If you have made the choice to become a dental hygienist, then the first step you need to take is to find dental hygienist schools in Utah. Finding the right school will enable you to learn the skills you need to work in this in-demand profession. Attending an excellent school is also important to meet the requirements set by the state for working as a hygienist. There are several steps you must take beyond just getting your education, but the school you attend will have a huge impact on your career going forward. Not only will it ensure you get a quality education but also it ensures you can become properly licensed. Before looking at specific schools, you should have some idea of the pathway you need to take to become a dental hygienist. This will allow you to better see why your school choice is so important.
Pathway to Becoming a Dental HygienistThere are four main steps you need to take to become a dental hygienist in Utah. These are legally required steps that will allow you to work in this profession.
Step 1: Graduate from an American Dental Association approved programYou should always check to make sure that any of the dental hygienist schools in Utah that you are considering have ADA approval. This will be important in later steps of the process. If a school does not have ADA approval, you may have to repeat your education later to meet the requirements to sit for certain exams.
Step 2: Pass the National Board Dental Hygiene ExaminationThis exam is a multiple choice test with 350 questions. Questions cover your knowledge of dental care. They ask about ethics, care procedures, treatment options, patient assessment, and radiographs. There are three testing centers where you can take the NBDHE: Bountiful, Draper, and Ogden.
Step 3: Pass the Dental Hygienist Clinical ExaminationThis exam tests your actual skills in treating patients. You will have to do several common procedures. It also will test your patient interaction skills and your ability with radiographs. This is a regional exam that has testing centers in the western, central, northeastern, and southern regions of the state.
Step 4: Get your licenseThe last step in the process is to secure your dental hygienist license. You must provide the state with your exam results and a valid CPR certification. You also must complete an application and pay a fee. Once you have your license, you must maintain it by completing at least 30 hours of continuing education every two years.
Options in Dental Hygienist Schools in UtahThe following are some options for dental hygienist schools in Utah. These schools offer dental assisting or hygiene programs. Each school has different requirements for graduation from the program. In general, you can expect a program to take around 1,200 to 1,500 hours to complete. Most programs take under two years of study. Programs are generally similar in content, covering options such as dental radiology, dental terminology, and ethics. Also included in each program is a series of externships or clinical procedural practices that allow you to put what you learn into practice in laboratories, hospitals, and clinics.
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