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Dental Hygienist Certification vs RDAEF Certification

Further your career opportunities by becoming a registered dental assistant in extended functions.

December 1, 24



A career as a dental hygienist is exciting and rewarding. Dental hygienists are an important part of the dental office and they provide specialized oral care to patients during checkups, exams, and various dental procedures.

Dental Hygienist Income Information

Those with a dental hygiene certification can expect to earn salaries averaging around $74,000 annually – with the demand for dental hygienists and the number of positions expected to increase through 2026. For those looking for increased responsibility and patient interaction in the dental field, a career as a dental hygienist is an excellent choice.

In this guide, our healthcare educators at Howard HealthCare Academy provide an overview of the requirements to become a dental hygienist.

Expanded Functions Dental Assistant Income Information

The average salary for an expanded functions dental assistant in the United States is around $40,000 to $50,000 per year. However, the exact salary can vary depending on several factors, such as location, years of experience, and the specific duties and responsibilities of the job.

Some expanded function dental assistants who work in metropolitan areas or have many years of experience can earn salaries upwards of $60,000 per year.

What Certifications Do You Need to Be a Dental Hygienist?

How do you become a dental hygienist? First, prospective dental hygienist students must receive a degree through an accredited academic program at a community college, technical college, dental school, or university.

The majority of community college programs take at least two years to complete. Upon earning this associate degree, a prospective hygienist may take licensure examinations to become licensed and work in a dental office.

University-based dental hygiene programs offer baccalaureate and master’s degrees, which typically require at least two years of further schooling. (Individuals looking to eventually pursue a career in teaching and/or research often seek these degrees.)

Prospective students must meet a number of entrance requirements to be admitted into a dental hygienist program at any of the above institutions.

These education requirements vary considerably from program to program. Completing high school-level courses such as health, biology, psychology, chemistry, mathematics, and speech is highly beneficial for applicants, regardless of which program you choose.

Most dental hygienist programs show a preference for individuals who have completed at least one year of college, while some baccalaureate degree programs require that applicants complete two years of college prior to enrollment. Howard HealthCare Academy

Dental Hygienist Course Requirements

Upon enrolling in an accredited dental hygienist program, students will be expected to complete an array of specialized courses before earning their degrees and completing licensure examinations. These courses cover topics spanning from fundamental human anatomy to specialized lab work and dental instrument usage.

Howard HealthCare Academy’s Dental Assistant Program and certificate programs can start you on the path toward becoming a dental hygienist. Our dental assistant courses include dental terminology, dental materials, clinical and lab duties, and dental practice management.

You can also earn standalone certifications in infection control, radiation safety, coronal polishing, ultrasonic scaling, and more. These skills will be highly useful if you’re looking to expand your career through an accredited dental hygienist program.

Dental Hygienist Certification Requirements

Almost all states require dental hygienists to be graduates of accredited dental hygiene education programs to be eligible for state licensure. However, graduation from an accredited dental hygiene program is only part of the process. Almost all states require candidates for licensure to pass a state-authorized licensure examination and obtain a passing score on the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination before becoming certified as a dental hygienist.

The state or regional examination is structured to test candidates’ clinical dental hygiene skills and other necessary dental topics. Once you pass the examination, you’re ready to officially start your dream career as a dental hygienist!

Expanded Functions Dental Assistant Education Requirements

One of the main positives of choosing an EFDA course is that there are fewer requirements to become certified.

To qualify for an EFDA course, you must feet the following criteria:

  • A valid, active, and current RDA license.
  • Completed a Board-approved pit and fissure sealant course.
  • CPR certification.
  • Hepatitis-B vaccination clearance or evidence of immunity or completed declination form.
  • Professionally liability and malpractice insurance.

The program is 410 hours and is held twice a week so it won’t interfere with your RDA work schedule. You can choose to do it on the weekend or two nights during the week.

Pros of an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant Course

The cost of school is a major priority for many professionals who are trying to grow their career but also save up for lifes purchases. Perhaps you want to make more money but aren’t able to put forth such a high cost for a dental hygienist license. Becoming an RDAEF is a great option.

Not to mention the fact that getting a certificate in dental hygiene can often have a long waiting list as it’s a popular career. You can get started with your Expanded Functions certificate right away.

Completion of a Dental Hygienist Certificate Program is much more intense and requires a lot more time. This is one of the major reasons why people choose Howard Academy. Click here to enroll now!

Howard Healthcare Academy is your best option for earning additional dental assistance certifications. We offer a wide range of standalone programs to complete your dental professional profile.
Start your registered dental assistant in extended functions certification at Howard Healthcare Academy today!

Financial Services

Howard Healthcare Academy offers several financial assistance programs to help you kickstart your career as a certified dental assistant. See if you qualify for one of our scholarships and apply today!

Dental Assistant Scholarship

MyCAA Scholarship

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