As with the rest of the healthcare industry, careers in dentistry are flourishing. If you are looking to become a dental hygienist in Connecticut, rest assured the job outlook is bright. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of dental hygienists nationwide is expected to grow a major 20 percent by the year 2026, nearly three times faster than the average occupation. And, Connecticut ranks among the top five states with the highest concentration of jobs. Each year, statewide, about 310 new jobs are opening up for aspiring dental hygienists. With the average dental hygienist earning over $83,500 in Connecticut annually, now is the time to pursue this in-demand career.
The question remains, how do you get there?
Dental hygienists are skilled professionals whose work is much like an art – cleaning, polishing, and protecting patients’ teeth using a variety of intricate tools and techniques. Day in and day out, they work with patients directly, along with a variety of advanced equipment, to ensure good oral health. That said, dental hygienists must polish up some skills of their own before pursuing a career. They must fulfill standard requirements, such as an associate degree and licensure, before practicing in the field. In this article, Goodwin College will walk you through the specific dental hygienist prerequisites in Connecticut – for your career, and for a dental hygienist program.
Dental Hygienist Career Requirements
An associate degree in dental hygiene is the standard requirement to become a dental hygienist today. Bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are also available, but generally less common. The majority of associate degree programs take between 2 to 3 years to complete. The associate degree allows the hygienist to pursue licensure. Across the nation, dental hygienists must hold a license to practice, though license requirements vary by state.
The dental hygienist license requirements in Connecticut are as follows:
- Graduate from an American Dental Association (ADA) accredited dental hygiene program;
- Successfully complete the National Board Examinations (see here for details);
- Successfully complete one of the clinical performance examinations cited by Connecticut State
To apply for your dental hygiene license, you must provide official transcripts of your dental hygienist education, which will verify the award of the degree. In addition, you must provide official reports of your National Board scores and successful completion of your regional, clinical examination.
Dental Hygienist Program Prerequisites
Just like the dental hygienist prerequisites vary by state, they also vary by the degree program you choose! In general, dental hygiene programs will require you to complete an application, submit your high school transcripts, become CPR certified, and fulfill a handful of prerequisite coursework. However, it is important to keep in mind that this is a highly competitive field. Many programs will outline an array of prerequisites and markers to place aspiring hygienists.
To help you better understand the dental hygienist prerequisites in Connecticut specifically, Goodwin’s dental hygiene school admissions requirements are listed below:
- Complete the application for admission into Goodwin College and get accepted
- Have a minimum GPA of 2.7 at the time of application
- Successfully complete a background check, drug test, and Department of Children and Families check (forms provided by program personnel)
- Complete the following dental hygiene prerequisite courses:
- Introduction to Psychology or equivalent (with a passing grade)
- Computer Literacy Elective (with a passing grade)
- English Composition or equivalent (with a passing grade)
- Intermediate Alegbra or higher math course (“C” or better)
- Chemistry 101 (“C” or better)
- Anatomy & Physiology I (within five years with a “C+” or better)
- Microbiology (within ten years with a “C+” or better)
- Anatomy & Physiology II, which student may be enrolled in at the time of application. The course must be successfully completed before beginning the first dental hygiene course, or within the last five years with a “C+” or better.
- Complete an interview with Goodwin College’s Dental Hygiene program faculty, which will be followed by a 500-word essay
The dental hygiene school at Goodwin College involves an intensive program that is both physically and mentally demanding. Admissions are competitive, and therefore based on a point ranking system to help qualify aspiring dental hygienists. In order to pursue the dental hygiene program at Goodwin, you must be able to perform all functions and tasks required of a dental hygienist. As part of the curriculum, you will be asked to participate in all clinic/rotation/community enrichment activities, which require you be prepared physically and mentally, for the safety of you and your patients. As a final prerequisite, you must also provide documentation of observation of dental hygiene services – at least 8 hours in the prior 12 months.
Start Checking the Boxes Towards a Dental Hygienist Career
A dental hygienist program is designed to equip you with the skills needed work with the public, to work with your hands and advanced technology, to educate the community about oral hygiene, and to become a successful dental hygienist. If you are interested in becoming a dental hygienist in Connecticut, Goodwin College may be the place to launch your career.
Goodwin’s dental hygienist curriculum is centered around career-focused, evidence-based learning and hands-on coursework. Students gain the theoretical foundation needed in the classroom, as well as the clinical foundation needed through our state-of-the-art dental hygiene facility, working with real patients in the community. The Goodwin College Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.
To learn more about becoming a dental hygienist with Goodwin College, or to request more information about our dental hygiene prerequisites, do not hesitate to reach out. Call 800-889-3282 or visit us online to learn more.