How Long Does It Take To Become A Dental Hygienist (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 to 4 years

There are many careers out there in the world for a person to choose and pursue, and they sure can be successful if they have just enough determination and strength to manage any sort of obstacle that comes in the way. There are millions of careers in the world that one can choose from, and one of the fields that employ millions of people in the world and saves lives in every way, in the field of medicine. The first word that comes into literally everybody’s mind when they think about medicine is doctors, specifically surgeons.

Yet, many kinds of medical experts and physicians take care of and treat specific areas of the body. There are many departments and fields, many types of specialties one can choose from when they want to become a doctor or a physician since surgery is not the only option. Even in surgery, there are different specialties, and some prefer to get out of the field of surgery. For students like them, they can try out fields like dental and ENT. Though everybody doesn’t visit the dentist, it is certainly a necessity at times.

When someone wants to get their teeth fixed cosmetically or medically, they need to visit their dentist. A smile defines a person and the person’s teeth are also necessary for a person to chew and eat the dishes right. Though not many people know there is a difference between a dental hygienist and a dentist, there is. Dental hygienists work with dentists harmoniously and are trained to assist them in many ways.

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How Long Does It Take To Become A Dental Hygienist?

Associate degree2 to 3 years
Bachelor’s degree3 to 4 years
Average duration2 to 4 years

Dental hygienists work with dentists and help them in treating the patient’s oral disease and health and they also help the dentists in maintaining the patient records. In total, dental hygienists help dentists with all their patients in any way they can. Though they assist the dentists, they also deal directly with patients, like consulting and diagnosing them, taking their scans, X-rays, checking for problems in their mouth, cleaning them, and treating them in the right way, and though the work is similar, the students require different degrees to become a dental hygienist and a dentist.

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To become a dental hygienist, the student requires an associate degree, and sometimes, they can even get a bachelor’s degree if they want, which is offered by some universities. Though the associate degree is the basic requirement to become a dental hygienist, when a person earns a bachelor’s degree to become a dental hygienist, it will help them gain more knowledge and expand their horizons, and understand the field more. Since dental hygienists with bachelor’s degrees study longer, they will also have more experience in the field and will have improved skills in every area of dental hygiene.

Why Does It Take That Long To Become A Dental Hygienist?

To get a license as a dental hygienist, the student must have completed at least the AS degree and must have worked in a private dental office as a dental hygienist. The tasks can even differ according to the offices. For example, in some offices, the hygienists even carve and place the filling materials, make temporary fillings for the patients, and much more. The dental hygienists present in the dentist’s office even sometimes educate the patients about oral hygiene and dental care in a way they can understand.

The requirements to get an A.S degree are completely different from the requirements to get a bachelor’s degree. An associate degree in dental hygiene is a full-time course of two years, which can be completed in colleges, universities, and even technical schools. Many courses are offered in an AS degree which is not only related to dental hygiene but also the main courses related to clinical dental hygiene. Even the career options change when the degrees change.

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While it takes about 2 years to get an A.S Degree in dental hygiene, it takes about 4 years to complete the B.S degree, and it is offered to the students by a reputed university through the dental school.

The students can get into the full bachelor programs in dental hygiene directly out of high school, but it is always better to complete the associate degree and then pursue the bachelor’s degree so that they can gain more knowledge and experience.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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