Is Dental Hygiene a Good Career? Choosing the Right Career in Dental

Dental hygienist cleaning teeth

It can take time to envision what an average day in the dental profession would look like. A career in dental hygiene can involve many things from assisting dentists to taking x-rays and providing preventative care.

Is dental hygiene a good career choice for you?

To become a dental hygienist, you must be licensed in the state where you plan to work, and the licensing requirements vary depending on the state.

The minimum level of education required to become a hygienist requires an associate’s degree from an accredited program, but you can also earn your bachelor’s degree.

The career of a dental hygienist often needs to be clarified with the job of a dental assistant. While there are similarities between the two, there are differences to be aware of when determining which career is best for you.

Many people choose to become a dental assistant because it’s much faster, cheaper, and there is still the potential for advancement with various certifications such as our expanded functions certificate.

Let’s take a look at careers in dental hygiene to see if they are right for you.

Why Is Dental Hygiene a Good Career Choice?

Dental hygienists have stable careers with flexible hours, above-average pay, and growth opportunities. Compared to other professions in the healthcare field, training to become a dental hygienist is shorter.

You can become a dental hygienist in eighteen months to two years. However, it can take up to four years if you plan to get a bachelor’s degree in hygiene. Dental hygienists earn a competitive salary, enjoy a flexible work schedule, and work in a social environment. Being a dental hygienist is an appreciated and rewarding career.

Is Dental Assistant a Good Career?

You might wonder why to choose a dental assistant as a career. Dental assistants differ from dental hygienists.

A dental assistant helps assist a dentist with teeth and is responsible for scheduling patient appointments, answering phones, and handling payments and billing. Becoming a dental assistant opens the door to other career opportunities, such as becoming a dental hygienist.

Dental assistants also help prepare the rooms for the patient, sterilize instruments, seat the patients, and assist during treatment.

A dental assistant is a promising career. You work in a fast-paced environment and do a lot of hands-on work. Dental assistants have various careers and the satisfaction of helping patients become happier and healthier.

Are Dental Assistants in Demand?

Dental assistants are in high demand, primarily due to the aging population and the increased need for dental care. In addition, dental assistants are needed because dentists rely on assistants for help to work more efficiently.

If you wonder if dental assisting is a promising career, it is beneficial to understand that the employment of dental assistants is projected to increase throughout the coming years.

The employment of dental assistants is expected to grow by eight percent until 2031, which is faster than average for most occupations.

What Is the Best Career in Dentistry

Deciding between a dental hygienist and a dental assistant is a personal career choice. While the job duties are similar, they are not identical. Dental assistants directly aid dentists during routine dental procedures and help keep the office running efficiently.

Assistants may be able to perform minor procedures or take x-rays under supervision but cannot perform these procedures alone. A dental hygienist directly works with their patients, performing teeth cleanings and oral exams under minimal to no supervision.

Both careers are fast-paced, offer flexible hours, and are rewarding as you make a difference in your patient’s oral and overall health.

Dental hygienists pay more than dental assistants because they provide more patient care, while dental assistants focus more on administrative duties. You can begin your career as a dental assistant and eventually advance to a dental hygienist after completing the appropriate certifications.

As a dental hygienist, you see almost immediately how your role makes a significant difference in your patients’ lives. You build good relationships with your patients while helping them become healthier. Many patients request to see the same dental hygienist every time they return to the dentist for a cleaning.

Overall, we think becoming a dental assistant is a great way to get into the dental hygiene field.

Final Thoughts

If you are considering a career in dental hygiene, Howard Healthcare Academy is here to help you succeed. If you wonder if dental hygiene is a promising career, you have much of the information you need to know you will succeed in a career as a dental assistant.

Our dental assistant certificate programs can help you begin your journey to becoming a dental assistant. To get started, complete our inquiry form today.

Recent Posts

Dental Assistant Degree vs. Certificate: Choosing the Best Career Path

Thinking about becoming a dental assistant? You’re doing your research — and that’s a great first step! The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the job outlook for dental assistants is favorable. Specifically, it estimates a faster than the average growth rate of 7% through 2032. So, how do you become a dental assistant?...

A man receiving treatment from a female dental assistant
Dental Assistant Cover Letters: Everything You Need to Know

If you are applying for a job as a dental assistant, it is essential to create an excellent dental assistant cover letter. Cover letters help prospective employers understand why you should be hired. They showcase your professional ability, highlight your strengths, and show that you are serious about the opportunity to work as a dental...

Dental assistant helping a dentist with a young patient
How Much Do Dental Assistants Make?

If you want to become a dental assistant, you want to understand more about how much dental assistants make and whether it is a decent salary. Dental assistants’ pay depends on several factors, such as specific responsibilities and roles, location, education, and professional experience. A typical dental assistant’s salary in the United States is between...

Dental assistant explaining paperwork to a patient
What is an Expanded Duty Dental Assistant? Explore Roles & Responsibilities

An expanded duty dental assistant, also known as an expanded functions dental assistant (EFDA), is a certified dental assistant who has undergone additional training and schooling to earn the licensure and skills that enables them to perform specific dental procedures. EFDAs can perform specific dental procedures that you would expect a dentist to perform, but...

Contact an Admissions Rep

We’re happy to answer any of your questions and show you around.

Schedule A Tour

Talk to a member of our Admissions team right away.

Apply Now

Fill out this form and we’ll reach out and talk through your options.