15 Best Dental Hygienist Schools in Florida, USA | Requirements for Admission, Tuition Cost, Accreditation

Best Dental Hygienist Schools in Florida, USA Requirements for Admission, Tuition Cost, Accreditation

Studying in the USA is the aspiration of young talents who wish to better their fortunes. Florida being one the most populated states in the USA presents these young and ambitious talents the opportunity to study Dental Hygiene. The Best Dental Hygienist schools in Florida, USA is one of the reasons international students troop into the United States. You may ask, What Do Dental Hygienists Do? Read through to learn more.

Dental hygienist is an intriguing career path that presents students with excellent job opportunities and a good pay package. Hence it would be a very ideal choice to choose among the best dental hygienist schools in Florida and enrol. These schools have been accredited by The American Dental Association Commission.

If you have made up your mind to become a dental hygienist in Florida, USA, then you have to check out if you possess the prerequisite skills and abilities to do so. The first thing to do when such an important decision as becoming a dental hygienist in Florida is made is to choose the best dental hygienist schools in Florida. This is the reason we have made this post – to guide you choose from the best dental hygienist schools.

Table Of Contents

What is Dental Hygiene?

“Dental Hygiene” is a term used to describe the overall cleaning of the teeth and the surroundings so as to ensure the maintenance of good oral health. This involves but is not limited to;

  • Brushing the teeth at least twice a day
  • Mouth rinsing
  • Limiting the intake of sugary food etc.

Who is a Dental Hygienist?

A dental hygienist is a trained professional who provides preventive, clinical and therapeutic dental services/assistance such as dental examinations and guidelines on how to take care of the teeth and gums. The works of the dental hygienist can generally improve the patient’s dental health significantly if the patient follows his instructions diligently.

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Their works go beyond cleaning and polishing teeth. Dental Hygienists provide patients with useful tips on how to keep their mouth, teeth and gums in good health. Their roles in the oral care sector cannot be overemphasized. This is why becoming a dental hygienist is a wise career path to choose and this post will guide you to choose from the best dental hygienist schools in Florida, USA.

What Do Dental Hygienists Do? | What is the work of a Dental Hygienist? | What Roles Do Dental Hygienists Play?

Dental hygienists work in public and private hospitals and dental clinics with both infants and adults educating them on the importance of good dental health as well as how to maintain good dental health/oral hygiene. Apart from this, they also do health reach out programs to eradicate dental illiteracy among rural dwellers. Dental hygienists also carry out dental procedures through a series of dental devices.

Studying dental hygiene will expose you to doing any of these if not all from time to time.

  • Removal of Plaque
  • Teeth polishing and cleaning
  • Fluoride application to ensure eradication of tooth decay
  • Administration of local anaesthetics etc.

As a dental hygienist, you will team up with a group of dental practitioners to examine patients for signs of oral diseases and provide preventive dental care. Apart from cleaning and x-rays, you have to administer sedations as well. You will also educate patients on different ways to improve and maintain a good oral health at all times.

What are the Qualities of a Dental Hygienist?

As a dental hygienist, some qualities are a must-have in order to effectively discharge your duties. Some of the qualities are:

  • Empathy
  • Patient
  • Positive
  • Understanding
  • Attention to details (Detail-oriented)
  • Passionate and
  • Sturdy

He must also be a good communicator because, from day to day, he will be encountering different people. By studying dental hygiene in any of these best dental hygienist schools in Florida, then you are on course to a great career.

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How to Become a Dental Hygienist

Being a dental hygienist involves stages of academic training. Although, you can also be working and at the same time pursuing your education. This comes with earning at least an associate degree and passing the board exams. The academic and training requirements to meet in order to become a dental hygienist include;

#1. Getting a High School Diploma or Its Equivalent

A high school diploma is a prerequisite to applying for a bachelor’s degree or an associate degree. Related subjects such as Biology, Physiology, Anatomy and other science-related courses must be passed to proceed to dental school. Getting a high school diploma is essential to get admission into the Best Dental Hygienist Schools in Florida, US.

#2. Complete An Associate Degree from An Accredited Dental Hygienist School.

The board in charge of accreditation of dental hygienist school have numerous schools they have accredited for dental studies. It is advisable to choose from among these schools to complete an associate degree.

Getting an associate degree takes about 2 to 4 years. Courses in anatomy and physiology, immunology, pathology and general biology are covered in these two to four years. The academic training also comes with on-the-job training (Industrial training) which is supervised directly by a trained and certified dental hygienist.

#3. Getting a Bachelor’s Degree or Masters

At the completion of an associate degree, it is advisable to proceed to get a bachelor’s degree. Most students also go further to get a Master’s degree. This will equip dental students with the necessary tools to engage in research.

