The job outlook for dental hygienists is expected to grow by 20% between 2016 and 2026. This is higher than the national average growth rate of any other profession.
As the demand for dental hygienists increases, so is the competition for dental hygiene programs. Further, many programs only accept students once every year. No wonder many aspiring dental hygienists are forced to shelf their dreams due to the long waiting lists.
But what if you were to get accepted after your first application?
You wouldn’t have to wait a whole year or several years to reapply for the program.
Fortunately, getting in as a first-time applicant isn’t rocket science.
Here are a few tips to boost your chances of getting accepted into your dream dental hygiene school.
1. Make an Early Application
Accredited dental hygiene schools have differing enrolment numbers. They’re some that accept as few as 10 students while others will accept as many as 50 students.
An early application will ensure you get early consideration. Additionally, ensure you hand in your application with all the required documents. Missing documentation can be the difference between your file being reviewed or not.
2. Prepare For Your Admission Test
You must do considerably well in the admission test to gain admission to a dental hygiene course. Some of the common tests that different programs offer include:
- The ACT or the SAT test
- An ESL exam if you’re not a native English speaker
- Test for Essential Academic Skills (TEAS)
- Health Education Systems, Inc (HESI) test
These tests aren’t difficult, but preparation is key. Study the college admission requirements to be aware of the test details.
3. Complete the Prerequisite Courses
Before applying for a dental hygiene school, ensure you complete the prerequisite courses listed as part of the program. Some schools will allow you to take some of these courses as you study. However, you’ll have an advantage if you already completed them before admission.
The school will also consider you as a more responsible student if you’ve done all your pre-requisites courses beforehand.
Most of these courses need an average of a C, but if you have a B or an A, you’re definitely way ahead.
Some of the courses required include Biology with lab, Physics with lab, Inorganic Chemistry with lab, English, and Algebra.
4. Meet the Observation Hours’ Requirement
Some dental hygiene programs will want you to have at least eight observation hours in a dental environment before admission.
Dental shadowing gives you more exposure in the field. It also reaffirms your decision to study as a dental hygienist.
For your observation hours to count, here are a few tips to remember:
- Shadow a dentist who isn’t your relative
- Ensure the observation hours aren’t in an educative setting such as a student clinic
- Observation hours should be voluntary
- Some programs may require the hours to be done in more than one dental facility
Different schools have different requirements, so be sure to ask first.
5. Look For an Accredited Dental Hygiene School
An accredited dental hygiene school provides you with industry standard qualifications.
Additionally, such schools offer extensive hands-on experience and make use of innovative equipment which makes you skilled for modern day needs.
Some of the important accreditation bodies to consider when conducting your search include Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), National Dental Hygiene Certification Board (NDHCB), and National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB).
Apply For Your Dental Hygiene Program at Southern Ontario Dental College
At Southern Ontario Dental College, we provide a professional learning environment and state-of-the-art dental equipment for all our students. Our goal is to inspire excellence while providing students the necessary skills to be caring, empathetic healthcare professionals.
If you’re in search for an accredited dental hygiene school, look no further!
Contact us today for more information.