Dental Hygiene

What to expect from a career as a Dental Hygienist

Dental hygiene programs at Ontario colleges are popular, due in part to the lucrative salary expectations in the field. Still, training requires discipline of study and excellent communication skills, as well as an interest in helping patients maintain their oral hygiene. Dental hygiene programs will provide you with the scientific knowledge and practical experience needed to enter this competitive field.

If you’re interested in fast-tracking into the dental field and you have the social skills needed to become a dental hygienist, here’s what you need to know.

Dental Hygiene Courses

Ontario college dental hygiene programs consist of work placements, on-campus dental clinics and other hands-on learning methods that provide students with practical experience working with clients in a variety of health and dental settings.

Programs include fundamental science courses in dental and oral anatomy, physiology, histology and microbiology. Along with this specialized dentistry knowledge, students will learn oral hygiene techniques and procedures that will prepare them for their role.

Finally, through courses in oral examination and diseases, child behaviour (and its effect on oral hygiene), preventive dentistry, nutrition and other factors that affect oral health, students will learn to provide advice and create oral hygiene plans.

At the end of these programs, students will be prepared to write the National Dental Hygiene Certification Exam and begin their careers. Dental hygienists must gain this accreditation in order to practice in Ontario.

General Dental Hygiene Program Requirements

Dental hygiene programs at Ontario Colleges are offered at the diploma and post-graduate level. Diploma programs typically require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, which includes a grade 12 English credit. Grade 11 or 12 chemistry and biology credits are also required.

Applicants to post-graduate programs must be Certified Dental Hygienists in Ontario with a minimum of one year work experience. Non-academic requirements, like submission of a resume or an interview, may also be part of the admissions process. Check program details carefully.

Dental Hygienist Jobs and Salaries

Dental hygienist and related roles are available in hospitals, private practices, clinics, educational institutions, dental product manufacturers and more. Once graduates pass the certification exam, they will find numerous careers in the dental field, including (but not limited to):

Job responsibilities will vary depending on the position, but may include cleaning teeth, taking x-rays, assisting dentists with procedures, making moulds and more. There are many opportunities in the dental hygiene field, which has a greater demand for professionals than there are graduates.

Dental hygienist salaries are quite competitive, with secure and often flexible career opportunities. The average starting salary for Ontario college dental hygiene program graduates is around $50,000 per year, and will increase with experience.

Ontario Colleges Offering Dental Hygiene Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of dental hygiene programs at Ontario colleges.

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