How Long Does It Take To Become A Dental Hygienist In Canada?
Are you considering a career as a dental hygienist in Canada? If so, you may be wondering how long it takes to become one. The answer varies depending on several factors, including the type of program you choose, your education level, and how quickly you complete your coursework and clinical hours.
In this article, we will explore the different paths you can take to become a dental hygienist in Canada and provide some general timelines for each. We will also answer some common questions about the profession and provide some helpful tips for aspiring dental hygienists.
Paths to Becoming a Dental Hygienist in Canada
There are a few different paths you can take to become a dental hygienist in Canada. They include:
Dental Hygiene Diploma Program
The most common path to becoming a dental hygienist in Canada is by completing a dental hygiene diploma program. These programs typically take two to three years to complete and are offered by community colleges and technical institutes across the country.
During the program, you will take courses in subjects like dental anatomy, oral pathology, radiography, and periodontics. You will also gain hands-on experience by completing clinical rotations in dental offices and clinics.
After completing the program, you will be eligible to take the National Dental Hygiene Certification Exam. Once you pass the exam, you will be able to practice as a registered dental hygienist in Canada.
Bachelor of Dental Hygiene Program
Another option for aspiring dental hygienists is to complete a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. These programs typically take four years to complete and are offered by select universities across Canada.
In addition to the courses and clinical rotations included in diploma programs, bachelor’s degree programs also include courses in subjects like microbiology, pharmacology, and public health.
Once you complete a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene, you will be eligible to take the National Dental Hygiene Certification Exam and practice as a registered dental hygienist in Canada.
If you are already a registered dental hygienist in another country, you may be able to complete a bridging program to become registered in Canada. These programs typically take one to two years to complete and include courses in Canadian dental law, ethics, and standards of practice.
You will also need to complete clinical and written competency exams to demonstrate your skills and knowledge of Canadian dental hygiene practices.
General Timelines for Becoming a Dental Hygienist in Canada
The timeline for becoming a dental hygienist in Canada varies depending on which path you choose. Here are some general timelines for each:
- Dental Hygiene Diploma Program: 2-3 years
- Bachelor of Dental Hygiene Program: 4 years
- Bridging Program: 1-2 years
FAQs About Becoming a Dental Hygienist in Canada
Q: What are the prerequisites for a dental hygiene program?
A: The prerequisites for a dental hygiene program vary depending on the school, but typically include courses in biology, chemistry, and English. It is also helpful to have some experience working in a dental office or clinic.
Q: How much does a dental hygiene program cost?
A: The cost of a dental hygiene program varies depending on the school and location. Community college programs are typically less expensive than university programs. You should expect to pay between $10,000 and $30,000 for a diploma or degree program.
Q: What is the job outlook for dental hygienists in Canada?
A: The job outlook for dental hygienists in Canada is strong. In fact, the Government of Canada Job Bank has rated the job outlook for dental hygienists as “good” in all provinces and territories.
Q: What is the average salary for a dental hygienist in Canada?
A: According to the Government of Canada Job Bank, the median hourly wage for dental hygienists in Canada is $37.50. Annual salaries range from $50,000 to $100,000 depending on location, experience, and other factors.
Q: Can dental hygienists work independently in Canada?
A: No, dental hygienists in Canada work under the supervision of a dentist. They are not authorized to diagnose or treat dental conditions on their own.
Tips for Aspiring Dental Hygienists
If you are considering a career as a dental hygienist in Canada, here are some tips to help you succeed:
- Get as much experience working in a dental office or clinic as possible.
- Research different schools and programs to find the one that best fits your needs and goals.
- Consider joining a professional organization like the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association to stay up-to-date on industry news and trends.
- Be prepared to commit to continuing education and professional development throughout your career.
In conclusion, becoming a dental hygienist in Canada requires hard work, dedication, and a commitment to lifelong learning. However, with the right education and training, it can be a rewarding and fulfilling career. Now that you know more about the paths to becoming a dental hygienist in Canada and what to expect, you can take the first steps towards achieving your goals.