Question for dental hygienist/dentist students?

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Question by : Question for dental hygienist/dentist students?
I’m leaning towards becoming a hygienist and so far from what I’ve read, I need a 2-4 year degree in dental hygiene. I also read that some schools accept students straight out of high school, though some prefer atleast one year of college? Is that true?
Well I’m in the Running Start program where I can take college classes while still in high school so does that count?


Best answer:

Answer by S J S
Alright, let me kind of clear some things up for you. Dental hygiene is a program that lasts for a duration of two years total. Both a Bachelor’s and Associate’s degree can be awarded, based on the school. Both of these degrees take four years to complete.

How? In a two year program offered at a technical or community college, two years of prerequisite courses are needed to be accepted into the actual program. It is true that most colleges boast that you only need one year of prerequisite college, but this is rarely the case. Often, Anatomy and Physiology I and II are offered in the Fall and Spring, which in theory only takes a year to complete BUT… there is a prerequisite to these classes. Therefore, it’s automatically three semesters, and unless you start in the Spring, it will be four semesters (two years) total of prerequisite work.

A Bachelor’s degree requires the EXACT same prerequisites and is the same two years of dental hygiene focused work, but you need to take more general education classes.
There is very little difference between the two, and if you have the option of the Bachelor’s degree, go for it!

For me, there is only one school in my state that offers a Bachelor’s degree, and instead of spending extra money for the same education, I choose to attend a community college.

SO… now that that is cleared up, your first step is to choose your school. It’s always smart to apply to several, but chances are that you will have a top choice. On all websites, there is a list of prerequisites. These are the classes that you need to take to be accepted into the program. Just because you are accepted to the school does not mean you are accepted to the program.

The second step is to actually complete these prerequisites. They don’t necessarily have to be completed at the school you want to do dental hygiene at. For example, I was a PSEO student, which sounds a lot like your Running Start program, and as a result I was a full time university student my senior year. I was able to complete ALL generals and easily could have completed most prerequisites (if I have known I wanted to do dental hygiene for sure). I really liked that university and took all of my prerequisites there. They did not offer dental hygiene, but I had the option to apply to several schools that did offer the program.

It’s very important to be very strong in your science classes, you need A’s! In my school of choice, only 14 students were accepted annually and several hundred apply. You need to stick out to admissions, whether that be through excellent grades or good grades and outstanding work and volunteer activity.

Good luck!

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