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New York Health Careers

Dental Hygienists

What Do Dental Hygienists Do?

Dental hygienists are licensed health professionals who provide preventive dental care, perform oral health assessments and teeth cleanings, apply cavity preventive agents to teeth, take and develop x-rays, and educate patients on proper oral hygiene techniques. In some states, dental hygienists are allowed to place and carve filling materials, place temporary fillings and periodontal dressings, remove sutures, perform root planing, and smooth and polish metal restorations. Under the supervision of dentists, dental hygienists in New York are permitted to administer and monitor local infiltration anesthesia and nitrous oxide.

For more information about dental hygienists, go to: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-hygienists.htm.

Where Do Dental Hygienists Work?

Dental hygienists work in dental offices and clinics. Some may also be found in schools; hospitals; nursing homes; community health clinics; and federal, state, and county health departments. More than half of dental hygienists work part time.

What Do Dental Hygienists Earn?

According to the 2019 BLS, the average salary for full time, dental hygienists nationwide was $77,230, varying by specialty and geographic region. Average annual salary also varies greatly across New York State, depending on location. The NYSDOL reports that dental hygienists in New York earned an average annual salary of $76,960, (entry level-$55,120, experienced- $100,390).

Supply and Demand

Growing interest in preventive oral health care is expected to create more demand for dental hygienists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that between the 2016 and 2026, the number of dental hygienist jobs will increase by 19.7% nationwide and will increase by 22.7% in New York during the same time period.

For more information on projections of dental hygienists by New York State labor regions, 2014-2024, click here.

New York Educational Program Requirements

Dental hygienist educational programs in New York are usually found at community colleges and sometimes at universities. Most dental hygienist programs in New York and throughout the country offer an associate degree, while some universities offer a four-year bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene.

New York Licensure Requirements

Dental hygienists who practice in New York must be licensed. Requirements include graduating from an accredited dental hygiene education program and passing the written and clinical certification examinations, which are administered from a national organization. Continuing education is also required for active dental hygienists in order to maintain licensure. To administer and monitor local infiltration anesthesia and nitrous oxide analgesia in the practice of dental hygiene, dental hygienists must meet additional requirements and obtain a Dental Hygiene Restricted Local Infiltration Anesthesia/Nitrous Oxide Analgesia Certification.

For more information: www.op.nysed.gov/prof/dent/dentdhlic.htm.

Financial Support

The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) offers scholarships and grants to dental hygiene students and dental hygienists who can demonstrate a commitment to further the discipline of dental hygiene through academic achievement, professional excellence, and a desire to improve the public’s overall health. For more information: http://www.adha.org/scholarships-and-grants.

The American Dental Association (ADA) Foundation offers a variety grants, awards, and scholarships to dental students. For more information, please go to: https://www.ada.org/en/education-careers/dental-student-resources/financial-resources-for-students-and-recent-gradua.

The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) also has scholarship, awards, and fellowship information: See this page on their website.

Education Programs in New York (subject to change)

Broome Community College, SUNY
907 Upper Front St
Binghamton, NY 13902
(607) 778-5000
New York City College of Technology, CUNY
300 Jay Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 260-5000
Erie Community College, SUNY
North Campus
6205 Main Street
Williamsville, NY 14221-7095
(716) 851-1322
Hostos Community College, CUNY
500 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY 10451
(718) 518-4444
Hudson Valley Community College
80 Vanderburgh Avenue
Troy, NY 12180
(518) 629-4822
Monroe Community College
Brighton Campus
1000 East Henrietta Rd.
Rochester, NY 14623
(585) 292-2000
New York University
College of Dentistry
345 East 24th Street
New York, NY 10010
(212) 998-9800
SUNY Orange 
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940
(845) 341-4306
Farmingdale State College, SUNY
2350 Broadhollow Road
Farmingdale, NY 11735
(631) 420-2000
Plaza College
(waiting for CODA accreditation-Apr 2019)
118-33 Queens Blvd
Forest Hills, NY  11375
(718) 779-1430

Additional Web Links

For more information on Dental Hygienists, go to:

American Dental Hygienists Association: http://www.adha.org/

New York State Dental Hygienists Association: http://www.dhasny.org/.

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