Dental Hygiene Schools: The Learning Experience

HealthcareFebruary 24, 2015

Dental hygiene schools are becoming more and more popular around the United States. Dental hygienists have a great job with good pay, and the field has an above average outlook for job openings nationally over the next 10 years according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The hygienist program is available at trade schools, universities and community colleges. Don't think, however, that it is an easy course of study. Graduating from a dental hygiene program will require dedication to school work and the working environment.


Beginning in an entry-level program is the only way to get into this career. All medical technicians — yes, the dental hygienist falls under the category of med tech — are required to take anatomy and physiology. This is often one of the most challenging classes in any entry-level college program. Make time for this class, and if you must take other classes at the same time, try to fill in some easier credits while taking it. A few colleges split this course into two classes: anatomy, and a separate class, physiology. Others require Anatomy and Physiology I and II. Look around and schedule your classes accordingly. Social classes may include sociology, patient management or nutrition. There are a broad range of classes that can fall into this category. There are some classes that most colleges will use, but others may depend on the school requirements, such as if you're going for an AA or an AAS degree, or state requirements. Other classes will include mathematics and physics. Chemistry, psychology and microbiology are other possibilities. Many of the core classes will require you to receive a C+ to enter the program.

Dental Hygiene Schools

Since there are so many available schools, it's a good idea to look around and see what the best fit is for you. Contact several schools and find their locations. Some schools have several campus locations throughout the United States. Call or email a counselor to find out if they are professional and if they can answer all your questions adequately. You can also go to the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA) website to get a list of available schools by state that are offering dental hygiene degrees or certifications.

Career Advancement

Once you have received your associate degree, you can choose to continue your education and receive a bachelor's or master's degree. Some of these courses require partial time at the college while others can be taken 100 percent online. There is a movement for a doctorate program, but it has not yet been put in place. Choosing from among the many dental hygiene schools is an important step to starting this great career. Students who work hard and give this program their all will find there are many possibilities for work and advancement.

Explore the various Healthcare programs available at Fortis

Learn About Our Healthcare Programs