Dental Hygiene Instructor

Train students in classrooms and labs to become Dental Hygienists.
picture of Dental Hygiene Instructor

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$45,000 – $94,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Dental Hygiene Instructors do?

Those pearly whites won’t stay that way for long without the help of a qualified Dental Hygienist — the professionals in charge of cleaning teeth and recommending care routines to patients. And where do Dental Hygienists come from? No, they don’t grow on trees. They’re trained by Dental Hygiene Instructors.

Dental Hygiene Instructors teach at colleges and clinics while often working on the side as Dental Hygienists at Dentists ’ offices. Dental Hygienists focus on clean teeth and cavity prevention. Dentists focus on tooth and jaw problems, and treat the cavities when patients ignore the Dental Hygienist’s advice on flossing twice a day.

As a Dental Hygiene Instructor, you teach other budding Dental Hygienists what it is you do and how you do it. Patient satisfaction is top priority. Training students on how to handle equipment goes a long way toward preventing them from jabbing the patient with their cleaning tools.

Some days are spent in the classroom lecturing on techniques and terminology. Other days, you’re in a clinic or laboratory helping your students put those techniques into action. Bonus points are in order for those who call their tools something other than “that thingamabob.”

In addition to your hands-on sessions, you show students how to keep accurate records, take x-rays, and provide general assistance to other Dentists in the office. Once hired, your students will bounce between treating patients and playing Secretary with the files. Soon, they’ll be improving oral health and boosting self-confidence in their own clients.

Should I be a Dental Hygiene Instructor?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • How to Become a
    Dental Hygiene Instructor

    Most Dental Hygiene Instructors have an Associate's degree. Chart?chd=s:aa9cab&chl=||associate%27s+%2867%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2831%25%29||doctorate+%282%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,67
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