How to become a dental hygienist
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
You could do either:
- a 2-year foundation degree in oral health science
- a 2-year diploma of higher education in dental hygiene, or dental hygiene and dental therapy
- a 3-year degree in oral health science, or dental therapy and dental hygiene
Experience as a dental nurse may be useful. A recognised dental nurse qualification can sometimes take the place of an A level for course entry.
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
Apprenticeships relevant to this role include:
- Level 3 Dental nurse (integrated)
- Level 4 Oral health practitioner
To do the oral health practitioner apprenticeship you must already be a dental nurse or other appropriate dental care professional, registered with the General Dental Council.
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