Can I Pursue a Career in Dental Hygiene with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science?

If you are considering a career in dental hygiene, you are likely aware that there are some specific educational requirements. There are numerous programs offered by universities and vocational colleges that offer a path to becoming a dental hygienist. With so many options, choosing the right one can be confusing. Many people simply choose to get a bachelor’s degree in health science. This article will explain why this particular degree is a worthy choice.

Why Study Dental Hygiene?

Dental hygiene is a field where jobs are continuously in demand. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the field is expected to continue growing at a faster than average rate of 33%. In general, the job involves assisting in a dentist’s office and performing routine teeth health checkups and maintenance.

Hygienists’ specific duties include performing preliminary examinations of the gums and teeth. They will usually create initial records for any noticeable issues that will be reviewed by the dentist. Hygienists also use their education in health science to properly clean and polish a patient’s teeth. They may also perform x-rays and informally interview the patient to determine if any other health risks exist.

Another way that a hygienist’s training in health science comes in handy is in the role of health education. Hygienists are often the tasked with explaining how to properly clean teeth to prevent cavities and other problems. A four-year degree in health science provides hygienists with the adequate knowledge to give informed advice and helpful suggestions.

What is a Health Science Degree?

To obtain a bachelor’s degree, you will have to study for four years. The curriculum includes general education classes, and science related courses that are required for the major. Some universities also offer programs related directly to the field which confer a Bachelor’s Degree in Dental Hygiene upon completion.

The classwork required for these types of degrees includes many courses that are common for all health related majors. A student can expect to study general science areas such as biology, chemistry and physics. On top of that, the student will be required to complete more detailed coursework in anatomy, physiology, and nutrition.
For more information, also see: Health Science Degree Courses.

Most programs will also include a clinical course. In these sessions, the student will work under a licensed health care provider, and will practice their knowledge on real patients. This is perhaps the most valuable part of enrolling in a four-year health science program. With a bachelor’s degree, students will have more clinical courses than would be required for a two-year degree. Thus, four-year graduates will have thorough on the job experience when they graduate.

Other Reasons for Pursuing a Four Year Health Science Degree

Overall, a four-year degree will give you more possibilities when it comes to career advancement and leadership positions. Students who opt for a four-year degree will also have more opportunities to move into other related jobs. Many choose to seek out careers in education where they can teach about basic health issues, or instruct future hygienists who are completing their requisite coursework.

Summing It Up

Dental hygiene students have a wealth of opportunities available to them upon graduation. Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science is just the first step in the process, and it is important to obtain a solid educational foundation. Overall, four-year degrees will give graduates the most options when they finally enter the job market.