What is dental hygiene?

Dental hygiene is the practice of oral maintenance, in order to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

What should I look for in an online dental hygiene school?

The best online dental hygiene schools should possess either regional or national accreditation from an accrediting body that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

In addition, you can often recognize top online dental hygiene schools based on:

  • The school’s name and status
  • The school’s history
  • Teacher credentials
  • Alumni network
In choosing the best online dental hygiene school for you, you should consider the following factors:
  • Admission requirements
  • Residency requirements
  • Class and teaching style
  • Testing methods used
  • Course content and presentation
  • Program length
  • Class size
  • Student-teacher interaction
  • Technology use
  • Tuition and financial aid
  • Transferability of credits
  • Availability of a dedicated administration team and resources

What levels of online dental hygiene programs are available?

The following levels of dental hygiene degree online programs are available:

  • Online Dental Hygiene Certificate Programs
  • Online Associates in Dental Hygiene
  • Online Bachelor in Dental Hygiene
  • Online Masters in Dental Hygiene
  • Online PhD in Dental Hygiene

How long does it take to get an online dental hygiene degree?

The amount of time it takes a student to earn an accredited online dental hygiene degree depends on the level of dental hygiene degree being pursued and the pace of the student.

Typically, the breakdown is as follows:

  • Online Dental Hygiene Certification Programs – 6 months to 1 year
  • Online Dental Hygiene Associates Degree – 2 years
  • Online Dental Hygiene Bachelor Degree – 4 years
  • Online Dental Hygiene Masters – 2 years
  • Online Dental Hygiene PhD – 2 to 5 years

What are some examples of online dental hygiene courses?

Coursework to become a professional dental hygienist involves challenging coursework in science and math. Other common classes include:

  • Oral Anatomy
    This course is designed to familiarize the dental hygiene student with the anatomical components and functions of the teeth and supporting structures. Soft tissue landmarks of the oral cavity, dental terminology, and occlusion will be studied.
  • Dental Radiology
    This course will explore the basics of dental radiology, including X-ray physics, characteristics of radiation, the dental X-ray machine, effects of radiation exposure, radiation protection, image receptors, processing, digital radiography, dental radiographic anatomy, and intra-oral radiographic procedures.
  • Nutrition and Oral Health
    This introductory course is designed to familiarize the dental hygiene student with the basic concepts and principles of nutrition. Emphasis will be placed on those nutrients that will have an overall effect on the oral cavity.
  • Oral Pathology
    Introduction to the basic principles of disease pertaining to the head and oral structures will provide the background for recognition of such diseases within the scope of the dental hygienist’s practice and responsibility.
  • Periodontology
    This course will explore the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease. Emphasis will be given to the microbiological progression of periodontal disease, host response, diagnostic methods, treatment philosophies, treatment modalities, and the role of the dental hygienist in the treatment and prevention of periodontal disease.

What areas of dental hygiene specialization are available?

Professional dental hygienists provide a variety of services within the dental community, so various specializations within a dental practice exist, including:

  • Pediatric Dental Hygiene
  • Geriatric Dental Hygiene
  • Hospital Dentistry
  • Periodontology
  • Oncological Dentistry
  • Community Health Dentistry
  • Cosmetic Dentistry
  • Family Practice Dentistry

What can I do with a dental hygiene degree?

Graduates from an accredited online degree program in dental hygiene can pursue a variety of interesting jobs with excellent advancement opportunities within the field of dentistry, including:

  • Emergency Dentistry
  • Oncological Dental Hygiene and Treatment
  • Pediatric Dental Hygiene
  • Cosmetic Dental Hygiene
  • Community Education on Dental Hygiene
  • General Family Dental Hygiene

What is a dental hygienist?

A dental hygienist is a professional within a dental office or clinic who assists the dentist with patient care.

What does a dental hygienist do?

Professional dental hygienists assist a dentist in all areas of a dental practice, including cleaning teeth, creating treatment plans, assisting with advanced procedures and long-term care. Dental hygienists also work extensively with direct patient care, helping manage pain, taking X-rays, and explaining procedures. In addition, dental hygienists act as educators for patients, instructing them on proper brushing, flossing and taking care of specialty dental appliances, such as dentures.

