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Preparing for a Career Full of Smiles

Stacey House.

Various health organizations have described the important link between oral health and overall health, and a caring and skilled dental hygienist can make a world of difference in ensuring that individuals maintain this critical element of their health care routines.

After several years working in a dental office, Stacey House was inspired to make a career change – from a records and sterilization assistant to a dental hygienist. She chose Howard Community College (HCC) for this next step in her education.

“I remembered HCC had a dental hygiene program and I was continuously hearing good news about it,” After high school, Stacey had graduated from HCC with an associate degree in general studies. “Since I had done my prerequisites at HCC, I felt more comfortable in selecting a dental hygiene program there,” she said.

Dental hygienists have a variety of duties. They are tasked with cleaning teeth, examining patients for signs of oral disease, providing preventative dental care, and educating their patients about overall oral health. And, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dental hygienists is projected to grow 20 percent through 2026, stating “As the large baby-boom population ages… the need to maintain and treat teeth will continue to drive demand for dental care.”

And it certainly pays. The median annual wage for dental hygienist was $74,820 in May 2018, the bureau said.

HCC’s dental hygiene associate degree is a full-time, fall semester entry program that prepares students to sit for the National Board Examination and the Northeast Regional Board Examination for the title Registered Dental Hygienist. Students hone their patient care skills by working on mannequins in a simulation lab and progress to providing dental hygiene services to volunteer patients.

Learn more about HCC’s dental hygiene program.

Read to get started? Apply to Howard Community College.

Topics: Career Focus
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