We often visit a dental hygienist’s clinic if we are having any oral diseases. We also go there when we think we need to clean our teeth. A dental hygienist gives us tips on how to take care of our teeth, gums and writes prescriptions. Here, we’ll discuss the topic- Can you become a Dental Hygienist Online?
How to become a dental hygienist?
To become a dental hygienist, you need to have a state license, and to earn this license you need to have an associate’s degree in dental hygiene. You need to go through a dental hygiene program of 3 years. Some schools offer an online program. So, you can become a dental hygienist online.
Education for a Dental Hygienist: One can apply for a bachelor’s degree program or master’s degree program if he/she wants to do research or to teach. But, to be a dental hygienist, one must have an associate’s degree. A dental hygienist aspirant takes part in the 3-year dental hygiene program. During this program dental hygienist aspirants can gather knowledge and information from classroom lectures, they can go for clinical rotations, can lay hands on laboratory works for gaining experience. An aspirant must be a student of science, have studied the basic areas of science, and gained basic knowledge.
Subjects that a dental hygienist needs to cover:
- Medical ethics.
- Periodontics (Study of gum disease).
- Patient management.
Key skills to be a dental hygienist:
- Dedication: A dental hygienist is a social worker, who has several responsibilities to take. To be a successful dental hygienist you need to be dedicated.
- Ability to take responsibility: A health worker is worshipped as God. You guys are no less than God. Everyone relies on you. So, it is your responsibility to take proper care of your patients. If you are afraid of taking responsibility, we are sorry to say, this post is not for you.
- Effective communication skills: A dental hygienist needs to communicate with both the dentists and patients. Dentists rely on the assessment provided by dental hygienists. So, they need to be very specific when they are letting the dentists know about their patient’s oral condition. Also, they give tips on maintaining great oral health. That is why a dental hygienist must have effective communication skills.
- Dexterity: A dental hygienist needs to have control of his hands. They use small instruments for fixing up our oral problems. While working with these tools, they need to be very calm, gentle, and precise.
- Compassion: A dental hygienist must be compassionate towards his/her patients. Some people are afraid to undergo any surgery or having pain. In such cases, a dental hygienist must show his compassion and treat them with care.
- Problem-solving skills: A dental hygienist must have some solid plans to help his/her patients. Patients with oral health issues often ask for advice. A dental hygienist must provide some advice on maintaining good oral health.
Online Dental Hygiene Program:
A dental hygienist aspirant, who is in search of a flexible attendance structure, should apply for an online dental hygiene program. While searching for schools with online program facilities, always keep a CODA (Commission on Dental Accreditation) approved institution in the first preference. You can also apply for an online bachelor’s degree course in the dental hygiene program if you do not want to be a part of the associate degree in dental hygiene program.
Online dental hygiene programs take 3 years to complete, just like traditional dental hygiene programs.
In online dental programs, you need to learn everything, that is learned by a traditional student. You need to gain experience in fieldwork along with lecture-based lessons.
Subjects covered in online dental hygienist programs:
- Pain management.
- Periodontics. (Study of gum disease)
Top 5 online Dental Hygiene Colleges That Offer Associate Degrees:
- The University of Pittsburgh.
- New York University.
- Mesa Community College.
- Phoenix College.
- The University of North California.
Top 4 Online Dental Hygiene Colleges that offer bachelor’s degrees:
- Oregon Institute of Technology. (Annual tuition fee is $12,593)
- Ohio State University-Main Campus. (Annual tuition fee is $9,168)
- Minnesota State University. (Annual tuition fee is $8,481)
- Southern Illinois University. (Annual tuition fee is $9,637)
Examinations that need to be cleared to be a dental hygienist:
There are two exams that one needs to clear to be a dental hygienist. These exams are ATDH (Admission Test for Dental Hygiene) and NBDHE (National Board Dental Hygiene Examination)
1. Admission Test for Dental Hygiene (ATDH): The admission Test for Dental Hygiene is an entrance examination. A dental hygienist aspirant needs to crack this entrance examination to be a part of the dental hygiene program. The question pattern of the Admission Test for Dental Hygiene (ADTH) follows the M.C.Q pattern. The question paper gets set with 240 questions and an aspirant gets 4 hours and 50 minutes to complete this test. The question paper is set on- biology, chemistry, language, perceptual aptitude, reading comprehension, and quantitative reasoning.
2. National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE): As a dental hygienist needs to have a state license to be professional, he/she must clear National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE). The question paper of this examination consists of 350 questions. 350 questions are divided into two unequal parts- 200 discipline-based questions and 150 case-based questions. You get 4hours to complete the exam. For more information, you can follow- http://ada.org.
Work schedule of a Dental Hygienist:
Most dental hygienists, work part-time. But some of them work as much as a dentist works.
Salary of a dental hygienist: Dental hygienists of Alaska get paid $114,790 per year, in California, it is 4106,240, in Columbia, it is $102,380, in Washington the amount is $93,200 and in Oregon, the salary of a dental hygienist is $87,270
The work environment of a dental hygienist: A professional dental hygienist generally works under the supervision of a dentist. The percentage of dentists who work in the offices of dentists is 93%, 1% works in the offices of physicians, 1% is under government and the rest 5% works part-time.
Career Options for a Dental Hygienist:
- Oral hygienists.
- RDH (Registered Dental Hygienist)
- PA (Physician Assistant)
- Physicians and surgeons.
- Radiation therapists.
- Dental Assistants.
- Registered nurses.
- Medical Assistants.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Are the online dental hygienist programs helpful enough to crack National Board Dental Hygiene Examination?
Well, the answer to this question is yes. These online programs let you learn everything that a traditional student learns. The only difference between this online program and the offline program is, you get the flexibility that you need and simultaneously can work on your career advancement.
2. What GPA do I need to become a dental hygienist?
A GPA of 2.5 will do the work. But you should work hard for good marks.
3. Does a dental hygienist do surgery?
A dental hygienist assists the dentist in surgeries.
4. What happens if I fail the dental board exam?
Do not be upset. You can retake the exam. So, just focus on your studies and try hard to clear the exam. We hope, we have covered all the necessary areas that will help you out. We wish you good luck in your future.