How Long Does It Take To Become A Dental Hygienist In Ontario?
Dental hygienists play an integral role in the dental industry, working closely with dentists to provide essential oral care services to patients. They are responsible for cleaning teeth, examining patients for signs of oral diseases, providing preventative treatments, and educating patients on proper oral hygiene practices. Becoming a dental hygienist in Ontario requires a certain level of education and training.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a dental hygienist in Ontario, it’s essential to understand the education and certification requirements, as well as the time it will take to complete the necessary training. In this article, we will explore the steps required to become a dental hygienist in Ontario and answer some frequently asked questions about the process.
Education Requirements to Become a Dental Hygienist in Ontario
To become a dental hygienist in Ontario, you must complete a dental hygiene program at an accredited college or university. The dental hygiene program must be recognized by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC), which ensures that the program meets the standards set by the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA).
The CDHA is the national voice of dental hygiene in Canada, and it sets the standards for dental hygiene education, practice, and regulation. To be eligible for certification as a dental hygienist in Ontario, you must graduate from a dental hygiene program that is accredited by the CDAC and recognized by the CDHA.
Dental Hygiene Program Admission Requirements
Admission requirements for dental hygiene programs can vary, but most programs require students to have the following:
– A high school diploma or equivalent
– A minimum average of 70% in high school science courses such as biology, chemistry, and physics
– Completion of specific prerequisite courses, which can include math, English, and social sciences
– A passing score on the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) or another standardized test
– A satisfactory criminal background check
Dental Hygiene Programs in Ontario
There are currently eight accredited dental hygiene programs in Ontario, offered by the following colleges and universities:
– Algonquin College
– Cambrian College
– Canadore College
– Confederation College
– Durham College
– Fanshawe College
– Georgian College
– George Brown College
Each program varies in length and curriculum, but they all result in a diploma or degree in dental hygiene upon completion. The average length of a dental hygiene program in Ontario is between two and three years.
Certification Requirements to Become a Dental Hygienist in Ontario
After completing an accredited dental hygiene program, you must pass the National Dental Hygiene Certification Board (NDHCB) examination to become certified as a dental hygienist in Ontario. The NDHCB examination is a national board examination that tests knowledge and application in clinical dental hygiene as well as knowledge of dental hygiene theory and practice.
Once you pass the NDHCB examination, you can apply to become a registered dental hygienist in Ontario. Registration is required by law to work as a dental hygienist in Ontario.
Registration Requirements for Dental Hygienists in Ontario
To become a registered dental hygienist in Ontario, you must complete the following:
– Pass the NDHCB examination
– Complete an application for registration with the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario (CDHO)
– Provide official transcripts from your dental hygiene program
– Pay the required fees
– Satisfy any additional registration requirements set by the CDHO
Once you have completed all registration requirements, you will receive a certificate of registration from the CDHO, which is required to practice as a dental hygienist in Ontario.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Dental Hygienist in Ontario?
The length of time it takes to become a dental hygienist in Ontario depends on a variety of factors, including the program you choose, your educational background, and your ability to complete the requirements.
In general, the process to become a dental hygienist in Ontario can take between two and five years. Here’s a breakdown of the average length of time for each step:
– Education: Most dental hygiene programs in Ontario take two to three years to complete.
– Examination: The NDHCB examination can be completed after you graduate from your dental hygiene program. It is usually taken within six months of graduation and can take up to three months to receive results.
– Registration: Once you pass the NDHCB examination and meet all registration requirements, the CDHO can take up to six weeks to process your application and issue your certificate of registration.
Consider your educational background, previous work experience, and other commitments before beginning your journey to become a dental hygienist in Ontario. The length of time it takes to complete all the necessary steps can vary significantly depending on your circumstances.
FAQs About Becoming a Dental Hygienist in Ontario
Q: Can I become a dental hygienist without formal education and training?
No, to become a dental hygienist in Ontario, you must complete a dental hygiene program at an accredited college or university and pass the NDHCB examination. These requirements ensure that dental hygienists are trained to provide safe and effective oral care to patients.
Q: How much does it cost to become a dental hygienist in Ontario?
The cost of becoming a dental hygienist in Ontario can vary depending on the program you choose, the location of the program, and other factors. Tuition fees for dental hygiene programs in Ontario can range from $10,000 to $25,000 per year.
Q: What skills do I need to become a dental hygienist?
To become a successful dental hygienist, you need a combination of technical and soft skills. Technical skills include the ability to clean teeth, take x-rays, and perform other clinical tasks. Soft skills include strong communication skills, empathy, and attention to detail.
Q: What is the job outlook for dental hygienists in Ontario?
The job outlook for dental hygienists in Ontario is generally positive. According to the Government of Canada’s Job Bank, there is a high demand for dental hygienists, and employment growth is projected to remain steady over the next few years.
Q: What are the salary expectations for a dental hygienist in Ontario?
The salary for dental hygienists in Ontario can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and the type of practice. According to the Government of Canada’s Job Bank, the median wage for dental hygienists in Ontario is $38 per hour, and salaries can range from $26 to $54 per hour.
In conclusion, becoming a dental hygienist in Ontario requires completing an accredited dental hygiene program, passing the NDHCB examination, and becoming registered with the CDHO. The process can take between two and five years, depending on the program you choose and other factors. By completing the necessary education and training, you can gain the skills and knowledge necessary to provide top-quality oral care services to patients as a certified dental hygienist.