Friday, May 21, 2010

How much do dental hygienist make and what do you guys think of this profession?

The median expected salary for a typical Dental Hygienist in the United States is $54,000. The pay rate seems to be the highest on the west coast. In the profession you will clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop X-rays, or apply fluoride or sealants. If your primary concern is to help your clients, you should do great. Love what you do no matter what.

How much do dental hygienist make and what do you guys think of this profession?
Where I live you start out at $40.00 per hour. Go for it.
Reply:well i used to have my teeth cleaned by a hygienist in the UK and she charged £32 .00 for a 20 Min's session that was about 3years ago it will be more now
Reply:I cannot tell you how much they make, I only know

that it costs a lot to get your teeth cleaned. Part of

that money goes to the dental hygienist.

I think the profession is excellent, and income

should not be a problem. People always need

their teeth cleaned.
Reply:Wages depend on the area. Anywhere from $20-$50 per hour. Many of hygienist work on a commission basis of 30-35% of their production. I know hygienist that make more then $75 per hour on commission. As for the profession. In my opinion the best out there for a female. Can work 1-6 days a week. Take extended time off and return at about the same pay scale. Very flexible.
Reply:Do a zip code search at or or

And I couldn't LIVE without my hygienist!

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How long do dental hygienist go to college, and do they make good $, and good benefits?

Well, I'm somewhere in between the opinion of the dentist there and the hygienist. There are many things hygienists have to learn that they don't use on a daily basis. But then again, when was the last time the dentist up there used his biochem knowledge to prepare a crown. So that's true with pretty much any profession you go in to.

You are respected by the patients who see you. But that respect stops if you're not gentle when you do you your work. The same is true for me as I'm a dentist.

The money is good for hygienists but the work is repetitive. To the point where the main injury is carpel tunnel syndrome. That's the down side. You have to be very careful and use good form and technique to help avoid it, and even that doesn't guarantee you won't have problems with your wrists or hands at some point.

The amount of responsibility your position holds depends on where you work. In Colorado, there are hygienists who work independently of dentists. They cannot diagnose, but they do have a pretty hefty responsibility with regards to recognizing dental problems and referring their patients to a dentist for diagnosis and treatment.

Then there's the first dentist's hygienist who likely scrapes teeth all day and does nothing more. It depends on the employer's personality, goals, and needs as to how much responsibility you ultimately assume.

I find my hygienist indispensable with regards showing my patients why I want to do a filling or a crown with her intraoral camera. And yes, she even finds things the geat dental god misses. But I encourage her to let me know when she finds those things and show the patient. I don't mind joking with the patients that her high powered camera found it and my old eyes are not so good anymore. It a crucial part in making the patient feel comfortable there (a very important job for the hygienist) and that I'm human. Not some unfriendly "dentist" but "his or her" dentist. Making this team approach happen is something I just couldn't do without the right person as a hygienist.

So that's what you do in part. Yes you scrape teeth...a lot. But you play as big or as little role as you want, depending on where you work and how you interact with those there.

How long do dental hygienist go to college, and do they make good $, and good benefits?
Dental hygiene is structured like nursing:

You can apply to and attend nursing school for 2 years after getting a bachelor's degree, or you can do the two years of nursing school as part of your bachelor's degree. Dental hygiene is the same way.

The only difference, of course, is that hygienists spend their day cleaning teeth and taking x-rays, and their education is less extensive than that of nurses.

Hygiene school is not very hard, but they study a great deal more than they have to...considering the fact that they generally have such minimal authority and responsibility when it comes to diagnosing and treating patients. In hygiene school, you'll spend a lot of time learning things that are utterly useless to you as a hygienist.

Hygienists do, however, make good money. An experienced hygienist can easily make $60k in some areas. Not bad for a profession where you technically have very little responsibility.
Reply:Wow! Dental hygiene school isn't very hard...hygienists have very little responsibility...someone sounds a little jaded. Let me tell you- hygiene school is very challenging and there are several options for someone right out of high school. You can go to a technical college for two years- usually there are pre-reqs to get into the programs such as; anatomy and physiology, microbiology, biological sciences in general. Option number two is going to a four-year program which generally is a little more relaxed about entrance and pre-reqs and spreads your course work over four years. You will graduate and have to take state and national board exams to be a licensed hygienist. You have to be the kind of person who has a thick skin, who can give up a few years of social life to study and also I would suggest job-shadowing to make sure that you have the stomach for some of the things you will see. As a hygienist, your pay will be determined by the part of the country you live in. Benefits will be determined by what type of practice you work in, whether or not you work full-time or part-time, etc.. I would suggest checking out it has a section for someone considering this as a career. Good Luck!
Reply:Just wanted to pipe in and say, if you do become a hygienist, be careful because you could end up working for a guy like Nubula or whatever. Then again, there are many good dentists out there like the other dentist that answered this!

Like any job or career, WHERE you work is most important to how much you enjoy your job.

I love being a hygienist, especially where I am now. Last place got me wondering if I wanted to do it anymore! Some days are boring because you have prophy after prophy, but other days you treat perio disease, see kids, see very interesting people, and some actually respect you and your knowledge.

