Dental Hygienist Certification and Certificate Programs

Research dental hygienist certification and certificate programs. Get information about courses, licensing options, requirements and salary to make an informed decision about your education.

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Essential Information

Dental hygienist certificate programs are offered at community colleges, universities, technical schools and colleges, and they are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Students learn about proper oral care and how to clean teeth and identify oral diseases. These programs balance classroom education with clinical practice. Students typically complete the program in 2-3 years, after which they may be eligible to sit for licensing exams.

Educational Prerequisites

A high school diploma or its equivalent is generally required for admission into a certificate program. Additionally, some programs require students to take general education classes that include basic sciences prior to admission.

Course Topics

Dentistry courses are based on sciences and health, and the practical education component takes place in laboratories and general and specialty dental clinics. Common class topics include:

  • Dental materials
  • Clinical periodontics
  • Oral and dental anatomy
  • Oral pathology
  • Microbiology
  • Community oral health
  • Nutrition
  • Dental radiology
  • Clinical and dental hygiene
  • Dental ethics

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the employment rate for dental hygienists is expected to grow rapidly, at a projected rate of 36% between 2008 and 2018. This above average growth rate is due to more people getting preventive dental care. Job prospects for qualified hygienists will be strong overall, but some variance will occur based on location. According to 2011 BLS statistics, the mean salary for dental hygienists was $69,760. This includes the 51% of dental hygienists who work part-time and often work at more than one dental office.

Licensing and Continuing Education Information

All 50 states require dental hygienists to be registered or licensed, according to the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA). While each state sets its own licensing requirements, the American Dental Association (ADA) said that all states typically require applicants to have sufficient education and pass a written and practical exam. Continuing education may be required for license renewal.

The BLS reported that advanced career opportunities are possible for dental hygienists and usually require a bachelor's or master's degree in the field. Bachelor's programs introduce advanced clinical care with topics covering public health planning and management. Individuals who want to pursue management, research or academia jobs can consider earning a master's degree in dental hygiene.

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Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (16)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your classroom preference?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    Which subject are you interested in?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Distance Learning Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must have completed 12 college credits
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • California (19 campuses)
    • Washington (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate - Health Administration

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Kentucky (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Louisville include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
        • Dental Clinical Science
        • Dental Hygienist
        • Dentistry - DDS, DMD
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at New York University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
        • Dental Assisting
        • Dental Clinical Science
        • Dental Hygienist
        • Dental Laboratory Tech
        • Dentistry - DDS, DMD
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Iowa (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Iowa include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
        • Dental Clinical Science
        • Dental Hygienist
        • Dental Public Health and Education
        • Dentistry - DDS, DMD
        • Oral Surgery
        • Orthodontics
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions

Popular Schools

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