Dental hygienists are oral health professionals who work closely with licensed dentists where they will be allowed to provide services such as training patients on the best oral hygiene practices, assessment of patients, oral inspection or even cleaning of teeth.
To become a dental hygienist, you will need to:
- Enroll in a dental hygienist institution: dental hygienists will require having an associate degree that will be earned after two years of learning. Besides spending a lot of time in the classrooms and labs where you will gain the experience to help you know what to expect in your practice as a hygienist.
In the classes you will be attending, you will study subjects such as anatomy & physiology, medical ethics, radiology, nutrition, head & neck anatomy, periodontics, pathology, and introduction to dental hygiene, among others.
- Get a license: once you have gone through school and gained the necessary knowledge, you will be required to have a license. The license will only be given if the school you attended is accredited but if this is not the case, you may have a hard time getting a license.
- Pass a national board exam: There is an exam set by the national board that you will need to pass before the license is granted and in addition, you will need to continue advancing in your studies so that you know every trend that has been introduced in the hygienists’ practices.
- Clinical examination: The licensing body will also conduct a background check on you before releasing the license to you so that they can be assured that the patients who will be under your care will get the best that hygienists can offer. Your personal hygiene, anesthesia, and also restorative nature will be examined.
Before you can be allowed to practice as a hygienist, you will also need to submit the details of your work history. You will be required to show how you have been practicing from the time you graduated to the date that you are applying to have the license.