How to become a dental hygienist
You can get into this job through a university course.
You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:
- oral health science
- dental hygiene
- dental therapy
When you apply for a university course, it might help to have some experience as a dental nurse.
You'll usually need:
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
To become a dental hygienist, you could start with the Dental Nurse (Integrated) Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship.
You could also do the Oral Health Practitioner Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship if you already work in dental care and you're registered with the General Dental Council.
You would then need to complete further training in dental hygiene to become a registered dental hygienist.
Employers will set their own entry requirements.
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
you'll need to register with the General Dental Council
Professional and industry bodies
You will need to take a course approved by the General Dental Council (GDC) so that you can then register with the GDC.
You can find more information on becoming a dental hygienist and other roles within a dental team at Health Careers.