This post provides a breakdown of the dental hygienist programs in Alabama for individuals interested in kick-starting a career in the healthcare field as dental hygienists. From here, you can find details on schools in Alabama offering the program and select one that piques your interest.
If you are interested in oral health and great at meeting people, then you may want to add dental hygiene to the list of careers you want to pursue. The degree is faster to complete, in about 3 years you will become a licensed dental hygienist, and it is one of the in-demand careers with further future growth. It is also ranked among our top 22 list of low-stress jobs that pay well.
As a dental hygienist, your duties will include reviewing the dental and health history of patients, screening patients, conducting dental cleanings, taking dental cleanings, taking dental X-rays, applying preventive care, teaching patients good dental hygiene, and helping patients improve and maintain good dental health. You will work with a dentist or in a dental facility to carry out these duties.
To gain these skills, you will have to get an education as a dental hygienist and get your license to start practicing. Getting this education simply means enrolling into an accredited dental hygienist program either at an accredited higher institution. Dental hygienist programs in the US are approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation or CODA and if it is not, do not apply for that program.
Dental hygienist programs are typically associate’s and bachelor’s degrees that take 3 and 4 years respectively to complete. You can also find some certification programs as well which take about a few months. But to take it much further and become a professional, you can seek a master’s degree.
Schools that offer the program are commonly referred to as dental hygienist schools and in this post, I have highlighted the ones in the US state of Alabama for you to select from. To give you more options, you can check other dental hygienist schools around the US and find one that suits you best, else, you can just stick to the ones in Alabama curated here.
You can start preparing yourself for this program by taking some free online dental courses and maybe get a job as a medical assistant, preferably in a dental clinic to gain hands-on experience and equally boost your chances when applying for a dental hygienist program in Alabama.
Dental hygiene is also a good consideration for a career switch and you can look for online colleges that offer the program online so you can keep working while studying for the degree and earn your licensure.
There are also other interesting blog posts we have written that you can enjoy like the one on strange degree programs and short courses that lead to good jobs. If you are also interested in working abroad, here are the best degree that guarantees a job in Canada if it is where you’d like to go.
Back to the topic, let me guide you on the steps to take to get a degree in dental hygiene and earn your license.
Requirements for Dental Hygienist Schools in Alabama
To become a licensed dental hygienist, you will have to take both theoretical and practical education in the field at an accredited higher institution and then proceed to get your license. But before that, you will need to apply for a school offering the program.
Here, we have curated a list of the requirements that every applicant for a dental hygienist program in Maryland must meet to get accepted into one of the schools, see them below.
- Be at least 18 years old at the time of application
- You must have completed high school or hold a GED
- You must have taken science and math courses in high school.
- Submit high school transcripts
- Some dental hygienist schools in Alabama set entrance exams, you need to pass it
- Complete an entry interview, if any.
- Clear all medical and legal requirements
- International applicants whose first language is not English must take the recognized English language proficiency tests and submit scores.
- International applicants must provide proof of finance to fund education
- Complete application form
- Recommendation letter(s)
- A personal statement or essay or statement of purpose may be required. Click here to see helpful tips on writing a personal statement.
There are usually 4-year bachelor’s degrees in dental hygiene at universities while community colleges have shorter, 2-year degree programs. Before applying to any of these programs, be sure to understand the prerequisites listed above. To increase your chances of getting accepted, follow the extra tips below:
- Either meet the recommended high school CGPA or go above and beyond
- Get high grades in the entrance exams if given
- Gain some experience in the healthcare field by working as a medical assistant at a dental clinic or any healthcare facility.
- Write a strong essay or personal statement
- Be involved in community programs and other extracurricular activities.
Average Cost of Dental Hygienist Schools in Alabama
The average cost of dental hygiene schools in Alabama is $5,736 per year for in-state students and $14,632 per year for out-of-state students. Cost varies by degree type, school, and residency status. Be sure to confirm the cost from your host institution.
Best Dental Hygienist Schools in Alabama
The following are the best schools in Alabama for dental hygiene programs:
- Fortis College
- Calhoun Community College
- Wallace State Community College
- The University of West Alabama
How to Become A Licensed Dental Hygienist in Alabama
The following are steps to becoming a licensed dental hygienist in Alabama:
- Apply for a CODA-approved dental hygiene program at one of the colleges in Alabama
- Graduate from the program and pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination
- Pass a Dental Hygienist Clinical Examination from an approved provider
- Apply for a Dental Hygienist Licensure with the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing
- Maintain your dental hygienist license in AL.
Top Dental Hygienist Programs in Alabama
Here is a breakdown of the best dental hygienist programs in Alabama and the schools that are offering them.
- Associate of Science Degree in Dental Health at Fortis College
- Calhoun Community College Associate of Applied Sciences Dental Hygiene Program
- Pre-Professional Dental Hygiene Program at the University of West Alabama
- Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene at Wallace State Community College
1. Associate of Science Degree in Dental Health at Fortis College
Fortis College located in Birmingham, Alabama is offering an associate’s degree in dental hygiene to train and prepare students for entry into the dental field. This program will get you ready to sit for a licensure exam after graduation to qualify to work as a licensed entry-level hygienist and it has some of the highest numbers of graduates which is why it is one of the best in the state.
The program is competitive with a minimum number of fields, so, you may want to go above the entry requirements and apply those extra tips I gave above to increase your chances of getting accepted. Contact the school for further information concerning application procedures and deadlines.
2. Calhoun Community College Associate of Applied Sciences Dental Hygiene Program
The dental hygiene program at Calhoune is one of the best dental hygiene programs in Alabama. It is CODA-approved and meets the state education requirements for dental hygienists in the state. The college offers an associate of applied sciences or A.A.S in the program to prepare you for the licensure exams and start practicing in Alabama.
To be admitted into the program, applicants are required to possess a minimum GPA of 2.5 or higher, submit an ACT composite score of 18 or higher from a test taken in the past 3 years, and complete the application form.
3. Pre-Professional Dental Hygiene Program at the University of West Alabama
The University of West Alabama offers a pre-professional dental hygiene program that prepares students for the main professional program at Wallace State Community College. Taking this pre-professional program increases your chances of admission and places you far above the competition.
At UWA, you are groomed for further studies in the program and with that, no college wouldn’t like to accept you into their dental hygiene or dentistry program.
4. Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene at Wallace State Community College
The associate of applied science in dental hygiene at Wallace Community College is one of the top dental hygiene programs in the state renowned for qualifying students for national, regional, and state licensing exams. The program is offered by the college’s Health Division and is CODA-approved.
If you are applying for this program at WSCC, you are required to possess a current CPR certification, physical exams, current immunizations, background checks, and drug tests. Prerequisite courses are physiology, anatomy, chemistry, and microbiology.
These are the schools and dental hygiene programs in Alabama and I hope they help you make a decision. Contact the admissions office of your preferred institution to learn more about the program, especially the application deadline and tuition fees.
Dental Hygienist Programs in Alabama – FAQs
[sc_fs_multi_faq headline-0=”h3″ question-0=”How long does it take to become a dental hygienist in Alabama?” answer-0=” It takes 2 years to earn an associate’s degree in dental hygiene in Alabama and take the licensure exam to become a licensed dental hygienist.” image-0=”” headline-1=”h3″ question-1=”What is the salary of a dental hygienist in Alabama?” answer-1=” The average annual salary of a dental hygienist in Alabama is $73,377.” image-1=”” count=”2″ html=”true” css_class=””]