What Classes You Need to Become a Dental Hygienist

If you are looking to become a dental professional, there are several classes that you should take to be successful. These include anatomy and physiology, biology, chemistry, radiography, periodontics, and dental materials. Additionally, courses in healthcare management, nutrition, infection control, and dental office software are valuable for those interested in a career in dental hygiene.

teeth X-ray

Becoming a dental hygienist requires the right classes. You need to have an understanding of the basics of dental hygiene, including oral health, anatomy, and dental materials. In addition, you should be familiar with patient care principles and procedures, such as infection control and instrument sterilization. With the right classes, you can be well on your way to becoming a successful dental hygienist.


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If you are looking to become a dental professional, there are several classes that you should take to be successful. These include anatomy and physiology, biology, chemistry, radiography, periodontics, and dental materials. Additionally, courses in healthcare management, nutrition, infection control, and dental office software are valuable for those interested in a career in dental hygiene.

Anatomy and Physiology of the Oral Cavity

The oral cavity is the gateway to the digestive system and is composed of several distinct structures. Anatomically, the mouth consists of two jaws, the lips, the teeth, the tongue, the hard and soft palates, and the salivary glands. Each of these components has its own function which contributes to the overall health of the oral cavity. The teeth are responsible for breaking down food into smaller pieces for digestion. The tongue assists in the movement of food particles and is also involved in speech. The hard and soft palates help to direct food particles to the back of the throat. Lastly, the salivary glands produce saliva which helps to lubricate food and keep the mouth moist. Understanding the anatomy and physiology of the oral cavity is essential for optimal dental hygiene.

Oral Histology and Embryology

person holding white plastic pump bottleOral Histology and Embryology are two fields of study which involve the examination and understanding of the development, structure and function of the teeth, mouth and related structures. Both disciplines incorporate knowledge from a variety of scientific areas, such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology and genetics. This knowledge is used to understand and diagnose oral health issues, as well as to develop effective treatments for these conditions. Understanding the development and structure of teeth, gums, and other structures in the mouth is essential for providing quality dental care.

The study of Oral Histology and Embryology provides practitioners with the tools to diagnose and treat oral health issues quickly and accurately. This knowledge can help prevent the onset of dental diseases and improve the overall health of the patient.
By studying Oral Histology and Embryology, practitioners can gain a comprehensive understanding of the oral environment and its associated problems, allowing them to make informed decisions regarding patient care.


Periodontology is the study of the structures that surround and support teeth. It includes the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the gum, bone, and ligaments that surround and support the teeth. Periodontal treatments are used to prevent tooth loss and promote oral health. This includes scaling and root planing, surgical procedures, and the placement of dental implants.

It is important to maintain good dental hygiene to prevent periodontal problems. Regular brushing and flossing are essential for keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
Taking care of your teeth and gums is important for overall health and wellbeing. Periodontists are experts in periodontology and can provide the best advice and treatment for your needs.

Dental Radiography

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Dental Radiography is a safe, non-invasive way to capture images of your teeth and jaw. It helps provide important information about the structure of your teeth, such as decay or infection. X-rays are painless and can detect problems not visible during a regular dental exam. Dental radiography is an essential part of preventive care for maintaining excellent oral health.

Clinical Dental Hygiene Procedures

Clinical dental procedures are essential for maintaining good oral health. They involve cleaning and polishing teeth, removing plaque and tartar, and detecting early signs of decay or disease. Regular visits to a dental hygienist can help to protect teeth and gums from damage and ensure healthy, attractive smiles for years to come.

Good brushing and flossing habits at home should always be reinforced by professional clinical procedures from a qualified dental hygienist.
From deep cleaning to tooth whitening, the clinical dental hygiene procedures available today can help to keep teeth, gums and the entire mouth healthy and looking great!

Preventive Dentistry

Preventive dentistry focuses on stopping problems before they occur. It includes regular check-ups, cleanings and professional treatments to ensure good oral health. Early detection and treatment of dental issues can save time, money and discomfort in the long run. Regular brushing and flossing, along with a healthy diet and lifestyle, are essential for maintaining good oral health.

Nutrition and Public Health

Nutrition is an important part of public health. Eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains can help to improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. It is important to maintain proper hydration and to limit processed foods and added sugars. Regular exercise is also essential for promoting overall wellbeing.

Making smart nutrition choices plays an important role in keeping the body healthy and strong.
Following a nutritious diet can help to boost energy levels, strengthen the immune system and prevent disease. Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods can help to increase overall health and wellbeing.
Focusing on eating nutritious foods is an important part of creating a healthy lifestyle. Eating a balanced diet can help to reduce the risk of obesity and other related health conditions.

It is important to remember that nutrition and public health are inextricably linked. Making healthy food choices can have a positive impact on overall health.

Professional Ethics

person holding white plastic spray bottleProfessional ethics refer to the moral principles that guide the behavior of professionals. These principles include honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, fairness, respect for others, and responsibility. Professionals must adhere to these principles in order to maintain their professional reputation and ensure quality service is provided to their clients.

It is important for professionals to have a solid understanding of the ethical implications of their work. They should strive to make decisions that are fair and just for all parties involved. Professionals should also be aware of the potential consequences of their actions, and take steps to mitigate any potential risks. Lastly, professionals should be committed to upholding the highest standards of conduct and seek to build trust with their clients.
Professional ethics are essential for providing quality services and fostering productive relationships, both of which are essential for success in any industry.


To become a dental hygienist, you will need to take courses in anatomy and physiology, microbiology, head and neck anatomy, and dental materials. You will also need to complete clinical practicums in order to gain practical experience.

To learn more about the requirements for becoming a dental hygienist, contact your local dental association or college.
Good luck on your journey!

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Some questions with answers

What are the classes needed to become a dental hygienist?

The classes typically required to become a dental hygienist include anatomy, physiology, microbiology, pharmacology, and chemistry.

What types of jobs can a dental hygienist pursue?

Dental hygienists can pursue careers in private practice, public health, research, and education.

What type of degree do you need to become a dental hygienist?

Most dental hygienists have an Associate's Degree in Dental Hygiene.

What kind of certification is required to become a dental hygienist?

In order to become a dental hygienist, you must obtain a license from the state in which you plan to practice.

How long does it take to become a dental hygienist?

It usually takes two to three years of study to become a dental hygienist.

What are the job duties of a dental hygienist?

The primary duties of a dental hygienist include providing preventive services, such as cleaning and polishing teeth, taking X-rays, and educating patients about oral health.

What type of salary can I expect as a dental hygienist?

As of 2020, the median annual salary for a dental hygienist was $77,230.

Are there any special qualifications needed to become a dental hygienist?

To become a dental hygienist, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent and complete an accredited program in dental hygiene.

What type of environment do dental hygienists work in?

Dental hygienists typically work in a dental office, clinic, or health care facility.

Are there any continuing education requirements for dental hygienists?

Most states require dental hygienists to complete continuing education courses to maintain their license.

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