How to Become a Dental Hygienist in 2023

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In this article, we will discuss the steps required to become a dental hygienist in 2023, including education requirements, top schools, certification exam, licensing, salary guide, job growth, job openings, and tips for becoming a successful dental hygienist.

How to Become a Dental Hygienist : Education Requirements

Embarking on a career as a dental hygienist in 2023 involves specific educational steps.

First and foremost, you’ll need to enroll in a dental hygiene program that’s recognized by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

These programs typically span two to three years, immersing students in subjects like anatomy, physiology, radiography, periodontology, pharmacology, and hands-on dental hygiene clinical experiences.

Entry into these programs often necessitates a high school diploma or its equivalent. You’ll also need to present your transcripts, ensuring you meet the usual minimum GPA requirement of 2.5.

It’s not uncommon for programs to ask for foundational courses in subjects like chemistry, biology, and math to be completed beforehand.

To further ensure they’re admitting the right candidates, some dental hygiene schools might ask you to take and pass an entrance examination, such as the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS).

This ensures you’re academically prepared for the rigors of the program.

Top 10 Best Dental Hygiene Schools in 2023

Choosing the right dental hygiene school is crucial to your success as a dental hygienist.

The following are the top 10 best dental hygiene schools in 2023, based on their reputation, accreditation, curriculum, clinical training, and job placement rate:

  1. Uvsity of Michigan School of Dentistry, Ann Arbor, MI
  2. Uvsity of North Carolina School of Dentistry, Chapel Hill, NC
  3. New York Uvsity College of Dentistry, New York, NY
  4. Uvsity of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
  5. Uvsity of California, Los Angeles School of Dentistry, Los Angeles, CA
  6. Uvsity of Minnesota School of Dentistry, Minneapolis, MN
  7. Uvsity of Maryland School of Dentistry, Baltimore, MD
  8. Uvsity of Washington School of Dentistry, Seattle, WA
  9. Uvsity of Southern California Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, Los Angeles, CA
  10. Ohio State Uvsity College of Dentistry, Columbus, OH

Online Dental Hygiene Courses in 2023

If you cannot attend a traditional dental hygiene program, online dental hygiene courses may be a suitable alternative.

However, it is crucial to ensure that the online program is accredited by CODA to meet the requirements for licensure.

Some of the top online dental hygiene courses in 2023 include:

  1. University of Bridgeport Fones School of Dental Hygiene, Bridgeport, CT
  2. University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry, Kansas City, MO
  3. Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
  4. Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA
  5. University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD

How to Pass the Dental Hygienist Certification Exam in 2023

Passing the NBDHE is a crucial step in becoming a licensed dental hygienist. Here are some tips to help you prepare for and pass the exam:

  • Familiarize yourself with the exam format and content by reviewing the exam blueprint and sample questions.
  • Use study materials such as textbooks, review guides, and practice tests to reinforce your knowledge and identify areas that need improvement.
  • Join study groups or online forums to share study tips and resources and get support from fellow candidates.
  • Practice time management and test-taking strategies, such as skipping difficult questions and coming back to them later, to ensure you have enough time to complete the exam.
  • Stay calm and focused during the exam, and don’t let anxiety or stress affect your performance.

How to Renew Your Dental Hygienist License in 2023

If you’re already a licensed dental hygienist, you’ll need to renew your license in 2023. Here’s how:

  1. Check your state’s requirements: Each state has its own requirements for license renewal. Be sure to check with your state’s dental board to ensure you’re meeting all the necessary requirements.
  2. Complete continuing education: Most states require dental hygienists to complete a certain number of continuing education hours in order to renew their license. Make sure you’re staying up-to-date with the latest developments in the field by taking relevant courses and attending conferences.
  3. Submit your renewal application: Finally, you’ll need to submit your renewal application and any necessary fees to your state’s dental board.

Dental Hygienist Hourly Wage in 2023

Some dental hygienists are employed part-time and their earnings are determined by hour. The hourly rate for dental hygienists in 2023 will vary dependent on the location and experience as well as the industry.

In the average, the hourly pay for a dental hygienist by 2023 could be about $37/hour. However, this number could vary from $28 an hour to $50 an hour, according to the factors mentioned earlier.

Dental Hygienist Job Growth in 2023

The demand for dental hygienists is projected to grow by 6% from 2020 to 2030, which is slightly faster than the average for all occupations.

This growth is attributed to several factors, such as an aging population, an increase in the number of individuals with dental insurance, and an emphasis on preventive dental care.

As more people become aware of the importance of oral health, the demand for dental hygienists is likely to increase.

Dental hygienists play a critical role in preventive dental care by cleaning teeth, examining patients for oral diseases, and educating them on proper dental hygiene practices.

Dental Hygienist Job Openings in 2023

In 2023, there will be plenty of job openings for dental hygienists, especially in states with a high demand for healthcare professionals.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, California, Texas, and Florida are expected to have the highest number of job openings for dental hygienists in 2023.

In addition, dental hygienists can find employment opportunities in various industries, such as private dental practices, hospitals, schools, and government agencies.

Tips for Becoming a Successful Dental Hygienist in 2023

As a dental hygienist, there are several things you can do to become successful in your career in 2023. Here are some tips to help you achieve your goals:

Keep up with the latest technology and techniques: Dentistry is constantly evolving, and it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest tools, techniques, and technology.

Attend conferences, read industry publications, and take continuing education courses to stay on top of new developments.

Build strong relationships with patients: Patients are the heart of your practice, and building strong relationships with them is essential.

Make a point to connect with each patient, listen to their concerns, and provide personalized care.

Develop excellent communication skills: Communication is key in any healthcare profession, and dental hygiene is no exception.

Develop excellent communication skills to help put patients at ease, explain procedures, and discuss treatment options.

Practice good time management: Time is a precious commodity in dental hygiene, and effective time management is essential.

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Plan your schedule carefully, prioritize your tasks, and delegate responsibilities as needed.

Cultivate a positive attitude: A positive attitude can make all the difference in your career as a dental hygienist.

Stay upbeat, focus on the good, and be a source of encouragement and support for your colleagues and patients.


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