What Is a Dental Hygienist?
A dental hygienist is a person who is trained to assist a dentist in preparing patients for examinations, cleaning the patient's teeth, taking X-rays, and examining the teeth and gums to ensure they are healthy. They also discuss any issues a patient may be having with their teeth, and bring it to the attention of the dentist. Dental hygienists can perform a wide variety of tasks, depending on the state they are licensed in.
To become a dental hygienist you must first have good marks in biology, chemistry, and math before applying to a dental hygienist program. Most programs are offered as a two-year associate's degree. Most states require that you complete a written and clinical exam administered by The American Dental Association Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations.
The average salary for a dental hygienist is $64,000, but some hygienists can earn up to $90,000 with training and experience.