Dental hygienists examine patients for signs of oral diseases, such as gingivitis, and provide preventive care, including oral hygiene.
Nearly all dental hygienists work in dentists’ offices, and many work part time.
Dental hygienists typically need an associate’s degree in dental hygiene. Programs usually take 3 years to complete. All states require dental hygienists to be licensed; requirements vary by state.
The median annual wage for dental hygienists was $77,090 in May 2020.
Employment of dental hygienists is projected to grow 6 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for dental services will increase as the population ages and as research continues to link oral health to overall health.