Would you like to train for a rewarding health care job that has high career growth and job security? One with good pay that's in increasing high demand? If you enjoy working with people, are detail-oriented and would like a stable work atmosphere, dental hygiene might be a good fit for you. 

What Does a Dental Hygienist Do? 

Dental hygienists perform an important role in the dental office. Their tasks include removing calculus and stains, helping to prevent dental disease, applying preventive agents and taking radiographs (X-rays). Hygienists perform oral cancer screenings, take patients' medical history, take vital signs and educate patients on ways to improve and maintain good oral health. Hygienists are professional health care providers who work in a variety of settings that include dental offices, education, research and dental sales. They may also work as administrators and as advocates for patients' oral health.

Why is This a Good Career Bet?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, health-related occupations will add the most new jobs to the economy — nearly one-third of the total increase — through 2024. Fourteen of the top 20 fastest-growing jobs listed by CareerOneStop (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor) are in health care occupations.  

Positions for dental hygienists are projected by CareerOneStop to increase by 27 percent through the coming decade, with average salaries in Texas over $35 per hour. For jobs requiring at least an associate degree, CareerOneStop lists dental hygienist as third in its top 45 careers with the most job openings through 2024.

A Well-Rounded Education 

Your training in Dental Hygiene will include program-specific courses such as Dental Radiology, Pharmacology for the Dental Hygienist, Periodontology and General and Oral Pathology. Additional courses include General and Dental Nutrition, Community Dentistry, Speech Communications, Composition and Social Psychology. You'll learn computer programs specific to your career and have access to the latest technology such as digital radiographs and intra-oral cameras. You'll also learn how to communicate with patients, solve problems and work with other members of the health care team. 

Because our facility includes a clinical setting that mirrors a community dental practice, you'll have a hands-on opportunity to practice skills taught in the classroom. Classes are taught by seasoned faculty who have both teaching and professional experience.  

On-Site Community Clinic 

Our Dental Hygiene program operates a community clinic that offers free teeth cleanings and expects to provide more than $600,000 worth of free dental hygiene services a year to more than 3,000 people. That not only offers a valuable service to the community, but also gives you immediate hands-on practice. 

Community clinic dental hygiene services at no charge include:

  • Oral health screenings and instructions
  • Fluoride and sealant applications
  • Radiographs (X-rays)
  • Nutritional advisement
  • Teeth cleaning (prophylaxis)
  • Application of desensitizing agents
  • Periodontal debridement (deep cleaning)

Teeth whitening and night guards are available for an additional fee to patients who qualify. 

Interested in signing up for a free dental cleaning? Call 214-860-2301 to schedule an appointment. Download the patient medical history form in English or Spanish. 

Degrees in Dental Hygiene

El Centro College 

See all degrees in Dental Hygiene.