How Much Do Dental Hygienists Make?

July 26, 2015

Primary health care professionals working to provide full oral health care, Dental Hygienist, has an average salary of $70,210 per year while the average hourly salary peaks to $33.75 per hour.

Dental Hygienists basically focus on working with dental associations, nursing homes, clinics or hospitals after graduating through an accredited dental hygiene program to provide oral health care.



From independent practice to private practice, dental hygienists can choose various career opportunities in fields of research, public health, education, sales and marketing and government so as to support the total health by promoting optimum health care.

What do Dental Hygienists do?

In general, dental hygienists help in providing dental care by cleaning teeth, examining patients for different oral diseases and provide education to the public in order to maintain a proper oral health.

In their professional practice, dental hygienists-

  • Removes stains, tartar and plaque from the teeth of patient
  • Apply chemicals like fluorides and sealants to protect cavities 
  • Develop X Rays 
  • Perform periodontal dressings
  • Carve filling materials and make fillings inside empty cavities
  • Provide education regarding brushing, flossing and oral hygiene techniques

How to become a Dental Hygienist?

To become a dental hygienist, one needs to have an associate’s degree in dental hygiene while most countries require accreditation and license to make medical practices. A Bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene is considered to be of high esteem in Asian nations but are very less common in European and American nations. 

Students who have completed their high school education should have taken courses in chemistry, biology in mathematics so as to become a dental hygienist by partaking in specific entrance requirements.

Dental Hygienist need to study several health conditions related to the oral hygiene that includes anatomy, nutrition, physiology, periodontology and radiography and almost all schools offer their own laboratory for practice.

A dental hygienist should develop several qualities to go through his/her career like compassion to be sensitive to the emotions of the patients, detail oriented to follow protocols and rules of dental hygiene while treating patients, dexterity to be good with their working hands, physical stamina to be comfortable at performing physical tasks, etc.

Best Dental Hygienist Schools-

Considered as one of the highest paying jobs in the world, Dental Hygiene degrees are provided in almost all countries throughout the world from different universities. However, United States is still considered to be the finest nations in the world for the study of Dental Hygiene. Some of the top ranking college/universities in United States that provide several degrees in Dental Hygiene are-

  • Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)- Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Dental Hygiene
  • University of Maryland (College Park, MD)- Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Dental Hygiene
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)- Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Dental Hygiene
  • University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK)- 2 year dental hygiene program with another two years of foundation work

Dental Hygienist Salary-

How much do dental hygienists make? Well, the median annual wage for dental hygienists is $80,000 as of 2014. The lowest 10 percent earning dental hygienists averaged to less than $50,000 a year while the top 10 percent earning dental hygienists make more than $100,000 annually.

However, the salary of dental hygienists differ as per location also. Dental Hygienist average a whopping $106,700 per year in San Francisco; the highest earning place for dental hygienists.