Dental Hygienist

Health Careers

About the Career

In dental offices, there are three valuable members of the care-giving team: the dentist, the hygienist, and the dental assistant. As licensed practitioners, dental hygienists perform routine cleanings, deep scalings, and other preventive procedures. They are advocates of good oral health, helping educate and instruct patients regarding proper oral hygiene. With the support of hygienists, dentists can provide better professional care to more patients, thus increasing both the quality of the dental treatment and the productivity of the office. Dental hygiene is projected to be one of the 30 fastest growing occupations. Opportunities for flexible work hours and part-time work are excellent. Employment opportunities in South Carolina include private dental practices, public health settings, hospital dental practices, prison dental clinics, public schools, and in dental hygiene education. Related career roles include dental products sales representatives, dental office infection control consultants, and dental hygiene educators.


Academic Programs

Dental Hygiene

The Dental Hygiene program includes instruction in principles of preventive oral care, including teaching patients self-care, examining patients’ head and neck areas for abnormal health status, nutritional counseling, smoking cessation, applying sealants to the grooves of patients’ teeth, producing diagnostically acceptable dental radiographs (X-rays), managing pain and anxiety, removing deposits from patients’ teeth with scaling procedures and managing health information.

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Pre-Dental Hygiene Certificate

The Pre-Dental Hygiene Certificate curriculum is Phase I of the two-phase Dental Hygiene program and consists of the 36 hours of general education courses required for the Dental Hygiene curriculum.

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Projected Job Growth

+14.6%*

* Source: EMSI Career Coach

Average Annual Salary

$53,000*

* Source: EMSI Career Coach

Academics

Academic students are taking courses for credit toward a degree, certificate, or diploma. They can earn a degree, certificate, or diploma at MTC or transfer to another school to complete their studies. Academic students must apply to and enroll at the college.

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Training

Training students—sometimes called "Continuing Education" students—can take individual courses or earn certificates and certifications. They don't have to apply to the college; they can register directly for classes. Training courses don't earn college credit or transfer to other institutions.

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