Becoming a Dental Hygienist in Minnesota
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts the employment rate for dental hygienists to grow 13 percent by the year 2028. A large increase in demand for these specialists means more people in Minnesota may want to become dental hygienists. These specialists often work with dentists, performing cleanings and tooth inspections and recommending tooth care to patients, among other tasks. Two years of education is required to become a dental hygienist, but the high pay and job availability are well worth the investment.
Dental hygiene services
Dental hygiene services are performed by a dental hygienist. They are preventative oral health care professionals that work closely with dentists to provide comprehensive dental care to patients. Dental hygienists clean teeth, remove tartar and plaque buildup, take x-rays, fluoride treatments, provide patient with dental hygiene education on proper at-home oral dental hygiene care and oral health.
Requirements for Becoming a Dental Hygienist in Minnesota
The Minnesota Board of Dentistry requires dental hygienists to pass the National Board Examination as administered by the American Dental Association (ADA). Then, they must also pass regional and state jurisprudence exams. A two-year associate’s dental hygiene degree is the required first step to becoming eligible to take these exams.
What Are the Prerequisites for Studying Dental Hygiene in Minnesota?
Minnesota is home to nine accredited programs for dental hygiene. You must complete one of these, or an equivalent program in another state, to be licensed to work as a hygienist.
Spots are limited in these programs, so it is essential that you do your research to determine what each program requires of applicants. If you don’t meet the prerequisites, you won’t be admitted. They are similar but not exactly the same for each school.
The dental hygiene applied science associate degree program at Minnesota State Community and Technical College reports that it receives approximately 65 applicants each year. It only admits 20 of those, which means it is competitive and meeting and exceeding prerequisites is essential.
These include placement testing, an acceptable ACT score, or completion of foundational English and math classes, followed by prerequisite courses:
· Human anatomy and physiology I and II
· Medical microbiology
· Dental anatomy
· College writing
· General psychology or introduction to sociology
· Principles of nutrition
The admissions panel ranks applicants who meet the prerequisites, so it is important to go above and beyond and get excellent grades.
Schools that offer a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene, like Minnesota State University Mankato, have similar prerequisites. You must enroll in the college as an undergraduate and complete those courses before applying to the dental hygiene degree program.
Additional factors that can set you apart from applicants but that are not necessarily required include letters of recommendation and job shadowing experience.
Dental Hygienist Schools in Minnesota
It’s going to require a two-year associate’s dental hygiene degree program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) in order for a dental hygiene student to be eligible for Minnesota state licensing. Quality programs will ensure the route to success, such as these Minnesota schools:
- Century College. Located in White Bear Lake, this competitive dental hygiene school offers an associate’s degree that carries prestige. Students in this dental hygiene program need only have graduated high school or obtained their GED to enroll, but coursework in biology and chemistry will be helpful. Most Century dental hygiene program students will first take prerequisite classes in health and biology in their first year to prepare to prepare for upper-level dental hygiene coursework.
- Normandale Community College. This school is in Bloomingdale and offers a two-year associate’s degree in dental hygiene. Prerequisites to enter the dental hygiene program include passing “technical standards,” which are necessary capabilities that must be met by applicants; they include assessments of mental capabilities and personal interactions, along with motor skills and judgments on ability to plan or ability to handle stress.
Licensure for Becoming a Dental Hygienist in Minnesota
Regulated by the Minnesota Board of Dentistry, the process to obtaining one’s dental hygienist license in Minnesota is stated as the following:
- Students must first successfully complete a program accredited by ADA – CODA.
- Dental Hygienists must pass the National Board Examination administered by ADA.
- Regional exams are also required, which can be completed with the Central Regional Dental Testing Service (CRDTS) or the Western Regional Examining Board (WREB).
- Furthermore, Dental Hygienists must pass the Minnesota jurisprudence test, which covers the rules and the ways of the Minnesota Board of Dentistry.
Dental Hygienist Salary in Minnesota
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2018, 5,170 dental hygienists were employed in Minnesota. Their mean hourly income was $36.67, which lies close in line with the national mean pay for these specialists. With a 2020 statewide average income of $76,280, the career is relatively well-paid in Minnesota. Even more promising is that the BLS projects an increase of 13 percent in dental hygienist employment levels in this state by the year 2028. Conditions in your area may vary.
Working as a Dental Hygienist in Minnesota
Dental hygiene profession is a great way to get into the healthcare industry. The demand for dental hygienists is projected to grow in Minnesota, and these professionals earn a good wage. By far, dental hygienists were most concentrated in the Twin Cities in 2019, according to the BLS. That year, dental hygienists were also paid the highest in that area of the state, as were the Northwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area and St. Cloud, whose dental hygienists received mean incomes around $35 per hour. With the projected growth for dental hygienists in Minnesota looking good, these professionals have a chance of finding training and work all over the state
What Are Minnesota’s Dental License Requirements?
To license dental hygienists, the Minnesota Board of Dentistry requires graduation from a dental hygiene school accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, passing of the National Board Examination and a pass of a clinical exam administered by the Central Regional Dental Testing Service, the American Board of Dental Examiners or the Western Regional Examining Board. It also requires a pass of the Minnesota Jurisprudence Examination covering the statutes and rules of the Minnesota Board of Dentistry and a criminal background check.
How Much Does A Dental Hygienist Make in MN?
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the average annual pay for Minnesota dental hygienists as $76,410. Indeed.com reports dental hygienists in Minnesota receive an average hourly wage of $37.96.