Hi, I am currently a high school student from Florida entering my senior year and I was considering becoming a dental hygienist. It looks like according to www.adha.org, there are no schools in my state offering a bachelor's degree in Dental Hygiene. I come from a middle class family of college graduates and they have the snobby view that I'm too good for "just" a community college. I have a weighted GPA of 4.3, unweighted of 3.6, in the top 6% of my class, and modest SAT/ACT scores. Do you think it would be unreasonable of me to only go to a community college knowing there aren't any bachelor's degrees? Also, a question for dental hygienists -- do you work full time, and if so, do you get health care and a 401K? I checked online on some salary wizard and it seemed to say not many got health care. I find that really strange
About being a dental hygienist?
Hey, I've graduated from a community college and I have the option of enrolling into a dental hygiene "online degree completion" program at a university. It takes about 1-2 years, depending on how many credits you want to take. Those classes are geared towards research and community health. It's all online, so you don't have to move, you can work as a hygienist wherever you want while you are finishing your degree.
In AZ state Northern AZ University offers this but I'm pretty sure there are many more out there. This is NAU's info:
They charge 1.5 times more for out of state residents.
To tell you the truth, having a bachelor in this field doesn't get you better jobs (or better pay) if you want to be a clinician (work in a dental office). The dentists who hire you don't really care about your papers. All they want is that you passed your boards, do a good job cleaning, value patient comfort, you are a good team player and get along with the rest of the staff.
You do want to get a BA though if you want to teach or work for big dental companies, Dept of Health, do research, etc. You also have the option to get an MS in DH if you want to
To answer your other question: there are jobs out there where you can work full time and get benefits. The most RDHs though work in 2 or more different offices which do add up to full time but no benefits (you do get free dental for you, your spouse and your kids though). If you work in a growing practice (ambitious, young dentist) you will very likely get hired full time eventually.
Reply:Iam not a dental hygenist but Iam going to school with alot of girls who are taking the pre requistes and from what I hear is great job. Most are self employed and work for a variety of dentist and make any where from 45-55 dollars an hour