Continuing Education for Dental Hygienists

If you are interested in becoming a dental hygienist, you need to know that you will be required to take continuing education courses in order to maintain your professional license. Read on to learn the state requirements, common courses offered, and degree programs that can further your education. Schools offering Dental Hygiene degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Do Dental Hygienists Need to Take Continuing Education Courses?

All states require dental hygienists to take continuing education courses in order to maintain licensure. The courses will need to be accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA) or recognized by the dental board in the state where you plan to work. The number of continuing education hours required varies by state. You may be expected to complete anywhere from 6-60 hours.

You should be able to find continuing education courses at community colleges and state universities. Some are also available online, including through the ADHA. Specific programs may also require you to be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Continuing Education Requirements Required in all states for license renewal, number of hours varies
Common Courses Oxygen sedition, local anesthesia, and dentist office medical emergencies.
Online Availability Available through American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA), other schools
Further Education Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene, Master of Science in Dental Hygiene

What Courses Can I Expect?

The most common courses that are available are nitrous oxide and oxygen sedition, local anesthesia and dentist office medical emergencies. These courses might keep you updated about providing anesthetics through syringes, hygienist pharmacology, patient assessment, procedures during emergency situations, basic airway management, symptom recognition, preparing nitrous oxide canisters and patient management. Schools might also offer additional courses in child patient techniques, radiology, dental implants and oral disease control.

How Else Can I Continue My Education?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that certificates and associate's degrees are the most common levels of education for dental hygienists ( In order to advance your career, you may be interested in pursuing bachelor's degree or master's degree programs, such as the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene or Master of Science in Dental Hygiene.

The BLS also states that completing these levels of education may qualify you for a career at a healthcare corporation or in public health. Completing a bachelor's or master's degree program may also be required if you intend on teaching in academic, corporate or public health settings.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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