#4. Get Practicing License at both State and National Levels

To obtain a practising license, you have to pass the stipulated board exams. The National Board Dental Hygiene Examination is of two categories. Each category has three hundred and fifty (350) multiple-choice questions and a minimum score of 75 is required to pass.

At the state level, the state of residence determines which exam you must write and what grade/score you need to pass. After passing the necessary exams, then you can be issued a certificate of recognition as a dental hygienist.

How to Become a Dental Hygienist in Florida, USA

To become a dental hygienist in Florida, USA, it is necessary that you become familiar with the laws and standards regulating dental hygiene. Some of these laws include minimum age, required education and training (some of which are stated in the previous heading), experience required and many others;

  • The applicant should be a minimum of 18 years of age
  • He must apply and submit a completed application to the licensing board
  • The applicant must be free of any litigation
  • He must have completed his studies at an accredited dental hygiene college

Required Education Levels to Become a Dental Hygienist

To become a dental hygienist, some educational qualifications must be attained. Sometimes, only an associate degree is required to work as a dental hygienist. But in most cases, a bachelor’s or even master’s degree is required to get employed as a dental hygienist. Well just like in any other career path, the highest academic qualification determines the job titles suitable for an individual.

The required education levels for dental hygienists include

  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Master’s Degree

#1. Associate Degree

This majorly serves as a preparatory degree. It prepares the individual to work as a dental hygienist. With a practising license, you can work in both private and public dental hospitals as a dental hygienist.

#2. Bachelor’s Degree

Just as an associate degree serves as a preparatory degree, a bachelor’s degree enables you to get reputable employment. With a bachelor’s degree, you can work at community dental clinics or even a school that has dental facilities. Apart from working in community dental clinics, you also stand a chance to apply for open dental job vacancies with a bachelor’s degree.

#3. Master’s Degree

A master’s degree is an advanced degree and is required for lecturing. That is, if your wish is to help in training other dental hygienists, then you should get a master’s degree. This can be acquired from any of the accredited Best Dental Hygienist Schools in Florida, USA.

See Also; Requirements for Master’s Degree

Also, for those who wish to work as preventive specialists, getting a master’s degree in dental hygiene is necessary. With a masters in Dental Hygiene, you can join a research group where you can make research and proffer solutions to dental challenges.

What Courses Are Required to Become a Dental Hygienist?

To become a dental hygienist in Florida, there are some courses to be completed in the stipulated coursework. These courses have been prepared by the Top Dental Schools in Florida and have been adopted. Students are expected to excel in these courses in order to be ascertained as dental hygienists.

In any of the best dental hygienist schools in Florida, you choose to study, you will be faced with these courses. While some are specialized courses, others are general and compulsory courses.

They include:

  • Radiology

In the course of obtaining information about how severe a tooth break is, a dental x-ray may become an inevitable tool. Examining the rate of damage/harm caused on the tooth may also prompt a dental x-ray. For this reason, it is necessary to cover courses in radiography in order to be able to obtain an accurate dental x-ray when the need arises.

Although it may be difficult to diagnose a cracked tooth, this is because, in most cases, the crack may be too small to be detected by x-ray analysis. Nevertheless, it is important to equip yourself with the basics of radiography as a dental hygienist.

  • Instrumentation

Although this may come as a practical course (on the field training course), it is an integral part of the training as a dental hygienist. In this course, you are taught the practical handling of dental equipment such as dental mirrors, probes, retractors etc.

  • Dental Hygiene Theory

Here you will learn about the theoretical aspects of dental hygiene, how-to guide the patients to take proper care of their dental health etc. it is usually a four-semester course and pays attention to the theoretical background of dental hygiene.

  • Pain Management

Pain management is a necessary aspect of dental care. During surgeries, the patient needs to be properly managed in order to ensure he doesn’t go through severe pains in the course of surgery. Taking a course in pain management will prepare you to know the particular drug to give the patient for every particular type of surgery. Anxiety management is also embedded in this course as they are taught hand in hand.

  • Communication

To practice as a dental hygienist in Florida, you need to be a good communicator. You will be thought the best way to narrate to patients their ordeals. You need this course to be able to pass the message across to them properly. Communication forms part of the courses that are required to become a dental hygienist.

Why Study Dental Hygiene in Florida?

Generally, Florida presents students (both local and international students) with an aura of enthusiasm. These students are presented with life-changing experiences from time to time. This is not only attainable for dental hygiene students but for all students too.

Florida is made up of most of the best dental hygiene schools in the USA and as such, studying dental hygiene in Florida presents you with the rare opportunity of going to one of the best dental hygienist schools in Florida.

What Is the Best Place to Study Abroad?

Florida competes with top countries of the world in the production of the best dental hygienists in the USA and the world. The combination of the basic qualities necessary to successfully practise as a dental hygienist such as empathy, professionalism, fast and critical thinking and so on makes Florida stand out.

