Becoming a Dental Hygienist in Oklahoma

Dental hygienists are responsible for performing teeth cleanings, operating equipment during various dental procedures and educating patients on dental health. They must be licensed as Registered Dental Hygienists (RDG) to begin practicing in Oklahoma.

Dental Hygienist Requirements

To become a dental hygienist, one must first attend a dental hygiene program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Upon graduation, students will be eligible to take a national dental hygiene examination and receive their license to practice.

Educational Programs for Dental Hygienists

Most educational programs for dental hygienists consist of two-year associate’s degree programs, the majority of which require a high school diploma or equivalent to be considered for admittance. Dental hygienist programs are available at community colleges or technical schools in Oklahoma, including the following:

  • Tulsa Community College admits a small class of 14 dental hygiene students per year, creating a close-knit environment in which students can receive personalized attention. Applicants must submit high school and college transcripts, if any, along with ACT scores.
  • Rose State College offers a two-year associate’s degree in dental hygiene. The program covers dental hygiene theory, research and practice and provides students with the opportunity to complete observations in a dental office.

For Dental Assistant Schools in Oklahoma, see this page.

Licensing Requirements

Dental hygienists must pass the National Board Examination as well as a state exam accredited by the Western Regional Examining Board, Inc. (WREB).

In addition to graduating from a dental hygiene program and passing the above examinations, applicants for licensure must be at least 18 years of age, pass a clinical examination, and pass a jurisprudence exam showing that they understand the rules and laws of licensure in Oklahoma. If an applicant fails an examination, they may retake it once. To retake the exam a second time, applicants may be required to provide evidence of additional education.

Popular Programs

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

The dental hygienist field is expanding, with job opportunities in the state expected to grow by 8.7 percent in the decade from 2016 to 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average salary of a dental hygienist in Oklahoma is $71,130 per year.

Working as a Dental Hygienist in Oklahoma

Dental hygiene offers the opportunity to work with your hands and interact with new people, from patients to doctors, on a daily basis. It also allows people to enter the medical field with a smaller amount of formal training than other professions. Dental hygienists can find the highest salaries in large, metropolitan areas, such as Tulsa or Oklahoma City, though jobs in clinics, private practices and other medical centers can be found throughout the state.

College Listings

Tulsa, OK

Tulsa Community College

6111 E Skelly Dr, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74135-6198
(918) 595-7000
https://www.tulsacc.edu/programs-and-courses/academic-programs/dental-hygiene

The Associate’s program at Tulsa Community College is taught at their Tulsa campus. This private, not-for-profit college has approximately 19,557 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. Typical in-state tuition is approximately $2,606 per year, while out-of-state students will pay $7,048.

Oklahoma City, OK

University of Oklahoma-Health Sciences Center

1100 N Lindsay, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104-5499
(405) 271-4000
https://dentistry.ouhsc.edu/Prospective-Students/Programs-Offered/Dental-Hygiene

The University of Oklahoma at Oklahoma City offers a Bachelor program in Dental Hygiene. This program of study is accredited by the ADA. Of the 3,605 students, about 76% are postgraduates.

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