How to Become a Dental Hygienist in Canada in 3 Steps

Dental hygiene field is one of the in-demand occupations in Canada.

If you have a thing for oral health, a career as a dental hygienist will not be a bad choice. No need to worry about how to become a dental hygienist in Canada because we’re here for you!

Did you know that the dental hygiene field is one of the in-demand occupations in Canada? and is listed in the Canadian National Occupation Classification with a NOC code of 3222. Moreover, dental hygiene is one of the fastest-growing jobs in Canada today as more people have dental problems due to their food choices. Thus, making preventive dental care career lucrative.

Asides from being highly compensated, dental hygienists have excellent job security. They have a wide range of duties including but not limited to assessing gum disease, cleaning teeth, and educating clients on the prevention of diseases and disorders of the teeth and mouth, including other duties.

So, if you are pursuing a career in the dental field in Canada is your dream and you’re probably wondering how to become a dental hygienist in Canada, this article is for you. Hence, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about dental hygienists. Who they are, their responsibilities, why you should become a dental hygienist in Canada, and steps to become a dental hygienist among other key facts.

Who is a Dental hygienist?

Basically, dental hygienists address dental hygiene issues and offer advice on how to avoid diseases and disorders of the teeth and mouth. They also educate people on general ways to maintain healthy teeth. However, limited dental services linked to the prevention and treatment of illnesses and disorders of the teeth and mouth are provided by dental therapists.

In addition, dentist offices, hospitals, clinics, educational institutions, government entities, and private industry all employ dentists. Plus the federal government and provincial governments engage them to deliver services in rural and remote areas.

Responsibilities of Dental Hygienists

Without a doubt, you now know who dental hygienists are. To further help you know how to become a dental hygienist in Canada, the next big question is, what are their specific roles? The responsibilities of a dentist are highlighted below;

  • Firstly, they do a preliminary dental examination and confer with dentists about patient treatment
  • Clean and stimulate the gums to prevent gum diseaseiInstruct patients on proper oral hygiene techniques.
  • Next, they remove stains and deposits from teeth to prevent tooth and root decay
  • they apply a fluoride treatment
  • take and develop X-rays
  • take dental impressions
  • may carry out restorative and orthodontic procedures under the direction of a dentist
  • may supervise dental assistants in their health care functions.

Why Become a Dental Hygienist in Canada?

Definitely, one question you’ll probably want to ask before thinking of how to become a dental hygienist in Canada is that of career outlook- why you should become a dental hygienist in Canada. Actually, there are many reasons why you should become a dental hygienist in Canada.

Job Prospects

The very first thing you should know is that the job prospects are quite promising. A job survey for dental hygienists over the next three years shows that these sets of workers have good job prospects in more than 70% of Canadian provinces. With Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and New Brunswick taking the lead.

Moreso, dental hygienists have good placement rates and very low unemployment rates. More than 80% of those employed are school leavers. Again, retirements are expected to account for somewhat more than half of all job opportunities since the retirement rate is expected to be similar to the average for all occupations.

At the national level, labor demand and supply are predicted to be roughly in line for this occupation category from 2019 through 2028. That, we must say is very impressive!

Salary

Typically, when it comes to salary, both dental hygienists and dental therapists classified under NOC 3222 usually earn between $26.50/hour and $48.00/hour in Canada. However, the salary varies between provinces and cities.

Yearly, the average dental hygienist in Canada earns about $83,863. Below are the best-paying cities for dental hygienists across Canada:

City Salary
Edmonton $110,495
Calgary $110,055
Vancouver $99,519
Thornhill, ON $81,781
Toronto $81,459
Ottawa $75,075

Career Growth

Certainly, the dental hygiene field offers the best opportunity for you to grow in your career. By furthering your education and acquiring more skills and certifications, there is room for growth.

In addition to being employed by dentists, hospitals, clinics, educational institutions, or even government agencies, dental hygienists with a bachelor’s or a master’s degree have additional career options.

They may, for instance, instruct dental assisting and dental hygiene students at universities and colleges. In some cases, they can also run dentistry practices and hospitals, as well as handle community-based and public health programs.

