ecoming a specialist in this area offers a wide range of opportunities, both for your life path as well as when it comes to dental hygienist education. There are so many benefits to becoming a dental hygienist: you get to help people while getting paid a very good salary, and often you’ll be able to have flexible hours and you’re able to take the job with you wherever you should decide to go in the future.
However, as with many things, a goal in life such as becoming a dental hygienist must begin with a first step. That first step, in this instance, is doing your research on dental education.
As you’re taking the first steps into dental hygienist education, it’s important that you’re aware of your options. You may also need to take a close look at your life situation. There may be budgetary concerns or even time constraints – all these factors will play a part in what type of education that you are able to take on at the present time. Keep in mind that even if you start off at the minimum requirements, you can always go back later and build upon your knowledge to achieve higher educational degrees.
Dental Hygiene Certificate
The first, and most basic, form of dental hygienist education is to obtain a certificate in dental hygiene, which takes anywhere from 2 to 3 years. You can easily find a certificate program, whether it is at a local university, community college, or vocational school. You can also find these courses online, but you’ll want to be sure you’re able to set up clinical practice as well prior to scheduling your final testing. This course will give you all the core components of dental hygienist education such as dental hygiene practice, periodontics, pharmacology, and others.
Associate of Science
The next level of dental hygienist education is to seek out a college and obtain your Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene. This is a two year degree which will also require clinical time while supervised by a dental professional – be it a dentist or a more experienced dental hygienist. This degree also goes into more depth than a certificate.
Bachelor of Science
The bachelor’s degree is geared more toward those already possessing an associate’s degree or for those who are more interested in continuing on into a career in research. These degrees, as you would expect, are four year degrees that can be obtained at many local colleges. The program requirements may vary from prior certification or degree in dental hygiene to entry level admittance.
Master of Science
This is the epitome of dental hygienist education, and is what you should look into if you’re planning to teach and train others to become dental hygienists. Prior to entering a Master’s educational course, one must already hold a bachelor’s degree and will have to complete a thesis in order to graduate.
There are a wide variety of options for dental hygienist education, and these educational options can each work together as stepping stones to help you go as far as you’d like to go in your career.