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Dental Hygienist Schools in Florida

Dental Hygienist Schools in Florida

Dental healthcare is a continuous need by many patients. In Florida, interested applicants can become dental hygienist by taking up the dental hygiene program in several vocational schools, community colleges and universities in the state. The Commission on Dental Accreditation has accredited 7 schools offering up to Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degrees and 13 schools offering only Associate of Science degrees.

All dental hygienist schools in Florida have programs for associate degrees. Among the 20 accredited schools, St. Petersburg College, Miami Dade College, Indian River State College, Florida National College, Florida Community College at Jacksonville, Edison State College, and Daytona State College have programs for BS degrees. When enrolling for a school, take note that the accreditation enables its graduates to readily take the certification exam, as opposed to graduates of non-accredited schools who have to undergo special procedures to be eligible to write the certification exam.

The associate degree programs can usually be finished within two years, while bachelor degree programs take up to four years. Most students get an associate degree because it is the minimum educational requirement for work. Students taking BS degrees are usually people who plan on pursuing a research or teaching career in the long run. The course content of the dental hygiene program can vary from school to school. But usually, these courses include anatomy of the mouth and surrounding structures, dental pharmacology, diseases of the oral cavity and related organs, dental laws, ethical principles, office and clinical duties of dental hygienists, laboratory tasks, use of dental instruments and equipment, and radiological procedures among others. Some schools include first aid, computer works, career development classes and professional etiquette into their course outline to provide students with improved working capabilities.

To be able to work in Florida as a dental hygienist, graduates of dental hygiene programs have to acquire certification by passing the national and state licensure exams. The national exam is administered by the American Dental Association while the Florida Board of Dentistry administers the state certification exam. Certification is important because it elevates the competency and professionalism of dental hygienists, ensuring the safety of patients and instilling a trusting working relationship among colleagues.

Dental hygienists work primarily to maintain and promote good oral health through hygienic practices. They handle cleaning dental procedures that help prevent the development of dental problems such as infections and appearance of tartars and plaques. They work alongside dentists and dental assistants in the dental chair, in the dentist office and in the laboratory for more efficiency. Many individuals get interested in the career because of its job potentials and security in terms of earning a living.