How to become a Dental Hygienist
Judging by the opinion of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, becoming a dental hygienist is one of the wisest career choices you could make today. Job prospects for dental hygienists are supposed to be excellent. More than half of dental hygienists work part-time. Flexible schedules, a dream for many, is a hallmark of the profession.
Anyone wising to become a dental hygienist has to get licensed. In order to be licensed, students must complete a dental hygiene program. This can go from a one-year certificate program all the way up to a master's degree for those wishing to conduct research or teach dental hygiene. The license exam to become a dental hygienist is in two parts, a written part and a clinical one. The written portion is administered by the American Dental Association's Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations and is the same for all applicants nationwide. The clinical portion of the exam is administered by state or regional authorities. Most states include a legal portion in the exam as well.
Most dental hygienist programs grant an associate's degree. All of the programs require a high school degree for entrance and some require at least a year of college. A typical dental hygienist program offers instruction in anatomy, physiology, nutrition, chemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, histology (the study of tissue structure), periodontology (the study of gum diseases), pathology, dental materials, and clinical dental hygiene. Manual dexterity is a plus for anyone interested in becoming a dental hygienist. Hygienists work closely in people's mouth and each movement must be precise, keeping the patient at ease.