How Much Does a Dental Hygienist Make? Salary Information and Best-Paying States

The role of a dental hygienist is an important one, as they help to maintain the overall health and wellbeing of their patients. As a dental hygienist, you are responsible for removing plaque and calculus, providing preventive care and education for patients, and performing other duties as required. As such, it is not only an important role to fill, but also one that is in high demand. Therefore, it is understandable that you might be curious as to how much a dental hygienist makes. In this blog post, we will explore the average salary of a dental hygienist and the factors that can influence their pay. We will look at the range of salaries that dental hygienists can expect to earn, as well as the potential for career advancement and the costs of becoming a dental hygienist in the first place. Finally, we will offer advice on how to maximize your earning potential in the field. So if you are interested in knowing

How do you become a dental hygienist?

The fundamental actions you can take to become a dental hygienist are as follows.

1. Complete an associate degree

The majority of dental hygienists possess an associate’s degree, like an Associate for Applied Science in Dental Hygiene. Community colleges, technical schools, and dental schools all offer these courses. Students receive both classroom and clinical training as they get ready for the workforce. The courses cover topics like anatomy, ethics, and periodontics (the study of gum disease), and they typically take two or three years to complete.

2. Obtain a license

All dental hygienists in the U.S. are required to hold a license, though state-by-state licensing requirements can vary. S. Applicants must typically have finished a dental hygiene program that is accredited. Some states may demand that applicants submit letters of recommendation, academic records, and proof of CPR certification.

Qualifying candidates must then take the written National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, which is given by the American Dental Association, in order to obtain a license.

3. Consider an advanced degree

A bachelor’s or master’s degree can prepare you for jobs outside of a dental office, such as those in research or teaching, even though it is not necessary for employment as a dental hygienist. Additionally, these degrees might be necessary for jobs in public health or school clinics.

How much does a dental hygienist make?

Demand for dental hygienists is expected to increase by 11% from 2018 to 2028, significantly faster than the five percent average for all jobs An aging Baby Boomer population and greater awareness of the value of dental care have been linked to the rise in demand. According to studies, the demand for preventative dental treatments will continue to be driven by consumer interest in oral health and efforts to increase consumer access to oral health services.

Dental hygienist skills

Several skills are beneficial for success in this role. They include:


Dental hygienists must have excellent communication skills to go over oral hygiene regimens, medical histories, and treatment plans. Additionally, they must be adept at active listening in order to hear patients’ concerns and react appropriately.

Interpersonal skills

Dental hygienists employ these behaviors and strategies to function well as a team in an office setting.

Attention to detail

Dental hygienists need to pay close attention to the little details in each patient’s teeth or gums in order to deliver high-quality care. Overlooking even small details could have serious consequences for patients.


In order to reassure patients who are anxious or even afraid before dental procedures, dental hygienists must have compassion.


They must be able to solve problems effectively in order to deal with the particular difficulties that each patient may face.

Manual dexterity

Dental hygienists need to be able to use sharp instruments inside of patients’ mouths in order to carry out the duties related to their roles. Naturally steady hands and the capacity to manipulate and grasp objects with them in unison are necessary for this.

Technical skills

Technical abilities required of dental hygienists include the capacity to perform fluoride treatments, remove dental plaque, take x-rays, and examine patients’ mouths.

Physical stamina

It’s crucial to have physical stamina because dental hygienists spend a large portion of the day standing.

FAQ about dental hygienists

The following are some of the most typical inquiries about a career as a dental hygienist.

What does a dental hygienist do exactly?

Under the direction of a dentist, dental hygienists are in charge of providing preventative oral health care. Cleaning teeth and examining patients’ mouths for damage or illness They also teach patients how to practice good oral health. Some of their primary duties include:

How many hours does a dental hygienist work?

Dental hygienists typically see one patient every hour over the course of an eight-hour shift, working both full- and part-time hours. Many hygienists work for multiple dentists because some dentists only hire them for a few days a week. A lot of dental hygienists opt to only work three or four days per week.

Do dental hygienists work weekends?

Dental hygienists are typically not required to work nights, weekends, or holidays, though there may be some exceptions.

How long do you have to go to school to be a dental hygienist?

A dental hygienist program can typically be finished in two or three years by students.

How Much Do Dental Hygienists Make?


What is the highest paid dental hygienist?

The top ten best-paying cities for dental hygienists based on annual mean wage are as follows:
  • Santa Maria, California — $133,730.
  • San Jose, California — $120,340.
  • Santa Rosa, California — $118,980.
  • Fairbanks, Alaska — $117,760.
  • San Francisco, California — $117,470.
  • Santa Cruz, California — $116,960.

Why do dental hygienists make so much?

Because they are qualified professionals working in the dental care industry, dental hygienists are compensated very well. Maintaining good oral health is crucial because neglecting the teeth and gums can result in serious health issues like diabetes and heart disease in addition to dental problems.

What does a dental hygienist earn in Australia?

Learn how much a dental hygienist makes on average in Australia, where the salary is $89,700 annually or $46 an hour. Most experienced workers earn up to $116,903 per year, while entry-level positions start at $82,926 annually.

What does a dental hygienist do daily?

Treatment of patients, updating patient records, reviewing radiographs, and frequently maintaining and inventorying dental office equipment are all part of their typical days.

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