NE Dental Academy Blog

NE Dental Academy Blog

4 Tips to Help Prepare You for Dental Hygiene School

February 2, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — nedentacad @ 11:51 pm
a dental hygiene student and dentist smiling

Embarking on the journey towards becoming a dental hygienist is an exciting and rewarding endeavor. However, the road to dental hygiene school often requires a careful amount of preparation and dedication, involving things like academic readiness, developing practical skills, and of course, having the drive to succeed. And there’s no better way of preparing for this path than by becoming a dental assistant, first! Here are four tips that you should consider if you’re thinking about making this transition.

1. Do Your Research

You should start by researching different dental hygiene programs and find one that’s suited to you and your career goals. You’ll need to be sure you’ve met all the prerequisites, which might include taking certain courses and a minimum amount of time spent supervising in a dental office. You’ll also have to take entrance exams that test your knowledge when it comes to dental science, as well as problem-solving. It’s not a field that one can simply enter and immediately expect to succeed, but by knowing what you’re getting into and doing your homework beforehand, you’ll be setting yourself up for major success.

2. Consider Dental Assisting

To put it simply, going into any type of job with a bit of relevant experience is going to give you an advantage, and when it comes to dental hygienists, dental assisting is one of the best ways to get your foot in the door. People who apply to hygienist programs with dental assistant experience are at a massive advantage in terms of knowledge, familiarity, and technical prowess. Though it’s not required, dental hygiene programs do hold their students to extremely high standards—meaning that former dental assistants shouldn’t have trouble rising to the occasion and succeeding.  

3. Network with Dental Professionals

Dental assistants who work in a dental office will already have professional connections with that particular dentist and staff—which can play a huge role later on if you’re applying to dental hygiene programs. You’ll have fellow professionals backing you in your corner, and you can request reference letters from them to accompany your application(s). That said, it never hurts to expand your professional circle and network with others in your field when possible.

4. Understand Dental Terminology

As with any field, you’ll need to be up to speed with all the terms and language used in the realm of oral healthcare. This includes staying up to date with everything including the names of dental tools and services, the methods and techniques used to treat particular ailments, and of course, being able to answer patients’ questions. This is also why being a dental assistant before becoming a hygienist is so valuable—you’ll already have a sense of some of this, which ultimately eases the learning curve!

The bottom line is that if you’re even remotely considering a career as a dental hygienist, you’d be wise to become a dental assistant first. With so many advantages to be gained, there’s no better way to set yourself up for future success.

About the NE Dental Academy

Here at the NE Dental Academy, our talented team has assisted countless dental assistant students with learning the ins and outs of the profession and making a smooth entry into their new career paths. If you have any questions or you’d like to get in touch with our staff to request enrollment information, visit us online or give us a call today at (508) 392-5314.