Dental Hygienist Salary in the US
In addition to cleaning teeth, dental hygienists offer various dental services. Learn how much money you may make in this fascinating industry.
In the US, the average annual compensation for a dental hygienist is $77,810. Depending on region, company, degree of education, job title, and other factors, dental hygienists may make more or less than this wage. The highest paid dental hygienists are those who have worked in the field for 20 years or more or who reside in one of the states with the highest salaries in the US.
You’ll be cleaning patients’ teeth and supporting the dentist as needed in treatments as a dental hygienist in a clinical setting. An essential component of this employment is informing patients about oral health and dental hygiene. You must complete a recognized dental hygiene program, pass the dental hygienist national written exam, and pass your state’s clinical exam to get licensed to practice as a dental hygienist.
It can be difficult to get a foot in the door of your ideal career. You can use these hints and suggestions to aid you with the application and interview processes as well as identify the people you should network with to break into the industry. A typical day in the life of this job and the dental hygienist salary in the US are also covered in this professional advise.
Who is a Dental Hygienist?
A dental hygienist is a qualified individual who assists a dentist in maintaining a patient’s overall oral health through routine cleanings and other oral health services. Depending on where they practice, they may perform any treatments or procedures a dental patient may require. The precise tasks that a dental hygienist is permitted to perform are decided upon and governed by each state.
Role of a Dental Hygienist
A dental hygienist looks at, cleans, and instructs patients on how to take care of their teeth and gums. During routine cleanings or office visits, dental hygienists frequently develop a plan of care for patients, record the care that was provided, and communicate any findings. Additionally, they might do the following particular duties:
- Examine the patient’s oral health, performing tests for gum disease and cancer.
- To prevent cavities, treat teeth with fluoride and sealants.
- Make use of specialist dental tools to remove tartar and plaque from teeth and the gum line.
- Whenever necessary, administer nitrous oxide or a local anesthetic.
- Interpret and carry out dental radiography
- Help a dentist out with dental work
Also Check: 10 Essential Dental Nurse Skills
The Future of Dental Hygienists’ Jobs
According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, dental hygienists should have a positive career outlook with a predicted 11 percent growth rate. In the US, there were 206,100 dental hygienist jobs as of 2020, and another 23,100 positions are expected to become available between 2020 and 2030. The Bureau estimates that over the next ten years, there will be 15,600 new job opportunities annually on average.
How to Become a Dental Hygienist
You must complete a dental hygiene associate degree program that has been approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation in order to work as a dental hygienist (CODA). After passing both your state’s clinical examination for dental hygienists and the written National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, you can move toward licensing. Even if you could see some variations in the precise license criteria in various states, this pattern is normal for all of them. For instance, you might have to provide letters of recommendation, the results of a background check, documentation of your liability insurance, and academic records.
Programs for dental hygienists normally last two years and include a predetermined number of hours each week for practical training. If you are certain that you want to eventually work in management roles, you can obtain a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene (BSDH). Earning an associate in applied science in dental health (AAS) degree, which is the minimum prerequisite, will take longer and cost more money than pursuing a BSDH. You may be able to start your career and complete the bachelor’s degree later by applying to several colleges that will accept your associate degree as transfer credit toward a BSDH. Check out for some easiest dental schools to get into.
Gaining Employment as a Dental Hygienist
An organization like the ADHA can connect dental hygienists with others in the industry to help them find new opportunities. Networking is essential. Members have the opportunity to contact with mentors who can help them in their job hunt.
The majority of dental hygienists work in clinical settings and interact with patients on a daily basis, therefore it’s important to show that you have strong interpersonal skills while applying for jobs. A strong ability to communicate is also necessary. Dental hygienists spend a lot of time discussing disease with patients and may even persuade them to alter their behavior in order to prevent disease.
Where do Dental Hygienists Works?
In clinical settings like private dental offices, community health centers, hospitals, assisted living institutions, government-run facilities, or prisons, dental hygienists frequently work. They are also capable of performing additional jobs in the administration, public health, government, and research domains. Depending on where they work, dental hygienists may work full- or part-time hours.
