Becoming a Dental Hygienist in Alaska

People who work as dental hygienists use their skills to help patients improve their dental health. They work with their hands and perform tasks that assist dentists in their work, such as cleaning teeth, discussing dental health with patients and helping during cavity fillings and other procedures. To work in Alaska, dental hygienists must be licensed as Registered Dental Hygienists (RDH).

You can find information on Dental Assistant Schools in Alaska here

Requirements for Dental Hygienists in Alaska

Prospective dental hygienists must attend a dental hygiene program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) in order to qualify to take the national dental hygiene exam. After passing this standardized licensure exam, students will receive their license and be cleared to begin work.

Dental Hygienist Programs in Alaska

The majority of educational programs for dental hygienists are two-year associate’s degree programs. They are typically available at community colleges or technical schools. The school must be accredited by CODA for students to be considered eligible to sit for their licensing exams. Here are some programs available in Alaska for students to consider:

  • University of Alaska, Fairbanks. This comprehensive dental hygienist program from the University of Alaska includes clinical practicums and seminars designed to give students hands-on experience. Students will take classes on ethics as well as on medical topics, some of which include labs.
  • School of Allied Health at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. The School of Allied Health offers a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. The four-year program includes one year of prerequisite courses, one semester of general education and electives and two-and-a-half years of major-related classes.

Gaining Your License

Dental hygienists must pass the National Board Examination as well as a regional exam accredited by the Western Regional Examining Board, Inc. (WREB) within five years of applying for the license. Applicants should also have five years of clinical practice, which may include dental schooling, prior to applying.

Some dental hygienists in Alaska may qualify as dental hygienists without taking the exam. These applicants must meet specific requirements, including proof of competence as specified by the Board’s regulations and existing licensure in another state or territory of the U.S.

Popular Programs

Salary Expectations and Career Outlook

The dental field is constantly adding new jobs, with growth expected to reach 23.9 percent within the state of Alaska during the 10 years from 2016 to 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Dental hygienists in Alaska can expect to make an average of $107,190 per year.

AreaTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Anchorage, AK310$49.80$103,580
Fairbanks, AK70$50.83$105,730

Working as a Dental Hygienist in Alaska

People working as dental hygienists are always interacting with patients, helping them get proper dental care and educating them on their health. They can work with their hands to help create better smiles and are able to enter the medical field with less formal training than doctors. Dental hygienists can expect to earn higher salaries in larger cities, where the cost of living is higher, but they will likely find work in dental offices across the state.

Dental Hygiene College Listings

Anchorage, AK

University of Alaska Anchorage

3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, Alaska 99508
(907) 786-1800
http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/alliedhealth/academics/dentalhygiene/bachelorofscience.cfm

The University of Alaska Anchorage at Anchorage offers a Bachelor program in Dental Hygiene. This program of study is accredited by the ADA. Of the 17,497 students, about 6% are postgraduates. In-state tuition fees are approximately $5,147 per year, while fees for out-of-state students are $15,206.

University of Alaska Anchorage

3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, Alaska 99508
(907) 786-1800
http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/alliedhealth/academics/dentalhygiene/associateofappliedscience.cfm

The University of Alaska Anchorage at Anchorage offers a Dental Assistant Associate’s program. This program of study is accredited by the American Dental Association. Of the 17,497 students, about 6% are postgraduates. In-state tuition is approximately $5,147 per year. Tuition for students from other states is $15,206.

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