These are some of the few reasons why many international students wish to study in the USA.

How Much Does It Cost To Become a Dental Hygienist In Florida?

The cost of studying dental hygiene in Florida is dependent on the type of program you pick and also the school. Another factor that decides how much it costs to become a dental hygienist in Florida is the educational level that you intend to attain.

Generally, an associate degree that takes two years to acquire costs around $42,000 or less. Also, a bachelor’s degree (usually four years) costs about $70,000 or more. Getting a master’s degree amounts to an extra $20,000 – 71,000 or even more.

How Long Does It Take To Complete A Dental Hygiene Program In Florida?

Below is a table of the estimated duration and cost of completing a dental hygiene program in Florida.

Program Type (Degree)Estimated Program Length Estimated Program Cost (USD)
Associate20 – 30 Months (11/2 years – 3 years)3,000 – 45,000
Bachelor’s48 months (4 years or more)17,000 – 80,000
Mater’s12 – 24 months (1 – 2 years)23,000 – 72,000

 

NB: The Use of “Estimated” indicates that both the Program Length and Program Cost may vary from what is here on this website. It is the sole right of the institution and the governing body to determine these factors.

How Much Does A Dental Hygienist Earn In Florida?

In Florida, there is no specific or fixed earning for a dental hygienist. This is due to regional factors and/or dental clinics/hospitals in which the dental hygienist is employed. But if you are a dental hygienist in Florida, you are likely to earn as much as $37.53 per hour at least or $78,050 annually. This is based on the statistics of the Bureau of Labour Statistics.

Where Can a Dental Hygienist Work?

As a Dental hygienist, getting employed in the United States may not be a difficult task. This is because there are many openings for dental hygienists at different government or private parastatals. Below is a list of industries where a Dental Hygienist can be employed.

  • Office of Dentists
  • Office of Physicians
  • Federal Executive Branch
  • Outpatient Care Center
  • Employment Services

What Is The Employment Rate For Dental Hygienists In The USA

The number of Dental hygienists employed yearly in America is overwhelming and as such every dental hygienist is guaranteed a place to work. The table below presents the mean number of employments given to dental hygienists annually in the top five employment industries for dental hygienists.

Industry Number of Employment
Office of Dentists183,280
Office of Physicians2,410
Federal Executive Branch860
Outpatient Care Centre1640
Employment Services2,950

 

Which Body Accredits Dental Hygiene Schools In Florida?

The accreditation of institutions to offer dental hygiene courses is done by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) or The American Dental Association. Hence to become a certified dental hygienist, you have to complete an associate or bachelor’s degree from any of the accredited best dental hygienist schools in Florida and also pass the National Board Dental Examination.

The CODA creates and enforces accreditation standards and also regulates these dental hygienist schools. This is to ensure that at all times, they meet the requirements to continue training dental hygienists.

What Are The Best Dental Hygienists Schools In Florida, USA?

As stated earlier, the best thing you can do for yourself if you have decided to become a dental hygienist is to attend one of the best dental hygienist schools in Florida. This is because, it comes with its own advantages which include – landing the top jobs available, getting jobs with higher paycheques etc.

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Choosing the best school of dental hygiene in Florida may not be an easy task because Florida has a large number of befitting schools to study dental hygiene. Never worry about the challenges these numbers pose as we going to help you narrow down the list. Although, in no specific order, the following are the best dental hygienist schools in Florida. You can choose to study in any of them.

  1. Eastern Florida State College
  2. Miami Dade College
  3. Florida SouthWestern State College
  4. Gulf Coast State College
  5. Valencia College
  6. Tallahassee Community College
  7. Palm Beach State College
  8. Santa Fe College – Florida
  9. South Florida State College
  10. Broward College
  11. Hillsborough Community College
  12. Petersburg College
  13. Pasco-Hernando State College
  14. Pensacola State College
  15. Indian River State College

1. Eastern Florida State College

At the Eastern Florida State College, the Dental program lasts for a period of two years. This program is also approved by the American Dental Association Commission. Candidates who successfully complete their studies are issued an Associate in Science Degree in Dental hygiene.

The curriculum covers general studies, dental speciality courses as well as science courses. Apart from classroom activities, the students also engage in clinical practice.

Requirements for Admission

To be admitted, the candidate must;

  • Submit a completed physical exam form and evidence of vaccination
  • Acquire Professional liability and accident insurance. Getting personal health insurance is advised.
  • Have a current American Heart Association course at the commencement of clinics.
  • Present Criminal History Information Request (showing detailed information about your background and conducting a drug test)

At the completion of the program, the candidate is required to satisfactorily pass all general education and scientific support courses with a minimum of grade ‘C’.

