Dental Hygiene

The responsibilities of a registered dental hygienist generally include: scaling and root debridement, delivery of local anesthesia, nitrous oxide sedation, topical fluoride, antibiotic and antimicrobial medicament placement, impressions, diagnostic models, dental radiographs, dental education, nutritional counseling, and various laboratory procedures. The treatments and services are prescribed under the supervision of the dentist.

After conducting a community-wide needs assessment, JC is in the process of developing a Dental Hygiene program. The college is seeking accreditation from the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Once the application is accepted and the initial accreditation status is granted, the college will begin accepting students into the program. (Date yet to be determined). Prospective students should be taking pre-requisites. Please contact your Student Success Navigator for more information.

Jackson College Offers the following degree options:

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At this time, JC offers only prerequisite and general education courses that can be transferred to a dental hygiene program. Twelve colleges/universities offer dental hygiene programs. Some offer an associate degree and others a bachelor’s degree. Consult a student success navigator for more information on transfer options available.

Job Opportunities

There are various employment opportunities for the registered dental hygienist. The registered hygienist may choose employment in a general or specialty dental practice, schools, clinics, hospitals, HMOs, public health, or governmental agencies. The dental hygienist may also be employed in the area of management, research, sales, consulting or education. Opportunities for part-time work and flexible schedules are common.


The mean annual wage for a Registered Dental Hygienist is $73,440 or $35.05 per hour. Salary will vary by practice setting and practice location. In Michigan, the annual mean wage is $61,450 and the hourly mean wage is $29.54 per hour.

Bureau of Labor Statistics link

Career Outlook

Dental Hygiene ranks among the fastest growing occupations. Job prospects are expected to remain excellent. Employment of dental hygienists is projected to grow 19 percent until 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Ongoing research linking oral health to general health will continue to spur demand for preventative dental services, which are often provided by dental hygienists.