How much does a dental hygienist earn?

Graduates of a top online dental hygiene degree program make a solid living with strong advancement and specialization opportunities within the field of dental hygiene. Dental hygienists earn between $44,900 and $79,900 per year. Job growth is expected at a faster than average rate, particularly for geriatric dentistry and specialized pediatric dental hygienists.

How do I become a dental hygienist?

Dental hygiene is an excellent field for those with a passion for helping others and the field of medicine. Top online degree programs in dental hygiene provide students with practical skills and a thorough understanding of oral health, giving them the capability of working in a dental practice. Internships and specialization practices create opportunity for advanced skills and knowledge in the field of dental hygiene. Many states require ongoing dental hygiene education credits to remain in the field.

Dental Hygienist Schools (Campus)

School Certificate Associates Bachelors Masters PhD
Miami Dade College
300 NE 2nd Ave.
Miami, FL, 33132
http://www.mdc.edu/main/
X
Ohio State University-Main Campus
190 N. Oval Mall
Columbus, OH, 43210
http://www.osu.edu
X
Houston Community College
3100 Main Street
Houston, TX, 77266
http://www.hccs.edu
X
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
100 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN, 55455
http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/index.php
X
Northern Virginia Community College
4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd
Annandale, VA, 22003
http://www.nvcc.edu
X
Lone Star College System
5000 Research Forest Drive
The Woodlands, TX, 77381
http://www.lonestar.edu
X
Tarrant County College District
1500 Houston St
Fort Worth, TX, 76102
http://www.tccd.edu
X X
New York University
70 Washington Sq South
New York, NY, 10012
http://www.nyu.edu
X X X
College of Southern Nevada
6375 W. Charleston Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV, 89146
http://www.csn.edu
X X
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
440 Church Street
Ann Arbor, MI, 48109
http://www.umich.edu
X X
Austin Community College District
5930 Middle Fiskville Rd
Austin, TX, 78752
http://www.austincc.edu
X
Valencia Community College
190 South Orange Avenue
Orlando, FL, 32801
http://valenciacc.edu
X
Broward College
225 E las Olas Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33301
http://www.broward.edu
X
Riverside Community College
4800 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA, 92506
http://www.rcc.edu/
X X
Pima Community College
401 North Bonita Avenue
Tucson, AZ, 85709
http://www.pima.edu
X X
Salt Lake Community College
4600 S Redwood Rd
Salt Lake City, UT, 84123
http://www.slcc.edu
X
University of Southern California
University Park
Los Angeles, CA, 90089
http://www.usc.edu/
X
City College of San Francisco
50 Phelan Ave
San Francisco, CA, 94112
http://www.ccsf.edu
X X
Virginia Commonwealth University
910 W Franklin St
Richmond, VA, 23284
http://www.vcu.edu/
X
Boston University
One Silber Way
Boston, MA, 2215
http://www.bu.edu
X
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis
425 University Blvd
Indianapolis, IN, 46202
http://www.iupui.edu
X X
Portland Community College
12000 SW 49th Avenue
Portland, OR, 97219
http://www.pcc.edu
X X
The University of Tennessee
527 Andy Holt Tower
Knoxville, TN, 37996
http://www.tennessee.edu
X X
Cuyahoga Community College District
700 Carnegie Ave
Cleveland, OH, 44115
http://www.tri-c.edu
X X
St Petersburg College
14025 58th Street North
Clearwater, FL, 33760
http://www.spcollege.edu
X X
University of Iowa
101 Jessup Hall
