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Dental Hygiene Facts
Dental hygienists are licensed health care professionals who are skilled in preventing diseases such as dental caries (cavities) and periodontal (gum) disease through education and treatment. The dental hygienist is a clinician, an educator, and a manager. The dental hygienist provides direct patient care and functions as an integral part of the dental team.
Upon completion of the Dental Hygiene program, students will be trained in educational methods and preventive clinical services for a variety of career opportunities in private dental offices, schools, hospitals, clinics, and public health agencies.
Licensure: Upon receipt of the AAS degree in dental hygiene, graduates must obtain a license for the state(s) in which they wish to practice by successfully completing a regional board examination, as well as the National Board Examination. Graduates will then practice in accordance with requirements of individual states. Minnesota requires a specified number of hours of continuing education to maintain licensure.
· Nearly 150,000 dental hygienists practicing in the United States
· There are over 200 accredited Dental Hygiene programs in the United States
· New graduates are starting at about $20 per hour in the Rochester area
· Statewide salary range is $15 - $35.75 per hour
· Statewide average salary is $24.81 per hour
· Twin Cities area average is $26.49 per hour
· Benefits vary
Dental Hygiene Career Opportunities
- Performs oral health assessments
- Provides services to patients to prevent gum disease and cavities
- Takes x-rays and other diagnostic test
Public Health Dental Hygienist
Dental Hygiene Educator