One of the fastest growing jobs right now is that of a dental hygienist. Many older dentists, who tend not to use hygienists as much, are retiring and being replaced by newer graduates from dental school. As more and more younger dentist open offices, there is a higher demand for these professionals. If you do a search on the internet for dental hygiene schools or programs, you will get lots of results. But which program should you choose? Which will prepare you the best for the dental hygiene jobs that are available in your area?
One of the most important tools you can use to weed through your options for training programs for dental hygiene jobs is the list of programs that is accredited by the American Dental Association’s Council on Dental Accreditation. This is available on their website, and you can search by state to find out which programs in your state are accredited. Accredited training programs are available in all fifty states as well as the District of Columbia, although some states have more programs than others. Hopefully there will be a good program located near where you live.
The reason it is important to choose an accredited program for training for dental hygiene jobs is because once you have completed your training you will be required to pass written and clinical licensure examinations before you can get a job in this field. Part of the criteria for accreditation is how well the programs will prepare you for these examinations. This means that an accredited program is likely to include instruction in all the areas that are on the exam, so you will get the best possible preparation for your new career.
Whichever program you choose to attend, it will include instruction in classroom, clinical, and lab settings. You will learn all about the different dental procedures that you will be performing and helping the dentist to perform, as well as having a chance to practice these. Some states allow dental hygienists to perform more tasks than others, so some programs might teach tasks that others don’t. Most programs take about two years to complete, after which you should be prepared for most dental hygiene jobs.