Have you thought about getting into a dental hygienist career? We know it can be hard to find all the information in one place, therefore, we created this guide to provide you handy information about becoming a Dental Hygienist.

First Steps

Firstly, you will need an associate’s degree in dental hygiene. You can start taking classes in affordable institutions like community colleges or technical schools; there is also plenty of universities that offer this major. Regardless of what option you choose, remember to make sure the place you decide to go to is certified by the American Dental Association.

Here are some colleges/universities that offer the program in NYC area:

These programs are structured to be completed in 3 years, and you need to take laboratory and clinical classes. Also, you would have to take courses in biology, math, and chemistry. You might have to take some other courses depending on the school you choose to attend.

Once you have completed your degree, in addition, you must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE), made by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE).

The test determines the qualifications of dental hygienists who want licensure to practice. The NBDHE certification is accepted in all states around the USA. Here are the National Board guidelines for taking the exam, it has very useful and good information, and some case studies for you to practice before the test.

Scores

The scale scores range from 49 to 99, with a score of 75 representing the minimum passing score. Most importantly, the minimum passing score is determined by experts through standard-setting activities. For more information please visit ADA.org

When you apply for licensure in New York City, you should fill out the following forms: Application for licensure and Certification of Professional Education.

Finally, once you are working and in the following years, you must complete State-approved infection control courses every 4 years. We listed some extra courses you might like to check.

You may be interested in these Dental Hygiene topics:
  • Basic and clinical dental sciences
  • Behavioral science
  • Pharmacology of new and developing drugs
  • Infection control
  • Public health issues
  • Drug interactions
  • Legal or regulatory issues
  • Risk management
  • Patient counseling

It seems like a lot! but it is all good if this is your dream career. Finally, remember to join our MEDIjobs page to receive Dental Hygienist personalized job offers from our clients.

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