Iowa City, IA, 52242
http://www.uiowa.edu
X
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
103 South Bldg Cb 9100
Chapel Hill, NC, 27599
http://www.unc.edu
X
West Virginia University
Stewart Hall University Avenue
Morgantown, WV, 26506
http://www.wvu.edu/
X
Florida State College at Jacksonville
501 W State St
Jacksonville, FL, 32202
http://www.fscj.edu
X
Utah Valley University
800 W University Parkway
Orem, UT, 84058
http://www.uvu.edu
X X
Columbus State Community College
550 E Spring St
Columbus, OH, 43215
http://www.cscc.edu
X X
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus
4200 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA, 15260
http://www.pitt.edu
X
El Paso Community College
919 Hunter Drive
El Paso, TX, 79915
http://www.epcc.edu
X X
Oakland Community College
2480 Opdyke Rd
Bloomfield Hills, MI, 48304
http://www.oaklandcc.edu
X
Palm Beach State College
4200 Congress Ave
Lake Worth, FL, 33461
http://www.palmbeachstate.edu/
X
Central New Mexico Community College
525 Buena Vista SE
Albuquerque, NM, 87106
http://www.cnm.edu
X
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA, 2115
http://www.northeastern.edu
X
Palomar College
1140 W. Mission
San Marcos, CA, 92069
http://WWW.PALOMAR.EDU
X X
University of New Mexico-Main Campus
1700 Lomas Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM, 87106
http://www.unm.edu
X X
Sacramento City College
3835 Freeport Blvd
Sacramento, CA, 95822
http://www.scc.losrios.edu/
X X
College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd.
Glen Ellyn, IL, 60137
http://www.cod.edu
X
Hillsborough Community College
39 Columbia Drive
Tampa, FL, 33606
http://www.hccfl.edu
X X
Pasadena City College
1570 E Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA, 91106
http://www.pasadena.edu
X X
Mesa Community College
1833 W Southern Ave
Mesa, AZ, 85202
http://www.mc.maricopa.edu
X
Santa Rosa Junior College
1501 Mendocino Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA, 95401
http://www.santarosa.edu
X X
Fresno City College
1101 E. University Ave
Fresno, CA, 93741
http://www.fresnocitycollege.edu
X
Orange Coast College
2701 Fairview Road
Costa Mesa, CA, 92626
http://www.orangecoastcollege.edu/
X X
Collin County Community College District
4800 Preston Park Blvd.
Plano, TX, 75093
http://www.collin.edu
X
Georgia Perimeter College
3251 Panthersville Rd
Decatur, GA, 30034
http://www.gpc.edu
X
San Antonio College
1300 San Pedro Ave
San Antonio, TX, 78212
http://www.alamo.edu/sac/sacmain/sac.htm
X X
Old Dominion University
5115 Hampton Blvd
Norfolk, VA, 23529
http://www.odu.edu
X X
University of Colorado Denver
1250 14th Street
Denver, CO, 80217
http://www.ucdenver.edu/
X
Northern Arizona University
Knoles Drive Babbitt Administrative Center
Flagstaff, AZ, 86011
http://home.nau.edu/
X
The Community College of Baltimore County
7201 Rossville Blvd.
Baltimore, MD, 21237
http://www.ccbcmd.edu
X
San Diego Mesa College
7250 Mesa College Dr
San Diego, CA, 92111
http://www.sdmesa.edu/
X X
Weber State University
3848 Harrison Blvd
Ogden, UT, 84408
http://www.weber.edu
X X
Owens Community College
30335 Oregon Rd
Perrysburg, OH, 43551
http://www.owens.edu
X
Harrisburg Area Community College-Harrisburg
One HACC Dr
Harrisburg, PA, 17110
http://www.hacc.edu
X X
Des Moines Area Community College
2006 Ankeny Blvd
Ankeny, IA, 50023
http://www.dmacc.edu
X X
Diablo Valley College
321 Golf Club Rd
Pleasant Hill, CA, 94523
http://www.dvc.edu
X X
Cerritos College
11110 Alondra Blvd
Norwalk, CA, 90650
http://WWW.CERRITOS.EDU
X X
Southwestern College
900 Otay Lakes Rd
Chula Vista, CA, 91910
http://www.swccd.edu
X
Sinclair Community College
444 W. Third St.
Dayton, OH, 45402
