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Carrington College Blog

Dental Hygiene – A refreshing career choice

October 21, 2011

Students working in dental hygiene labAccording to the U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics (, Dental Hygiene is one of the fastest growing occupations in the nation.  The BLS predicts that the demand for dental services will grow as our population grows, and because we are retaining more teeth as we age*.  But it’s also the belief that oral health promotes general health that is leading to a growing emphasis on preventative dental care.

In fact the BLS has forecast that employment of Dental Hygienists will grow 36% through 2018, which is much faster than the average ( for all occupations.* Now isn’t that a breath of fresh air if you’re considering Dental Hygiene as a career?

Dental Hygienists work in tandem with Dentists to support and promote total oral health and to control oral diseases; but that is only one of the many hats they wear in a dental office. First and foremost Dental Hygienists are licensed healthcare professionals who perform patient screenings, record patient histories, take x-rays, and undertake oral and periodontal evaluations, including oral cancer screenings.

Dental Hygienists are also oral health educators who provide patients with hygiene assessments and instruct them on preventative care and maintenance techniques to apply at home. And last but not least, Dental Hygienists are clinicians who develop and document individual patient treatment plans and provide patients with preventive, educational, and therapeutic treatments and services.

The Carrington College Dental Hygiene associate degree program, available at our Boise, IDMesa, AZ, and Portland, OR campus locations, can provide our students with the skills needed to offer patients care in dental offices, clinics, and hospitals; they may also find opportunities in the research or marketing of dental products. There are a growing number of opportunities for specialization within Dental Hygiene, including pediatric dental offices and surgical periodontal offices.

But to qualify as a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) your first step is to graduate from a program like our Dental Hygiene associate degree; our program includes the required mix of classroom studies and extensive supervised clinical experience, including an externship; it also prepares graduates to take the national and state licensing examinations needed for licensure.**

Once you’ve successfully graduated, you must then pass a national written exam, a state written jurisprudence exam, and two comprehensive Western Regional written examinations, and two Western Regional clinical exams to earn your RDH license.**

If you’ve got a taste for a Dental Hygienist career why not find out more by talking to a Carrington College Enrollment Services Representative at 1.855.2881289? Alternatively complete the form you’ll find online at and a Representative will call you back.

* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2010-11 Ed.).

** Carrington College prepares students to take appropriate certification and licensure exams related to their individual majors. The College does not guarantee students will successfully pass these exams or be certified or licensed as a result of completing the program. Licensure qualifications may vary by state.

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