How to become a dental hygienist in Canada in 3 Steps

In your quest to know more about how to become a dental hygienist in Canada, you’ll probably want to know the steps you need to take. So, below are a list of what you should do to become a dental hygienist in Canada:

#1. Obtain Required associate Degree/Degree 

Of course, one of the first things you should do in order to become a dental hygienist in Canada is to undertake required programs and certification.

Basically, you need to obtain a diploma or bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene from either an accredited college, university, or private post-secondary institution. Again, as a dental hygienist, you must be registered or licensed by the regulatory authorities in their province or territory in order to practice in Canada.

Additionally, high school students interested in becoming dental hygienists are required to take courses in biology, chemistry and mathematics before applying to dental field.

#2. Complete Licensing requirements

In addition to obtaining qualifying degree and certificate, the next step to become a dental hygienist in Canada is to meet licensing requirements.

State licensing requirements differ, however all states need hygienists to be licensed before they can begin working. The following are common requirements in most states:

  • Diploma from a CDA-approved institution
  • Graduates need to pass the National Dental Hygiene Certificate Exams
  • Complete a two-year full-time program and meet the Federation of Dental Hygiene Regulators’ Entry-To-Practice Competencies and Standards.
  • Completion of a state-level or regional clinical board examination

#3. Further your career

Would you like to advance your career in dental hygiene? If yes, you may consider obtaining a master’s degree. With this degree, you will have variety of opportunities.

Such as being able to instruct dental assisting and dental hygiene students at universities and colleges. You might also be able to run dentistry practices and hospitals, as well as handle community-based and public health programs.

N/B: As dental hygienist, you’re required to take continuing education courses to maintain your licenses. These courses will keep you updated with new information regarding oral healthcare.

Does Dental Hygienist job Require licensing in Canada?

Very well! Dental hygienist job is one of the many occupations in Canada that requires licensing. In fact, prospective individuals who desire to pursue a career in dental hygiene field must be duly licensed by the stipulated government licensing agencies.

In most Canadian provinces, graduates need to pass the National Dental Hygiene Certificate Exams, complete a two-year full-time program and meet the Federation of Dental Hygiene Regulators’ Entry-To-Practice Competencies and Standards.

As well as complete a state-level or regional clinical board examination in order to be licensed. Also, depending on the conditions set out by provinces, it might be either voluntary or mandatory.

How to obtain dental hygienist Licensing in Canada

Basically, each province in Canada have a procedure needed to obtain a dental hygienist license. The following are the general way:

In Alberta, for instance, you must be registered with the College of Registered Dental Hygienists of Alberta (CRDHA) to practice as a Dental Hygienist. Only registered members may call themselves a Dental Hygienist.

However, they muste successfully complete the exam set by the National Dental Hygiene Certification Board (NDHCB).

The NDHCE is an electronic test that you can take at any of the country’s testing centers. This exam is made up of 200 multiple-choice questions. The exam also lasts four hours, with a 15-minute break at the halfway point.

Furthermore, the exam assesses their ability to apply what they’ve learned to dental hygiene procedures. Three times a year, in January, May, and September, it is presented. The candidate must get a score of 550 or higher to pass.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become a dental hygienist in Canada?

Dental hygiene schools offer one of the finest returns on investment of any educational program in Canada, with only two years of full-time study required to achieve a diploma.

How much does it cost to become a dental hygienist in Canada?

Annually, from 7000 to 46,000 CAD. The cost of a dental hygienist education in Canada ranges from 7000 to 46,000 CAD each year.

How much does dental hygienist earn in Canada?

Dental hygienists in Canada earn a whooping $70,647 per year on average. Dental hygienists make an average of $40.18 per hour. Of course, those with greater experience can make much more. This is why dental hygiene is regarded as one of the most rewarding careers.

What does a dental hygienist do?

Dental hygienists check patients for indicators of dental disorders like gingivitis and give preventive therapy, such as oral hygiene. They also provide oral health education to their patients.

Conclusion

In conclusion, in order to become a dental hygienist in Canada, you must first be registered or licensed by your province’s dental hygiene regulatory authority. Finally, one of the most significant advantages of being a dental hygienist in Canada is the potential earnings. In reality, in British Columbia, the average dental hygienist earns $45.93 per hour. Hygienists in Alberta earn an average of $51.86 per hour. This is 37% higher than the national average.