to an exciting career in dental hygiene?

Countdown GIF

Leave a Comment