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Become a Dental Hygienist in Michigan

There is persistent job growth in the health care sector across the US, and the state of Michigan and the dental hygiene profession are no exceptions. [Seguir leyendo en español]

Michigan’s Department of Technology Management and Budget predicts 10-year employment of -4.1% in dental hygiene for the period to 2028. (See Dental Assistant Schools in Michigan.)

Dental Hygiene Process

The dental hygiene process includes four steps:

1. Assessing the patient’s oral health.

2. Planning a treatment plan.

3. Implementing the treatment plan.

4. Evaluating the results of the treatment.

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Requirements for Dental Hygienist in Michigan

To become a dental hygienist in Michigan you must have graduated from an accredited dental hygiene program, and have passed the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and the ADEX or NERB clinical exam.

What Are the Prerequisites for Studying Dental Hygiene in Michigan?

There are only 13 dental hygiene programs in Michigan approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Admittance to the limited programs is competitive. It’s important that you understand the prerequisites before applying. They are similar, but each school has its own requirements.

Most programs require you to complete several prerequisite college courses. These usually include general education and science classes to prepare you for a dental hygiene program. The University of Detroit Mercy requires these courses for admittance to the dental hygiene bachelor’s degree program:

·        Applied nutrition

·        Microbiology

·        Human anatomy and physiology

·        Chemistry

·        Chemistry for health sciences

·        Academic writing and other English credits

·        Fundamentals of speech

·        Introduction to psychology

·        Introduction to sociology

Applicants to the program must have a minimum GPA of 2.7 in the prerequisite courses. Letters of recommendation are optional but help. Applicants must also have documentation to show they shadowed a dental hygienist or dentist for at least ten hours.

Many community colleges offer associate degrees in dental hygiene with fewer prerequisites. Grand Rapids Community College requires that applicants have a high school diploma with a GPA of 2.33 or higher and completion with a C grade or better in chemistry and biology.  

Dental Hygienist Schools in Michigan

There are 31 educational programs/majors in the state of Michigan. Of those, 13 dental hygiene programs (and 9 dental assistant programs) are accredited by the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Some of those institutions naturally provide both types of dental programs.

Ann Arbor, MI

University of Michigan School of Dentistry offers an entry-level, 4-year Bachelor of Science BS program at their campus on 1011 N. University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. With a 140-year tradition of leading the way in dental education, they boast that the QS World University Rankings ranked them #1 dental school in the U.S and #2 dental school in the world. Before getting enthused about this school, you may wish to check reviews here.

UM School of Dentistry Prerequisites include:

  • There is an entire curriculum of prerequisite courses that must be completed by May of any year to be considered for the annual starting Fall semester. All prerequisites must be taken for a letter grade, and a grade of C or lower will not be accepted.
  • A dental admissions test (DAT) administered by the American Dental Association (submitted with the application). Test scores must be included. You must wait 90 days to take the DAT test again.
  • Three letters of recommendation are required of which two from a science professors, dentist or professional organization.

Big Rapids, MI

Ferris State University, Department of Dental Hygiene and Medical Imaging, at 1201 S. State St., Big rapids, MI 49307, offers an on-campus, CODA-accredited 3-year AAS Degree in dental hygiene, with the first year considered a prerequisite (pre-professional) year. You may take pre-requisite courses at Ferris, or at another recognized academy. FTU also offers an online 4-year BS degree. On-campus program expenses come to $3.310 (check for updates). A per-credit fee schedule is available here. FTU’s progression policy requires you to have at least a C (a C- in ENG), and any two concurrent grades below C will get you dismissed.

Detroit, MI

In Detroit you may consider options at Wayne County Community College and Detroit Mercy Dental. Read out full review here.

Other well-known schools

Baker College’s campus at 1050 W Bristol Road, Flint, MI 48507, offers a Coda-accredited 2-year AAS degree in dental hygiene. Mott Community College, also in Flint, also offers a CODA-accredited 2-year AAS degree with 84 credit hours (click here for their program brochure). Oakland Community College has an extended Coda-accredited 2-year (73 credit hours) AAS degree program (DHY.APP) at their Highland Lakes Campus at 7350 Cooley Lake Rd, Waterford Township, MI 48327.

Dental Hygienist Salaries in Michigan

Dental Hygienists in Michigan are reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to have earned an average annual salary of $66,290 in 2020, which is equivalent to $31.87 per hour. New entrants can expect to earn a little over $53,790 a year, while experienced professionals can earn upwards of $82,270 on average.

Salaries of dental hygienist in major cities average:

  • In Ann Arbor, salaries range from $56,340 to $85,760
  • In Grand Rapids, salaries range from $52,930 to $77,010
AreaTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Ann Arbor, MI430$31.65$65,830
Battle Creek, MI80$24.29$50,530
Bay City, MI70$28.77$59,830
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI4,580$29.50$61,360
Flint, MI460$29.25$60,840
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI1,140$30.09$62,580
Jackson, MI120$33.21$69,080
Kalamazoo-Portage, MI400$28.70$59,700
Lansing-East Lansing, MI670$30.48$63,390
Midland, MI100$29.27$60,880
Monroe, MI100$26.28$54,670
Muskegon, MI120$32.73$68,080
Niles-Benton Harbor, MI120$31.42$65,360
Saginaw, MI240$25.41$52,860
South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI340$32.42$67,420

Working as a Dental Hygienist in Michigan

To work as a dental hygienist in Michigan, you must be licensed by the state’s Bureau of Professional Licensing. One of the requirements of licensing is the completion of an approved and accredited dental hygiene program.

Dental hygienists work in private and group dental practices, departments of public health, hospitals, schools, clinics, veterans facilities and the armed forces.

Types of Dental Hygiene Services

Dental hygiene services can be divided into three main categories: preventive, therapeutic, and restorative.

Preventive dental hygiene services

They are those services that help to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. These services include education on proper oral care, professional teeth cleanings, and fluoride treatments.

Therapeutic dental hygiene services

They are those services that treat existing oral health problems. These services include scaling and root planning (deep cleaning), periodontal therapy, and dental sealants.

Restorative dental hygiene services

They are those services that restore the mouth to its proper function and appearance. These services include fillings, crowns, bridges, and dentures. Dental hygiene services are an important part of oral care. Proper dental hygiene includes brushing and flossing teeth, as well as visiting the dentist for regular checkups. Dental hygienists are responsible for providing these services to patients.

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How Much Does a Dental Hygienist Make in Michigan?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean wage annual salary range for Michigan dental hygienists is between $49,200 and $68,110. Indeed.com reports an average hourly rate of $32.18 for dental hygienists in Michigan.

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

To become a dental hygienist in Michigan, you must complete an accredited degree program. You can choose a two-year associate degree program or a four-year bachelor’s degree program. Upon completion, you can take the required exams and apply for a license.

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How to Become a Dentist in Michigan

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