Cost of Tuition

It is estimated to amount to $9,000 ($104/credit hour)

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2. Miami Dade College

This school has a global rating of 4.7 on a scale of 5 and has continuously ranked among the best schools of dental hygiene in the USA, not just in Florida. It has full accreditation to offer both associate and bachelor’s degrees.

It is specifically designed in such a way that the students who graduate from the Miami Dade College can begin immediate practice as dental hygienists. The academic curriculum covers the exposure and development of x-ray films. The students also learn preventive dental care, stain removal and removal of deposits on patients’ teeth. It is the place to be if you seek to study in one of the best dental hygienist schools in Florida.

Requirements for Admission

Getting admission to study at the Miami Dade College requires that the candidate must pass all prerequisite courses. These  

Cost of Tuition

It is estimated to amount to $10,000 ($83/credit hour)

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3. Florida SouthWestern State College

Students who attend this college are equipped with the basic knowledge required to practice as licensed dental hygienists. They are qualified to take the Dental Hygiene National Board. At the successful completion of this board, then they proceed to obtain a state license.

The dental hygiene program at the Florida SouthWestern State College is comprised of general education courses, dental hygiene courses and clinical practice. This is to ensure that the students are equipped with all necessary tools to practice effectively as dental hygienists upon graduation.

The minimum grade required in each general education and dental hygiene course is a ‘C’ in order to proceed. In all, the student must pass 88 credit hours at least to graduate.

Requirements for Admission

The applicant is required to meet specific criteria to gain admission into the Florida SouthWestern State College. These criteria are listed in the admission policies and can be obtained from the program office. Another way to get it is through the office of the Health Professions or contact them on (239) 985-3499.

Cost of Tuition

It is estimated to amount to $15,000 (although this can be reduced to $10,000 through the $10K Degree Options)

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4. Gulf Coast State College

One thing about the Gulf Coast State College as one of the best schools of dental hygiene in Florida is the low cost of tuition. It offers great education with one of, if not the lowest tuition fees. Surrounded by great views of the water, the Gulf Coast’s Panama City campus is the place to be as it not only provides a conducive atmosphere for learning. But also, it provides a great site for sightseeing.

With a good dental clinic for practical courses, you rest assured that you can only get the best from the Gulf Coast State College. This is why we have listed it among the Best Dental Hygienist Schools in Florida.

The Associate in Science (A.S) in Dental Hygiene program offered at the Gulf Coast State College serves as a tool that teaches the students how to take care of the overall dental health of the patients.

Requirements for Admission

The applicants for the dental hygiene program at the Gulf Coast State College are required to complete two applications. the general admission application to Gulf Coast State College and an application to the Division of Health Sciences on the Panama City campus.

Cost of Tuition

It is estimated to amount to $98/credit hour)

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5. Valencia College, Orlando

Studying for an Associate in Science (A.S) in the dental hygiene program at Valencia College takes two years. These two years are used to prepare the students to face squarely all that will come their way as they practice as fully certified dental hygienists upon graduation.

The dental hygiene program at Valencia College gives students the necessary preparations to get licensed as primary oral health care professionals. It doesn’t only prepare students, it also helps them to develop the necessary skills to ensure that patients get the best in dental care.

Requirements for Admission

Students are advised to attend the program information session and those who cannot attend are advised to review the program guide for necessary information.

Cost of Tuition

It is estimated to amount to $103/credit hour)

VISIT THE HOME PAGE TO APPLY NOW

6. Tallahassee Community College

The Dental Hygiene Associate in Science (A.S) program at the Tallahassee Community College serves as a preparation for students to complete the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination successfully. Students who successfully pass the examination are given the practising license to work as Dental Hygienists.

The curriculum runs for two years and in these years you will learn how to safely, effectively and efficiently carry out all the legal duties meant for a dental hygienist to carry out in Florida, USA.

Requirements for Admission

To be considered for admission, the candidate must;

  • Meet all college entrance requirements
  • Finish the Associate in Science program prerequisite courses with a minimum unrounded GPA of 2.2 and a 2.5 CGPA

Cost of Tuition

It is estimated to amount to $8,873.04 ($100.83/credit hour)

VISIT THE HOME PAGE TO APPLY NOW

Others in the List of Best Dental Hygienist Schools in Florida, USA, Include:

7. Palm Beach State College

8. Santa Fe College – Florida

9. South Florida State College

10. Broward College

11. Hillsborough Community College

12. St. Petersburg College

13. Pasco-Hernando State College

14. Pensacola State College

15. Indian River State College

Conclusion

Becoming a dental hygienist is one of the best career choices to take. As a dental hygienist, you will team up with a group of dental practitioners to examine patients for signs of oral diseases and provide preventive dental care. Apart from cleaning and x-rays, you have to administer sedations as well. You will also educate patients on different ways to improve and maintain good oral health at all times. While doing these, you can equally take good care of your own dental/oral health.

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