One can learn a great deal about being a dental hygienist through the combination of clinical work and online instruction. As a dental hygienist, you can earn between $20 and $40 per hour working beside a dentist, most likely part time. There are several options for gaining your dental hygiene education, but the opportunities are great if you do.
Every state’s job requirements are different, so keep that in mind. Most require both at least an associate’s degree and licensing. However, you can get the bulk of the education required for this from more than just a vocational or technical school. You can also get it from online. The course work concentrates on topics such as diet and nutrition and dental hygiene.
You also have to take other classes for dental hygiene, online or off. Among these classes are pharmacology, lab studies, chemistry, radiology and other medical courses. Every class which makes you more valuable boosts your likelihood of being hired at a premium pay grade. As well, learning about how to work with caps, crowns, bridges and fixtures will also make you more valuable due to the growing popularity of cosmetic dentistry.
Naturally, every dental office uses its hygienists in an individual way. Generally they clean teeth and advise patients on proper oral care techniques. As well, they advocate particular products for dental care and suggest keeping in touch with the dentist. However, sometimes a hygienist will take x-ray images, whiten or fill teeth, and even assist with braces in some manner. While the hygienist rarely performs the procedures themselves, they do prepare tools and aid in handling the equipment so the operations can go off without a hitch.
Getting an online degree presents other options, such as getting into teaching or research. If you decide to get an online degree of that caliber, you will be among a more elite group than normal dental hygienists, and will be able to command both higher pay and preferential hiring. Having at least a bachelor’s degree can boost your career considerably over your peers.
You can have a very lucrative and rewarding career as a dental hygienist. And if you decide to obtain your bachelor’s degree, you can expand outward within the field but outside of clinical dentistry. A great number of institutions offer you opportunities of this nature, and will allow you a number of options in making your education unique and very saleable.