How do I become an Advanced Dental Hygienist Practitioner?

Suppose you are interested in a dental hygienist position, but perhaps you desire a higher educational degree than is required by a hygienist, then a career as an Advanced Dental Hygiene Practitioner may be an option for you. By earning your online master’s degree, you will have the opportunity to advance in your career as a dental hygienist. You will be allowed to examine teeth, provide restorative services, as well as, prescribe antibiotic and pain medications.

An Advance Dental Hygiene Practitioner, like all other hygienists, are required by law to obtain licensure from the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as administered by the American Dental Association. In addition, each state has their very own regulations and requirements, as well, such as state clinical exams and jurisprudence exams. After licensure, a dental hygienist typically is required to work a minimum number of three to five years before entering a master’s degree program. Most states require CPR certification and continued educational hours to be taken before you renew your license, which will require a small fee every few years.

An online Master of Science in Dental Hygiene program will provide the student with adequate education to become a dental hygienist instructor, the ability to do extensive dental research or obtain a management position within a dental clinic. Some master’s degree programs require the student to have previously completed courses such as chemistry, microbiology, biology and nutrition. As a master’s program student, coursework may involve periodontics, oral anatomy and pain management.

Graduate degrees usually require additional on-the-job clinical work and research experience. This can be done at private practices, dental educational programs or government health facilities. When you embark on your advanced career search, a master’s in health education is also very helpful and is impressive to prospective employers as are exceptional work or internship related reference letters. To excel in this position, you must have excellent communication skills, be detail oriented, be in good physical condition with dexterity, and most importantly, have a compassion and desire to help others.

Although the title of Advanced Dental Hygiene Practitioner is a relatively new notion, some hygienists have held master’s degrees for years, however, they have chosen to attend to patients in rural areas that are not readily assessible to local dentists. With the additional education and responsibilities, you will be allowed to do routine teeth cleanings, perform diagnostic exams, provide basic restorative needs like applying crowns and administering medications as needed. Your master’s degree may lead you onto the path of helping out the less fortunate, rural areas of our communities, as well.

In addition, perhaps your calling is in education and you would like to teach in the college or university setting. As an advanced practitioner, you will be allowed to train ambitious, hopeful dental hygienist and nurture their love for excellent oral healthcare. If research is your passion, then again, you will have the education to pursue that path.

Participation within a dental related organization, such as the American Dental Hygienists Association, is helpful. They are responsible for several publications to keep you abreast of the newest latest and greatest discoveries and aware of the important research and accomplishments within the field of dentistry. The ADHA also provides funding for scholarships and research grants.

If you are interested, we have compiled a list of the Top Online Programs for Dental Hygienists for your review.