What is a Dental Hygienist?
To become a dental hygienist, most states require that a hygienist graduate from an accredited dental hygiene program. We attend classes in which we study subjects such as human anatomy and physiology, head and neck anatomy, periodontology (study of gum disease), pharmacology, dental materials and clinical hygiene. In addition to class work, we have clinical hours when we see patients as well as work in the lab. In Virginia, hygienists must have a minimum of an associate’s degree before they can sit for state and regional boards. Part of our boards are written and we have a clinical section of our boards where we bring a patient to demonstrate our clinical skills and are graded on clinical proficiency. After passing boards the state grants a license to practice dental hygiene. We also have to complete a minimum of 15 continuing education hours every year to renew our licenses.
Being a Dental Hygienist is a rewarding career — working for Dr. Kling and having the opportunity to provide your dental oral care is a honor.