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Dental Laboratory And Dental Hygienist Schools in Illinois

Like other health care professions, dental offices should be busy in the next few years as baby boomers rely increasingly on dentists to keep their aging teeth clean and healthy. Dental hygienists are expected to be in high demand nationwide as new dental offices open and existing offices expand their business, according to projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Career Opportunities for Illinois Dental Hygienists

Dental hygienists work in dental offices across Illinois, with 7,300 employed in the state as of 2009. Hygienists teach patients how to clean and care for their teeth, and they also handle intake forms and insurance forms. In many offices, dental hygienists assist with procedures ranging from routine cleanings to fillings or implants. They may also perform tasks like filing, secretarial work, light cleaning, and stocking.

Hygienists may work full or part time, and many work in more than one dental office. According to the BLS, dental hygienists had a mean wage of $29.03 per hour or $60,390 annually in Illinois in 2009. Nationally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a huge 36 percent growth in dental hygienist positions between 2008 and 2018, with over 62,600 new jobs becoming available for skilled graduates from dental hygienist colleges in Illinois and elsewhere across the country.

Illinois Dental Hygienist Schools Prepare Graduates for Careers

Students interested a career in dental hygiene can find dozens of dental hygienist schools in Illinois that offer training and accreditation, as well as colleges and online programs offered throughout the United States. Most Illinois dental hygiene colleges offer two-year associate's degrees, though some confer certificates, bachelor's, or master's degrees.

A high school diploma with a background in sciences like biology and chemistry is recommended for those entering a dental hygiene program, where the focus is on courses like anatomy, physiology, periodontology, radiography, histology, nutrition, and pathology. Dental hygienists complete class work and hands-on training and must pass a written and clinical exam to be licensed to work in Illinois.

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Featured Dental Laboratory And Dental Hygienist Schools in Illinois

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