Maintaining good personal hygiene is very important, especially oral hygiene since it can strongly affect how other people think of us. Everyone needs oral care, and we need dental hygienists to keep our teeth healthy and cavity-free. So what do dental hygienists do? How much do they make? What does it take to become a dental hygienist? How much is dental hygienist salary Florida? Read on because this article will provide you with the information you need.
Why Should You Consider Being A Dental Hygienist?
The first reason, working in a growing field like dental hygiene brings you stability. The dental industry will unlikely to decline since maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for our everyday lives. Still, why not be a dentist? What’s the difference between a dentist and a dental hygienist? It might be surprising for some that there are differences between the two careers.
A dental hygienist is not a dentist. They are a member of the dentist’s supporting team. A dental hygienist is like the right hand of a dentist, performing various tasks to assist the dentist and service the clients. A dentist diagnoses problems and performs complex procedures like crowns, filling, and remover. On the other hand, a dental hygienist conducts basic tasks. They also explain to the clients how to take care of their teeth at home.
Pursuing a career as a dental hygienist requires less time than pursuing a career as a dentist. While it takes 5 to 7 years to become a registered dentist, it only takes 2 to 3 years to be a dental hygienist. That is another reason why you should consider becoming a dental hygienist.
In addition, a job as a dental hygienist offers high payment and a low level of stress. That explains why most dental hygienists are satisfied with their job decision.
It takes 2 to 3 years to be a dental hygienist – Source: Quang Tri NGUYEN
A survey conducted in January 2015 by RDH eVillage has shown that 84% of dental hygienists think they had made the right choice to enter the field and are happy with their lives.
Duties & Responsibilities
Dental hygienists specialize in the maintenance of oral health. They work independently for the most part, with just limited supervision from a certified dentist. A dental hygienist’s duties typically include:
- Checking clients’ oral health history
- Taking X-rays
- Identifying oral problems such as cavities, gingivitis, and periodontitis
- Conducting initial mouth screenings
- Removing plaque
- Sterilizing dental instruments
- Monitoring supplies
- Educating on proper oral care
- Maintaining documentation of each client
- Instructing clients after dental procedures
Becoming a dental hygienist doesn’t need much physical strength but requires caution and precision. Therefore, a career as a dental hygienist is not for everyone. Only mindful, careful, observant people are suitable for this profession.
Educating people on proper oral care is one of a dental hygienist’s duties – Dental Hygienist Salary Florida. Source: Diana Polekhina
How Much Does A Dental Hygienist Make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report in 2020, the median pay of dental hygienists in the United States is $37.06 per hour or $77,090 per year, which is about $11,000 higher than the median wage of all occupations, except for anesthesiologist and veterinarian.
Like many other jobs, the salary of dental hygienists depends on seniority.
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Dental hygienists’ salary also depends on work location. Below is the statistic of dental hygienists’ salaries in 5 different stages in the United States to show the difference.
Dental hygienist salary: Ohio Statistics
The chart shows that the average annual salary of dental hygienists in different areas of Ohio ranges from $44,930 to $74,570, with the lowest in Lima Mansfield and the highest in Columbus.
Dental hygienist salary: NY Statistics
The chart shows that the average annual salary of dental hygienists in different areas of New York ranges from $57,020 to $87,160, with the lowest in Buffalo and the highest in Santa Nassau County.
Dental hygienist salary: Florida Statistics
The chart shows that the average annual salary of dental hygienists in different areas of Florida ranges from $53,610 to $89.190, with the lowest in Punta Gordo and the highest in Naples.
Dental hygienist salary: Texas Statistics
The chart shows that the average annual salary of dental hygienists in different areas of Texas ranges from $62,220 to $83.080, with the lowest in Corpus Christi and the highest in Dallas.
Dental hygienist salary: California Statistics
The chart shows that the average annual salary of dental hygienists in different areas of Florida ranges from $64,100 to $133,730, with the lowest in Merced and the highest in Santa Barbara.
There are differences in dental hygienists’ salaries in each area due to the living cost vary by location. However, the payment of this occupation overall is high regardless of location.
How To Become A Dental Hygienist?
All dental hygienists must be licensed by the state they work in. Though the specific requirements may vary, an associate’s degree is a must for obtaining a license.
To become a licensed hygienist, you must complete a program approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), regardless of the degree you pursue. Achieving accredited dental hygiene programs will prove that you satisfy the highest educational standards, thus ensuring patient safety in the future.
Dental hygienists must take accredited dental hygiene programs to ensure patient safety – Dental Hygienist Salary Florida. Source: Caroline LM
The next step after graduation is to pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination. Each state also has its own clinical exam that assesses the understanding of basic hygiene, anesthetic, and restorative treatments. One may also have to take a drug test and a State law exam before getting registered.
Being a dental hygienist will be so rewarding when you can help people maintain the natural shine of their teeth. Your good work will put a smile on people’s faces, giving them confidence. If helping others is the life you’re after, why not give this career a try. We wish you good luck and we hope you’ll be satisfied with your choice.