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Dental Hygienist School Cost: Requirements, Universities and Tuition

Dental Hygienist School Cost



Dental hygienist school cost vary depending on the degree and type of program you are interested in. 

The average anticipated total cost (In-State/District) of tuition and fees for an associate degree is $23,000, according to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. A bachelor’s degree costs $37,000. A master’s degree will set you back $31,421. 

Please keep in mind that these figures are an average. Community college programs may be less expensive than those offered by four-year universities.

What is the average time it takes to become a dental hygienist? 

Depending on the level of schooling you pursue in the field, becoming a dental hygienist might take anywhere from two to four years. You must be licensed by both your state and the American Dental Association in order to work as a dental hygienist. In most cases, students pursuing an associate degree will finish all prerequisites in less than two years. Individuals pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree should expect to spend an additional four to six years in school. 

It’s worth noting that a dental hygienist who wishes to further their education can work while doing so if they have at least an associate’s degree and have passed the board exam. Aspiring dental hygienists must meet certain educational and training criteria, which include the following:

To begin, obtain a high school diploma or its equivalent. 

To apply to an associate or bachelor’s degree program, you must have a high school diploma. Biology, anatomy, physiology, and other science specialities can all help you prepare for dental school. 

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Second, enroll in an accredited dental hygiene program and earn an associate’s degree. 

You should choose a dental hygiene program that is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, as there are several to choose from. It takes roughly two to four years to complete all the required educational requirements for a dental hygienist course. The courses: Anatomy, physiology, immunology, and pathology are usually covered in this program. Students will be required to conduct on-the-job training under the direct supervision of a licensed hygienist near the end of the program. 

After that, get a bachelor’s degree (optional) 

Following completion of an associate degree, some dental hygienists choose to work. Others might go for a bachelor’s degree. Some prospective dental hygienists may pursue a master’s degree in order to engage in research or education. 

Finally, you’ll need to get national and state licenses. 

To practice as a dental hygienist, you must be licensed by your state and pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination. This test is usually divided into two parts, each with 350 multiple-choice questions. To pass, you must obtain a score of at least 75. The state tests differ based on where you work. After passing both tests, you will be certified as a Registered Dental Hygienist.

What time commitments are required to become a Dental Hygienist? 

A profession as a dental hygienist necessitates a significant time commitment. You’ll need to devote a significant amount of time to studying in addition to spending the most of your day in class. There will be times when you must pick between socializing with your pals and studying. Make sure to plan your time wisely, keeping in mind that your studies should always come first. 

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Consider this: the more time you devote to mastering the content, the better prepared you will be. This profession necessitates a lot of sacrifices, but your hard work will pay off in the end.

Dental hygienists must pass an examination and be certified. 

State dental boards demand completion of a dental assisting program to guarantee that dental hygienists are fully prepared for the job. Dental programs can be completed at the associate or bachelor’s degree level, and must include passing both a national and a state/local examination. 

Dental hygienists seeking licensure to practice safely and responsibly must carefully complete and pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination administered by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (with a minimum score of 75 out of 99). (JCNDE). The examination was $400. The NBDHE exam will include 350 questions in total, divided into two parts: Component A and Component B. 

The candidate’s ability to apply their dental hygiene knowledge in a problem-solving environment will be assessed during the exam. Those who pass the exam can be confident in their ability to practice safely using their skills, judgment, and competence. 

Following the completion of the examination, you will be required to take a regional or state clinical board examination.

What is the difficulty level of Dental Hygienist courses? 

Dental hygiene programs include tough classes designed to provide prospective dental hygienists with all of the tools they’ll need to succeed. Each course will necessitate a great deal of concentration and determination. 

To begin, you should anticipate taking lessons in biology, chemistry, and other science-related subjects. Completing courses successfully can be difficult, but it is not impossible. Some teachers are more laid-back than others, so give it your all every time.


List of Best Dental Hygiene Schools in the US

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University of Michigan Ann Arbor

The School of Dentistry at the University of Michigan has been named the best dental school in the United States for the seventh year in a row by the QS World University Rankings. The school provides BSDH and MSDH degrees and attracts students who want to work as leaders in the area. 

Essentially, a bachelor’s degree provides students with a wide education. They not only learn about dental hygiene, but also about social and behavioral sciences. This combination, according to the University of Michigan faculty, is the finest method to prepare future leaders.

Southern California University is a reputable institution based in Los Angeles, California. 

The University of Southern California-Los Angeles’ Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry will graduate its final class of dental hygiene students in 2021. Students may previously earn a BSDH from the school, which was founded in 1926. The School of Dentistry, on the other hand, continues to provide DDS, PhD, and master’s degree programs in areas such as digital dentistry, biomaterials, and tissue engineering. 

The school collaborates with other organizations to train school nurses, assist low-income children with health checks, and provide free services to those who are underserved. The USC Mobile Dental Clinic for Children, for example, is the largest of its kind in the country, with only the US military having a more visible mobile clinic. The programs also have a wide reach, with locations as far south as the Mexican border and as far north as Bakersfield. These outreach projects also allow students to work with a variety of people and improve their public education abilities.

