A career as a dental hygienist means low unemployment rate (around 1.3% which is below the national average), registered healthcare professional status (with less effort), rewarding income (hourly rate of between C$29.50 and C$43.93), flexible work schedule, and the satisfaction of making an impact on the community and on your patients’ lives, among other benefits. If you are considering this career, there are several things to consider:

What are the requirements?

To qualify for accredited dental hygienist programs Toronto, you must have completed a high school diploma (Grade 12 Equivalency-GED Certificate or Ontario Secondary Diploma- OSSD 30 Credits). You need Grade 12 English with 60% pass mark and Grade 11 Biology, also with 60% pass mark. You also need a passing mark on the Superintendent approved qualifying test or pass on the Canadian Achievement Survey Test.

If you are over 18 by the first day of classes, you are considered a mature student. The applications of those who do not have the academic admission requirements described above are considered on a case-by-case basis.

It is your responsibility to deliver your official transcripts to the college in person – top Ontario dental hygienist college do not accept photocopied, faxed, or scanned transcripts. Other requirements include personal interviews at the college, pre-admission aptitude tests, and filling the relevant forms.

What makes a good program?

The program you choose should be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC) and it should be approved under the 2015 Private Career Colleges Act. Go for a school that is a member of the OACC (Ontario Association of Career Colleges) and the NACC (National Association of Career Colleges). Membership to these trade organizations means the college is credible and reliable.

Also important to consider is the quality of the faculty (the instructors should have industry experience), hands-on training, the stocking of the library and the labs, and the atmosphere at the school, including extra-curricular activities.

What does the career involve?

A dental hygienist does more than clean teeth. You will be responsible for educating patients and the public about oral hygiene, oral cancers, and other oral diseases. You will also be taking x-rays, placing sealants, administering fluoride treatments, cleaning/whitening teeth, giving mouth guards, offering advice on smoking cessation, doing nutritional counseling, and doing initial patient assessments such as examining gums, among other tasks.

What skills do I need to execute my duties?

You need good motor skills since you will be using your hands and you will be handling sensitive equipment and tools. You need job-specific skills such as taking and producing x-rays. To thrive in a career as a dental hygienist, you need such soft skills as attention to details, good communication and interpersonal skills, conceptual, intellectual & cognitive skills, and a professional demeanor and attitude.

How long dental hygienist programs Toronto take?

A typical dental hygienist program takes less than 2 years if you go to a private college. This time is usually divided into 3 or 4 semesters, depending on the college. After the training, you will need to sit and pass the National Dental Hygiene Board Exam to get the title ‘dental hygienist’.