Can You Become a Hygienist if You Are a Dental Assistant?

Can you be more than a dental assistant, say a dental hygienist? Yes! As a dental assistant, you have many options for professional growth and to expand in your career. Being an assistant to a dentist is a great start to see whether going into the dental field is right for you or not.

If you’re a dental assistant now and want to make the transition to becoming a dental hygienist, you are one step ahead! Being a dental assistant now gives you the experience of being in a dental environment where you are continually being exposed to challenges and learning experiences a textbook can’t teach, not to mention the observations you make working alongside the dentist. The transition is smooth since you already obtain knowledge from your work environment other students may lack and have acquired skillsets necessary to make you a successful hygienist.

Being a dental hygienist means you’re moving towards a more dental field than a dental assistant might. Your responsibilities and tasks will become more independent and advance as you engage one-on-one with patients and focus in the dental area. There is more hands-on with cleaning a patient’s teeth if it’s something you are looking forward to doing. The perks of being a dental hygienist are an increase in pay and a more flexible schedule if that’s what you are in search for, a balance between your work and life.

So, what are the requirements of becoming a dental hygienist? You will need to earn an AA degree in dental hygiene and complete licensing examinations specific to the state you inhabit. Some programs for dental hygiene require 2 to 4 years of schooling depending on where you decide to go. What are you waiting for to further advance your career? You have the knowledge and have established an understanding of what it’s expected within a dental environment, take the leap and become a dental hygienist today!