A dental hygienist provides treatments to help clean and maintain healthy teeth. The procedures they do include scaling and polishing teeth, and applying topical fluoride and fissure sealants. Dental hygienists also have a role in educating both adults and children on good dental care. They can work in hospitals, in community dental services and in general dental practice.
How do I become a dental hygienist?
To become a dental hygienist, you will need to complete one of the following General Dental Council recognised courses at a dental school:
- Foundation degree in oral health science
- a diploma of higher education in dental hygiene, or dental hygiene and dental therapy
- a degree in oral health science, or dental therapy and dental hygiene
Course length can vary, usually two years or up to 27 months full-time.
Entry requirements differ between each dental school but courses normally require a minimum of two A levels or equivalent, with one in a science subject. You will also need five GCSEs A-C, including Maths, English and Science. Some dental schools may accept science-based level 3 vocational courses. To find out what the exact requirements are, and non-UK qualifications please visit individual dental school websites or contact the institutions directly.
Applications are made via UCAS. The deadline for UCAS applications is 15 January every year.