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How to Become a Dental Hygienist – Discover What It Takes to Become Successful in This Career
So you want to become a dental hygienist? Well, you are in for a treat, as this article will introduce you to different aspects of this job. From what you’re supposed to do to what salary you should expect, here’s your guide to starting that career.
Duties expected of you
Before deciding whether or not this job is for you, you need to understand what you are going to do. Basically, you will be responsible for some of the routine tasks that dentists have to perform during treatments. Here are the tasks that will be required of you as a dental hygienist:
- Clean teeth by removing tartar using dental floss and scalers
- Provide oral hygiene advice to patients
- Take and develop x-rays
- Create dental charts to help dentists track patients’ dental history
In addition to these duties, you will be required to be present during surgeries or treatments as you will be in charge of providing suction, administering anesthetics and performing other minor but important procedures.
Dental Hygiene Degrees
To build your career in this field, you should get a degree in dental hygiene. Community colleges offer two-year degrees, while universities offer four-year degrees. Your career as a dental hygienist depends on which of these qualifications you choose. If you plan to work in a private dental clinic, a two-year degree followed by an associate’s degree will suffice. On the other hand, if you obtain your bachelor’s or master’s degree in dental hygiene, you can still work in research, administration or teaching.
Whichever option you plan to pursue, you should check the admission requirements of your future school. Most schools will need a high school diploma or GED, and good grades in math, chemistry, biology, and English. Some programs also require a student aspiring to become a dental hygienist to complete one or two years of college education. However, to be on the safe side, be sure to contact the school offering the degree to inquire about their requirements.
Your expected salary
There are a few factors that determine how much your future employers will pay you. Your location, degree type, and years of experience certainly matter. However, you should expect to be paid between $56,000 and $71,000. If you are qualified enough, you have a better chance of winning even more, at least up to $77,000.
So, are you ready to become a dental hygienist? Then find out where you can get your degree and start this lucrative career as soon as possible.
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