Factors that Determine Dental Hygienist Salary
The number of years of experience, the skills and specializations, as well as further education and certifications, all have an impact on a dental hygienist salary. Additionally, you can discover that your pay varies according to your workplace, company, and industry of choice. You might need to relocate or return to school to expand your skill set or pick up a specialization if you want to earn more money.
- Experience: It’s not unusual to discover dental hygienists making less money than those with less professional experience. You would probably see only a small increase in your annual compensation if you remained with the same practice or one comparable for, say, 20 years. This can still be inferior to what another office provides.
- Job Title: Offices that have employed dental hygienists for a longer period of time may also offer them managerial jobs. Your income may increase if you go into one of these managerial or administrative positions.
- Location: Dental services may be more expensive in certain areas. Places with higher expenses of living than the country as a whole might also pay more, whereas cities with lower costs of living will be on the lower end of the yearly income range.
- Skills and specialties: If you possess a particular skill set, such as radiology, or a dental speciality, such as periodontics, you may find that dental offices or other companies are willing to pay you more.
- Employer: Depending on where you work, your employer determines how much money you’ll make annually. You might make less money working for a clinic with a big number of dental hygienists than for one with fewer hygienists or one with a more concentrated clientele.
- Industry: You could pursue positions outside of the typical clinical context, which could increase or decrease your pay. For instance, a dental hygienist employed by the government typically makes less money than one employed by a dental office.
Dental Hygienist Salary in the US
A dental hygienist employed in the US earns over $77,000 a year, or more than $37 per hour. A dental hygienist makes twice as much as a dental assistant in a clinical setting, but about half as much as a dentist. Dental assistants make close to $39,000 year, whereas the median pay for dentists is around $163,000 annually.
Dental Hygienist US Average Salary
In the US, dental hygienists working in a clinical context can anticipate to make, on average, between $51,130 and $115,510 annually. In the US, the average yearly wage is $77,810. Given the vast range of earnings, you might find it useful to examine more closely at the lowest and highest salaries in the US and the variables influencing these numbers.
Lowest Dental Hygienist Salary in the US
The lowest 10 percent of dental hygienists in the US make, on average, less than $60,100 annually. Dental hygienists typically earn the least in states in the south or on the east coast. One reason the compensation might be lower in several of these states is that their average cost of living is lower than in other regions of the nation. In a region where there is little need for dental hygienists, salaries may also be lower.
Highest Dental Hygienist Salary in the US
The top 10% of dental hygienists made an average of more than $100,200 per year. Along the west coast are many of the states with the highest salaries for dental hygienists. Alaska, California, and Washington State are the three states with the highest salaries for this line of work. The higher cost of living in certain places may be one reason influencing the higher pay. Additionally, there is typically more demand for dental hygienists in this area, which raises annual pay.
Best Cities to Work as a Dental Hygienist in US
Santa Maria, San Jose, San Francisco, Anchorage, and Santa Rosa have the highest median annual dental hygienist salary in the US.
- Santa Maria, California $125,750
- San Jose, California $122,660
- San Francisco, California $119,320
- Anchorage, Alaska $116,270
- Santa Rosa, California $115,730
Frequently Asked Questions
In the USA, are Dental Hygienists in demand?
Some people may choose to conduct research with an emphasis on illness prevention. Others might work as educators or in activism. Between 2021 and 2031, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an 8.9% increase in employment for dental hygienists. An estimated 19,000 positions should become available over that time.
Which Career earns more Money, Nursing or Dental Hygiene?
At the end of the day, both RNs and Dental Hygienists earn substantial salaries, but these may vary depending on the location in which they work. The average annual pay for RNs is $75,330, while that for dental hygienists is $77,810, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What is the Duration of a Dental School?
The typical dentistry school curriculum lasts four years. The majority of the first two years of dentistry school are devoted to studying fundamental biological sciences, which include information on the anatomy, physiology, and disorders that can impact the human body.
What are a few Drawbacks to working as a Dental Hygienist?
1. This job won't offer you much variety in your career.
2. Your current position won't really change.
3. Occasionally, you will have to serve a difficult patient.
4. It's possible that there aren't any full-time jobs available in your neighborhood.
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