Employment Opportunities

  • Full-time and part-time
  • Private practice in both general and specialty fields
  • Public health/consumer advocate
    • Hospital
    • Nursing homes
    • Public health clinics
    • Schools
  • Teaching
  • Academic administration
  • Research
  • Legislative advocate
  • Corporate representative

Employment and Salary Information

Visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics for a national view of employment and salary.

Key Job Duties

  • Perform oral cancer screenings
  • Examine periodontal (gum and bone) structures around supporting teeth
  • Expose, develop and interpret radiographs
  • Design and implement treatment plans
  • Provide dental health and nutritional education for individuals and groups
  • Remove deposits from teeth, both above and below the gumline, by scaling, root planing, and
  • polishing teeth
  • Administer local anesthetic, perform nitrous oxide/oxygen sedation, and soft tissue curettage
  • Place dental sealants

Skills to be a Dental Hygienist

  • Good manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination
  • Good communication skills
  • Team player
  • Sensitive to diverse cultural backgrounds
  • Good attention to details

Examination and Licensure

All states require that a dental hygienist be licensed. To be licensed you must:

  1. Successfully graduate from an accredited dental hygiene program
  2. Pass the Dental Hygiene National Board Exam
  3. Pass a clinical board exam
  4. Pass a law and ethics exam
  5. DHBC requires a Social Security Number or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)

Picking the Right Classes

Make an appointment with a counselor to set you education plan and give yourself a clear path to complete the Dental Hygiene program’s prerequisites.

Program Re-Entry Policy

Students who leave the program in good standing, meaning they have received or are currently receiving at least a “C” in all dental hygiene courses at the time of departure, can reapply to the program.

Students who do not leave in good standing either because they received a grade below a “C-” in a didactic or clinical OR whose lack of clinical skills has reached a point where it is unsafe for them to work on a patient will not be considered for re-entry to the program.

Success Plan

If there are clinical or didactic grades that require work at midterms, the faculty and program coordinator will work directly with the student to create a plan for improvement to ensure success through support.

National Board Exam Preparation

Elsevier’s Review and Testing for Dental Hygiene is a comprehensive suite of practice materials that helps the faculty and program coordinator identify areas where more training or information may be necessary. This program has significantly improved student’s preparation and pass rates on their national exams.