The learning is never over, most states have continuing education that you must meet to renew your license, which is actually the fun part, because it forces you to learn new things!

So I would say, good career choice, as long as you dont work for an ungrateful a$$ (see answer #1).

Good money, depending on the office - good benefits. Minimum of 3 years college. Programs are hard to get into. You have to have a good GPA, as that is usually the only thing they go by. I had one dentist mention that a dental student couldnt get into the hygiene program so she applied for dental school, and was accepted.

You dont have the responsibility of the dentist, but I am quite happy to put that burden on the dentist most times!

I was able to buy my own house at age 23, and I would like to think I live a nice life, I dont usually have to worry about having enough money for the things in life (even my Ebay addiction!).

Good Luck!
Reply:Well, I will admit that they make good money...COMPARED to a dental ASSISTANT...which is what I am. But, sometimes it doesn't seem very fair. However, it is true that they do go to school a bit longer...depending on the state. I went for a year and then externed for 6mo. BUT, I get to do so much more than just clean teeth. Yes, I am X-ray certified...more school for that, too. (And don't forget getting CPR and first aid training every 2 years or so. ) I work with the dentist is just about everything. We don't have a hygienist in our office, so the dentists do the cleanings, too. I can tell you, I never get bored! I am generally happy with my job, but like some others said, you rarely get benefits, and I don't make loads of money. Assistants are in high demand, too. Just puttin' in my 2 cents!
Reply:Interesting responses. In my state I had to have more anatomies then the nursing program. Interesting. I give injections so I had several credits of head and neck anatomy. Given the research on periodontal disease and the effects it can have on the whole body, it is not only jaded, but down-right wrong, to think that hygiene does not have much responsibility. I carry my own license as well as the dentist, I can be supeoned right along-side Dr. Nebula and be forced to give up my license due to neglect, ethics, malpractice, etc. I had to learn the different types of oral cancer, the difference between Wick-man's Striae associated with Oral Lichen Planus, and old fashioned cheek biting or a reaction to Crest toothpaste. I had to learn tons of drugs, and what interactions they have. Which ones cause bleeding, which ones cause gingival overgrowth (dilantin, some beta-blockers), Perio class was enough to keep me studying for a long time. I consider myself to be a very smart person, but I would never classify hygiene school as easy. On the contrary. Learning all of the facial nerves, and how we numb them. Learning the how's and whys of local Anthe. Nebula you say hygiene school is easy, well I bet dental school was a breeze compared to medical school, am I right? And you being a dentist, you have "minimal" responsibility and lessened chance of being sued for a life -threatening malpractice situation then compared to a surgeon. Give me a break, it's like trying to compare apples and oranges.

Are there male dental Hygienist?


Are there male dental Hygienist?
There probably are, but I have not met one. All my dental hygienist has been female.

Dental Hygiene school might be a good place to meet girls.
Reply:I graduated with 2 males in my dental hygiene class. Men's hands are usually too big to work in a small space like a mouth. Most men go all the way through to dental school.

What is the new salary DENTAL HYGIENIST IN 6th pay comision?

please tell me

What is the new salary DENTAL HYGIENIST IN 6th pay comision?
they usually get paid anywhere from $8.00 to $10.00 an hour.

My mom is a dentist and thats how much she said they usually get paid.

If you need anymore help

Email me:
Reply:around where i live hygienist get anywhere between $35-$42 an hour!!!

Is it true that Dental hygienist can have their own dental clinic?

Yes, in some states they can. They have to have 18 more months of training to get what is called their RDHAP (registered dental hygienist alternative practice), many also get their RDHEF (extended functions). Either one or both extensions are required.

They cannot diagnose decay, but they can urge you to see a dentist. They usually have a couple dentists that they refer out to. Of course, they know if you have a cavity, it's just against the law for an RDH to actually diagnose decay. That will change soon. It's already in the works in Washington. :o)

They also cannot use anesthesia, which limits what they can do as far as scaling and root planing goes. I think they can use Nitrous oxide though, but I'd have to check on that. As far as I was told when I was in hygiene school, they cannot use anesthesia, but maybe that has changed?

Hope this helps.

Is it true that Dental hygienist can have their own dental clinic?
Yes, esp in the Western states. They can have their own clinics apart from dentists and even give numbing injections, but diagnosis and permanent alteration to dentition is illegal. Some have dentists come into their clinic for diagnosis.
Reply:only if they are only doing the hygene for the dentist. My daughters dentist has a seperate office for the hygienist.

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What do Dental Hygienist Wear?


What do Dental Hygienist Wear?
Reply:My cousin is a dental hygienist and she wears scrubs. Really cute ones too. They have Winnie the Pooh or Strawberry Shortcake. There are a lot out there. She does a lot of little kids. It helps to calm down. Most kids are scared to go to the dentist.
Reply:Well, since it's been answered correctly twice, but not completely!! THEY WEAR A SMILE, OF COURSE!

What a dental hygienist should know about a cleft palate?

As a hygienist thus far, I have never had to clean a patient's teeth who has had a cleft palate. It would be wise to know what it is obviously, but as far as an special treatment, I am unaware.

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