http://www.sinclair.edu
X X
Chaffey College
5885 Haven Ave
Rancho Cucamonga, CA, 91737
http://www.chaffey.edu
X X
Lansing Community College
419 N Capitol Ave
Lansing, MI, 48901
http://www.lansing.cc.mi.us
X
University of Louisville
2301 S 3rd St
Louisville, KY, 40292
http://www.louisville.edu
X
Rio Salado College
2323 W 14th St
Tempe, AZ, 85281
http://www.rio.maricopa.edu
X X
Wayne County Community College District
801 W Fort St
Detroit, MI, 48226
http://www.wcccd.edu
X X
Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd
Bowling Green, KY, 42101
http://www.wku.edu
X X
University of Hawaii at Manoa
2500 Campus Road Hawaii Hall
Honolulu, HI, 96822
http://manoa.hawaii.edu
X
Johnson County Community College
12345 College Blvd
Overland Park, KS, 66210
http://www.jccc.edu
X
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
900 S Illinois Ave
Carbondale, IL, 62901
http://www.siuc.edu
X X
Milwaukee Area Technical College
700 W State St
Milwaukee, WI, 53233
http://matc.edu
X X
Los Angeles City College
855 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA, 90029
http://www.lacitycollege.edu/
X X
Tulsa Community College
6111 E Skelly Dr
Tulsa, OK, 74135
http://www.tulsacc.edu
X
Central Piedmont Community College
1201 Elizabeth Avenue
Charlotte, NC, 28204
http://www.cpcc.edu
X X
Community College of Philadelphia
1700 Spring Garden St
Philadelphia, PA, 19130
http://www.ccp.edu
X
Monroe Community College
1000 E Henrietta Rd
Rochester, NY, 14623
http://www.monroecc.edu/
X X
Front Range Community College
3645 W 112th Ave
Westminster, CO, 80031
http://www.frontrange.edu/FRCCTemplates/FRCC1.aspx?id=47
X
Modesto Junior College
435 College Ave
Modesto, CA, 95350
http://mjc.edu
X X
Foothill College
12345 El Monte Rd
Los Altos Hills, CA, 94022
http://www.foothill.edu
X X
Instituto de Banca y Comercio Inc
1660 Calle Santa Ana
Southington, PR, 909
http://www.ibanca.net
X
College of Lake County
19351 W Washington St.
Grayslake, IL, 60030
http://WWW.CLCILLINOIS.EDU
X
Brevard Community College
1519 Clearlake Rd
Cocoa, FL, 32922
http://www.brevardcc.edu
X X
Kirkwood Community College
6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW
Cedar Rapids, IA, 52406
http://www.kirkwood.edu
X X
Community College of Rhode Island
400 East Ave
Warwick, RI, 2886
http://www.ccri.edu
X X
Daytona State College
1200 W. International Speedway Blvd.
Daytona Beach, FL, 32114
http://www.DaytonaState.edu
X
University of Alaska Anchorage
3211 Providence Drive
Anchorage, AK, 99508
http://www.uaa.alaska.edu
X
Blinn College
902 College Ave
Brenham, TX, 77833
http://www.blinn.edu
X X
Indian River State College
3209 Virginia Ave
Fort Pierce, FL, 34981
http://www.irsc.edu
X
Metropolitan Community College Area
30 & Fort Street
Omaha, NE, 68111
http://www.mccneb.edu
X
Grand Rapids Community College
143 Bostwick Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI, 49503
http://www.grcc.edu
X X
Madison Area Technical College
3550 Anderson St
Madison, WI, 53704
http://matcmadison.edu
X
Bergen Community College
400 Paramus Rd
Paramus, NJ, 7652
http://www.bergen.edu
X
University of Rhode Island
8 Ranger Road
Kingston, RI, 2881
http://www.uri.edu/
X
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
104 University Circle
Lafayette, LA, 70503
http://www.louisiana.edu
X
Edison State College
8099 College Pky SW
Fort Myers, FL, 33919
http://www.edison.edu
X
Cabrillo College
6500 Soquel Dr
Aptos, CA, 95003
http://www.cabrillo.edu
X
Harper College
1200 W Algonquin Rd
Palatine, IL, 60067
http://www.harpercollege.edu
X
Camden County College
College Drive
Blackwood, NJ, 8012
http://www.camdencc.edu
X X

Schools by State

Best Cities for Dental Hygienist Schools