Dental Hygiene

Dental hygienists are licensed health professionals who provide preventive and therapeutic care in the management of oral health. 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, preventive dental education, nutritional counseling, and various laboratory procedures. The treatments and services are prescribed under the supervision of the dentist. More and more information is being learned about the impact of dental health on the whole body. As a hygienist, you will play an important role providing the education about how good oral health can impact your patients’ well-being.

This program will prepare you to perform dental hygiene services in accordance with the Michigan state dental practice act and reflects current theory and practice. After completing all of the requirements of the program, you will be eligible to take national and regional board examinations, as well as apply to obtain licensure to practice Dental Hygiene in the state of Michigan.

Dental Hygienist working on a patient

Dental Hygiene at Jackson College


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.

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.