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The University of North Carolina is based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 

A BSDH degree and a 22-month MSDH degree are available in dental hygiene at the University of North Carolina’s Adams School of Dentistry. In fact, the school was North Carolina’s first dentistry college. It’s also the only university in the state that offers a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. 

Dental hygiene students at the University of North Carolina are exposed to a variety of patient care experiences as well as dental specialties such as geriatric and pediatric dentistry, periodontics, and more. Students benefit from practical learning at the School of Dentistry, which features four student-led clinics that provide free services to members of the community. 

Furthermore, the school’s ACT (advocate, clinician, thinker) program encourages students to go beyond mastering the fundamentals of the profession. Instead, it encourages the development of critical thinking and lifelong learning.

The University of Washington is based in Seattle 

The University of Washington-Seattle, unlike many of the other schools on this top 10 list of best dental hygiene colleges, only provides master’s and doctoral degrees in dental hygiene. The school, in other words, does not offer a bachelor’s degree. In fact, they have one of only three doctorates in the country. 

Many students at the University of Washington intend to teach or pursue professions in dental research. As a result, the entire dental hygiene program is designed for students interested in teaching and research. Furthermore, the institution only accepts applicants with a dental, medical, or life sciences degree. Furthermore, the university emphasizes that most of their applicants have prior experience with laboratory research or associated abilities. 

The dental hygiene curriculum at the University of Washington is flexible, allowing students to arrange their studies to match their own educational or research objectives. Each student must also complete a capstone research project with the goal of improving or better understanding oral health care. As a result, research-focused electives are available in the program, which assist students in writing literature reviews and presenting at conferences and seminars.

Ohio State University is a renowned university based in Columbus, Ohio. 

The Institution of Dentistry at Ohio State University has the state’s only public dental hygiene program, with BSDH and MSDH options; the college is the country’s fourth-largest public dentistry school. To develop well-rounded professionals, the curriculum blends classroom instruction with laboratory and clinical experiences. Furthermore, the master’s degree is fully online and is aimed for individuals interested in teaching or leadership jobs. 

Students must complete training at one of the university’s several on-campus clinics. Fourth-year BSDH students, for example, spend 50 days working with academics in various community clinics and practices that assist Ohio’s underserved population. Ohio State is preparing students to pass their board exams through this hands-on instruction.

New York University is a public university in New York City. 

The Office of Allied Health Programs in the College of Dentistry at New York University provides an associate’s degree in dental hygiene and a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. Both programs are flexible; the AAS offers a quick track that may be finished in 17 months or a longer curriculum that takes three years to complete. In the same way, a bachelor’s degree can be earned in three years. 

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The NYU dental hygiene program is clinically based, with numerous chances for community outreach. Before graduation, all students, for example, rotate through clinical specialties such as orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, and more, occasionally working in hospital clinics. Despite this hands-on, skills-based approach to education, certain classroom-based courses are available online. 

Because of its internship program, NYU’s bachelor’s program is rather unique. Students must complete two internships, however specializations in healthcare management, public health, education and training, or research are possible.

Texas A&M University is based in Texas. 

The Caruth School of Dental Hygiene, which is part of the College of Dentistry, offers a competency-based curriculum to teach its diverse student body. The institution offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and students work alongside dental students in clinical studies. Furthermore, the BSDH program is the only dental hygiene program housed within a dentistry institution in North Texas. 

Texas A&M University has a large alumni base throughout the state. In fact, Texas A&M University graduates account for around one-third of all dental practitioners in the state. Furthermore, the university produces more BSDH graduates than any other college in Texas. 

The curriculum uses a hands-on approach to train students to become dental hygienists, with students first honing their abilities in a classroom setting before moving on to real patients. Furthermore, the Dental Simulation Clinic at the College of Dentistry was the first of its kind in Texas when it opened in 2002. Essentially, it allows pre-clinical students to use mannequins and other simulation tools to recreate those experiences.

The University of Minnesota is a famed university based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

The University of Minnesota School of Dentistry is the only dental school in the northern tier of states, stretching from Minnesota to the Pacific Northwest. In a big public university context, the school provides both BSDH and MSDH degrees. Furthermore, because students attend classes year-round, the accelerated bachelor’s degree permits them to finish in just three years. 

In general, the institution combines a liberal arts curriculum with clinical training and biological and social scientific subjects. In short, the competency-based program encourages graduates to be lifelong learners with strong critical-thinking abilities by promoting evidence-based dental hygiene practices. Students get a lot of hands-on experience in the dental hygiene curriculum, which includes four weeks of patient care.

Rutgers University is a public university in New Jersey. 

In New Jersey, Rutgers University is a key player in dental treatment and education. In fact, in 2018, College Factual named Rutgers the best college for studying health professions. The B.S. in Dental Hygiene is a full-time program with two summer sessions. 

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Rutgers is not just the state’s largest provider of dental treatment, but it’s also the state’s largest center of dental research. The School of Health Professions, which contains the BSDH program, is the country’s largest of its kind, with over 35 certificates and degrees. But the school’s diversity extends beyond its course offerings; Rutgers is said to be the most racially and ethnically diverse university in the country, with students from all walks of life.


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