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How Long is Dental Hygienist School?

If you have dreamed of working in the field of dentistry, you might be thinking about becoming a dental hygienist. This can be an excellent field to be a part of — it’ll allow you to help people on a daily basis, it’s an ever-growing field that won’t be going anywhere any time soon, and it can allow you to make a comfortable, honest living while working in a relatively comfortable dental practice or other similar settings.

Before you decide to start on your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist, however, you could be wondering, “how long is dental hygienist school?” Whether you’re just curious about how long you are in school or are anxious to complete your training so that you can go ahead and enter the workforce, you should know that you’ll probably be fairly pleased with the answer.

2-Year vs. 4-Year Programs

First of all, you should know that there are two options for you to look into when attending dental hygienist school. There are both two-year and four-year programs for you to choose from.

Many dental hygienists attend two-year schooling and find that they learn enough to work confidently in the world of dental hygiene. Many employers are more than happy to hire job candidates who have only attended two years of schooling. An Associate’s degree, which you will earn when your two years of dental hygiene school are complete, will show that you are competent in the world of dental hygiene.

However, if you would like to expand your education a little bit more, you can opt for a four-year degree program. Obviously, you will learn a lot more in a four-year program. You will have more time to practice, which can help you feel more confident when you enter the workforce.

There is really no right or wrong answer between the two. If you would like to minimize your schooling costs and enter the workforce as a dental hygienist as soon as possible — such as if you are an adult who is going back to school and who has bills and a family to take care of — you might opt for a two-year degree program.

how long is dental hygienist school


If you would like to maximize your education and don’t mind spending a little more in school, or if you live in an area with a very competitive job market and would like to boost your resume a little more, you might choose a four-year degree program.

Another option is to complete your two-year degree and get a job as a dental hygienist. Then, you can go to school part-time to complete your four-year degree. This can allow you to enjoy the best of both worlds, but going to school while you are working full-time can be stressful. Looking at your own needs and goals can help you decide which path is right for you.

Can You Finish Your Schooling More Quickly?

It is possible to finish your schooling more quickly if you push yourself. If you have the time, you may opt to take a couple of extra classes each semester so that you can finish up your schooling more quickly. You may be able to take some of your courses online, which can allow you to get your schooling done more quickly while also being able to work your schooling around your other responsibilities.

Overall, dental hygienist training requires only a relatively short period of time when compared with other job options, especially if you choose to attend a two-year program. If you would like to find out more about attending dental hygienist school so that you can achieve your goals, contact us.