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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).

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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 Schools 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.

Alaska Dental Hygiene License Requirements

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.

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Dental Hygienist Salary in Alaska

The dental field is constantly adding new jobs, with growth expected to reach 9 percent within the state of Alaska during the 10 years from 2018 to 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Dental hygienists in Alaska can expect to make an average of $118,780 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 in Alaska 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.


How Do I Become a Dental Hygienist in Alaska?

To become a dental hygienist in Alaska, you must first complete an accredited degree program. To get a license through the Alaska Board of Dental Examiners, you also need passing scores on the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and the Western Regional Examining Board exam.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Dental Hygienist in Alaska?

To be licensed in the state, you must complete an approved academic program and pass two exams. Alaska has just one accredited program, which is for a bachelor’s degree and takes four years to complete.

How much money do dental hygienists make in Alaska?

According to Indeed.com, the average hourly rate for dental hygienists in Alaska is $52.22. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a mean annual salary of $115,050 for dental hygienists.

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