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Becoming a Dental Hygienist in Hawaii

Those in Hawaii who are looking for career ideas may want to explore the field of dental hygiene. With the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicting a 7 percent increase in dental hygiene employment across the country by 2028, now is a good time to begin a career in the field.

Dental hygienists perform teeth cleaning procedures, examine general oral health and advise patients on oral hygiene, among other services. Dental hygienists must be good with their hands, since they work with a variety of tools, ranging from electric cleaning tools to x-ray machines and lasers.

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Requirements for Dental Hygienist in Hawaii

Hawaii has strict regulations on the practice of dental hygiene, so anyone who wishes to become a dental hygienist must complete a training program accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA) Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). The licensure process includes education, pre-certification in certain skills and passing multiple exams. Once dental hygienists in Hawaii are licensed, they must take continued education (CE) courses.

Dental Hygienist Schools in Hawaii

A few of Hawaii’s ADA – CODA-accredited dental hygiene training schools include:

  • University of Hawaii – Manoa. Being the only school in Hawaii to offer a Bachelor’s Degree in Dental Hygiene, University of Hawaii – Manoa goes above and beyond preparing students for national, regional and state exams. Prerequisites for this dental hygiene program include minimum SAT or ACT test scores, a 3.0 cumulative GPA, being in the top 40 percent of one’s graduating class and an interview process.
  • University of Hawaii – Maui College. Students at this school can obtain a two-year Associate of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene. Applicants to University of Hawaii – Maui College must have completed prerequisite classes including Psychology, Sociology and Humanities courses in order to be considered for the school. Students in this dental hygiene program are offered real-world experience as their services are offered to the public while they fine-tune their skills and complete their training.
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Dental Hygiene Licensure in Hawaii

Hawaii dental hygiene licensure is regulated by Hawaii’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA), which is based in Honolulu. Licensure to practice dental hygiene in Hawaii requires that the applicant be at least 18 years of age and have graduated from a training program accredited by CODA. The applicant must also have certification in intra-oral block anesthesia and infiltration local anesthesia, as earned from an accredited school. Then, the future dental hygienist must complete the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as one of four regional dental hygiene exams. Once a Hawaii dental hygiene license is granted by the DCCA, it must be renewed with continued education every two years.

Dental Hygienist Salary in Hawaii

Hawaiian dental hygienists are paid higher than their peers across the country. In 2020, the BLS reported that dental hygienists in Hawaii had a mean income of $41.59 per hour or $86,520 annually—higher than the national median income of $37.06 per hour or $77,090 annually that year. The employment outlook for Hawaiian dental hygienists looks good in the future, with a predicted increase of 7 percent in dental hygienist employment by 2028.

AreaTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI90$37.12$77,200
Urban Honolulu, HI690$36.24$75,380

Working as a Dental Hygienist in Hawaii

According to BLS statistics, urban Honolulu employs the most dental hygienists in the state of Hawaii, but they are paid higher in the Hawaii/Kauai Nonmetropolitan and Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina areas. With excellent pay and optimistic employment growth, dental hygiene is a smart career path to take no matter where you live in the state. Hawaii’s strict licensure requirements make it challenging to become a dental hygienist, but the career’s benefits are worth it.

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How Do I Become a Dental Hygienist in Hawaii?

Before you can work as a dental hygienist, you will need to attend a two-year training program and achieve an Associate’s in Applied Science degree. Dental hygienists can apply for licensing through the Hawaii Dental Hygienists Association.

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Cursos de Higienista Dental en Hawaii