Many people are interested in how to become a dental hygienist but just do not know how to get started. Being a dental hygienist is a very important job in the dental field. Most of the time the dental hygienist is more connected to the patient then the actual dentist is. The hygienist is the worker that cleans the patients teeth. The dental hygienist does more then just teeth cleaning, it is also their job to inspect the patients teeth and gums to and try to identify if there are any problems which might lead to a disease in the mouth. Another responsibility of the dental hygienists, is to communicate with the patient how they can improve their overall mouth hygiene. The dental hygiene career is a stable one and more people each year want to know how to become a dental hygienist.
For most, to become a dental hygienist one must have graduated from high school or received their GED. It also helps alot if when in high school, you took courses in basic sciences such as biology, chemistry, and anatomy. Math is also helpful, but not as necessary as the science classes. Once a high school diploma or the GED is obtained, the future dental hygienist should start to look at prospective schools which carry the dental hygienist program. The various schools will have different requirements of acceptance. Some schools will want you to study for at least one year at a local community college. They will like for you to study courses like anatomy, biology, and chemistry before applying to the program. For some schools it is not necessary to study for one year at a community college. Some programs will let you apply with just a high school diploma or GED.
There are schools that have undergraduate courses which are specifically suited in qualifying the potential hygienist for applying to a dental hygiene college. Usually those that take these programs will get accepted into the dental hygienist college at a higher rate then the students that did not undergo the courses. If the school that you are interested in going attending offers these types of courses you should definitely take them, it will give you a serious leg up on the competition.
To find schools that are accredited look no further then the internet. A prospective student should choose a school that they have the credentials to be accepted in. You do not want to spend money and time applying to a program that you will not be accepted in. A prospective student must also remember to attend a school that will train them and give the specific certifications or degree that are needed in the state that they plan on working in. Their are schools that give certificates, however certain schools will give a degree. Any legitimate school should prepare the student in taking the licensing test which every state requires. What many good schools do, is have a course specifically tailored to coach the student in how to pass licensing exam.
Another good trait of a good school, is that they offer live training with actual patients. This type of training may be completed on campus or the school might have a partnership with a local dental office which provides this form of training. Live training is the best type and you should look for a school that offers this. Not only will it prepare you for when you are actually a real dental hygienist but it will make it easier for when you are looking for a job. Another important aspect of hands on training is that it gives the student a chance to see if becoming a dental hygienist is really for them. By working with an actual patient, the student will really have to know how to use the tools. Also by dealing with real life patients, the student will have to learn how to deal with a patient and make them feel most comfortable. The internship is a major part of the program because by this point you will know if this is the right career for you.
Every state and school is different but this gives you a general idea on how to become a dental hygienist.