West Virginia dental hygiene programs and dental hygiene schools provide the entry-level and advanced classroom training and hands-on experience necessary to practice as a dental hygienist in the United States.
West Virginia dental hygiene schools provide laboratory and classroom training in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, radiography, histology, and related sciences integral to understanding dental health.
The dental hygiene schools in West Virginia typically supplement classroom learning with extensive dental hygiene practice in clinical settings.
Although curricula are similar from one program to another, there can be significant differences between programs in terms of admission requirements, selection criteria, and student and graduate support services.
Accordingly, interested applicants should contact the appropriate West Virginia dental hygiene programs and dental hygiene schools listed below for their admission standards, selection criteria, curriculum, and support services available to students and graduates:
Are There Dental Hygiene Schools In West Virginia?
Yes, there are dental hygiene schools in West Virginia that offer dental hygiene programs accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) and recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA) maintain a high level of education.
There are currently 3 fully accredited programs in West Virginia. After you graduate from an accredited program, you will need to pass some additional state and/or national certification exams before you are eligible to apply for a dental hygienist license.
Once you have successfully completed an accredited program and passed all additional certification exams, West Virginia law requires you to be licensed to practice as a dental hygienist.
The West Virginia Board of Dentistry administers the licensing of dental hygienists in West Virginia.
How Much Do Dental Hygiene Schools Cost In West Virginia?
With regard to dental hygiene, the tuition fee depends on the level and type of program you are considering. According to the American Association of Dental Hygienists, the average estimated total cost (by state/county) of tuition and fees for:
- An associate degree costs $22,692.
- A bachelor’s degree costs $36,382.
- A master’s degree costs $30,421.
Keep in mind that these numbers are averages. The cost of a program at a community college can be lower than programs offered by four-year institutions.
In addition to tuition and fees, students who want to apply to dental hygiene programs should consider other costs such as:
- Books and supplies,
- Room and board,
- Personal expenses,
- Medical insurance and
- Rental and purchase of tools for dental hygiene
What Are The Requirements For Dental Hygiene Schools In West Virginia?
Admission requirements for accredited programs include a high school diploma or equivalent, and depending on the school, you may be required to take entrance exams and complete an admissions interview. Medical and legal certificates may also be required.
When choosing one of the dental hygiene schools in West Virginia, you should keep in mind the additional advanced responsibilities available to dental hygienists who have completed the required courses.
A dental hygienist training program may or may not include this as part of its curriculum. You can earn this certification when you complete a two-hour didactic training course that includes a demonstration or video of bleaching and insulation techniques.
The course must end with an exam in which you get at least 75 percent of the questions correct.
What Are The Best Dental Hygiene Schools In West Virginia?
Since you will need to complete a degree program to work as a dental hygienist, it is wise to choose a program that is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). All dental hygiene schools in West Virginia listed below are CODA accredited.
BridgeValley Community and Technical College
This school has campuses in South Charleston and Montgomery. Students can complete an associate degree program in dental hygiene, which will require about two years of study.
Prerequisites for admission to this program include 20 hours of dental hygiene as well as two letters of recommendation.
West Virginia University School of Dentistry
This school is located in Morgantown. Students can earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene, which takes four years of study to complete. New student requirements include background checks, personal interviews, and more.
Mercer County Technical Education Program
This program focuses on theory and skills relevant to dental care. Education and professional training consists of 1080 hours in dental care and oral health.
The Adult Dental Assisting Program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) and the COE (Council on Professional Education).
Teaching and training will include lectures and classroom discussions, laboratory demonstrations and practice, and clinical assignments in local dental offices.
Students will acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to assist and perform laboratory and department procedures.
A minimum course completion score of 80% is required to advance to the next course. Courses start in August and pre-testing for the program opens in January before the start date.
Ross Medical Education Center
In the Ross Dental Assistant School Program, students will learn the clinical and administrative skills associated with a dental office.
Program instructors with experience in the field teach students many essential skills, including radiograph processing, anesthetic preparation and disposal, measuring and recording vital signs, and taking impressions.
In addition, students in the training program are introduced to important terminology and basic administrative tasks such as preparing a new patient chart, filing medical records, scheduling appointments, and filling out insurance claim forms.
West Virginia Junior College
Dental assistants are important members of the healthcare team, supporting many important aspects of oral care. The skills they acquire prepare them to work alongside a dentist, periodontist, endodontist, orthodontist, or oral surgeon.
Training for WVJC Charleston dentists includes: taking and developing radiographs, taking dental impressions, maintaining patient charts, planning procedures, performing laboratory duties, mixing dental cements, detecting oral pathology, and more.
At WVJC, your educational experience includes a WE CARE approach, convenient location, interactive dental labs, student support services, small class sizes, externships, and career services.
Western Liberty University
West Liberty University’s Sarah Whitaker Glass School of Dental Hygiene was founded in 1938 and graduated its first class in 1940. Associate of Science, Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees are offered.
The dental hygiene clinic is located in the newly built Campbell Hall. The clinic includes 24 dental offices equipped with ADEC dental equipment.
The X-ray complex consists of 9 rooms for the treatment of patients, equipped with X-ray machines for digital X-ray imaging. Ascend Academic software is used. All classrooms are equipped with modern educational equipment.
The dental hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has received an “approval without reporting requirement” accreditation status.
How Much Do Dental Hygienists In West Virginia Earn?
The average salary range for a dental hygienist job varies widely (as high as $20,217), indicating that there may be plenty of opportunity for advancement and pay increases depending on skill level, location, and years of experience.
Based on recent job postings on ZipRecruiter, the dental hygienist job market in West Virginia is not very active with few companies currently hiring. West Virginia ranks 29th out of 50 states nationwide for dental hygienist salaries.
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How Do I Become Dental Hygienists In West Virginia?
Your first step toward becoming a dental hygienist is to earn a degree in the field. When choosing a dental hygiene school in West Virginia, you need to make sure that it is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), an agency affiliated with the American Dental Association (ADA).
Among these accredited schools, you’ll have a choice of the following programs, all of which meet state licensing requirements:
- Associate’s of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene
- Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene
- Master’s of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene
When choosing dental hygiene schools in West Virginia, you should keep in mind the additional advanced responsibilities available to dental hygienists who have completed the required courses. A dental hygienist training program may or may not include this as part of its curriculum.
Best Paying Dental Hygienists Jobs In West Virginia
Dental hygienists must be able to work with their hands. They usually work in a confined space on a small part of the body, using very precise tools.
Dental hygienists must be comfortable performing physical tasks such as bending over patients for long periods of time. Dental hygienists must understand how to operate sophisticated equipment, including x-ray machines and power tools.
Work in a private dental office continues to be the main place of work for dental hygienists. There are also many other career paths for today’s dental hygiene professional. Never before have there been more opportunities for professional growth. How and where you work today is up to you.
Dental hygienists in a clinical role assess, diagnose, plan, implement, evaluate, and document treatment for the prevention, intervention, and control of oral disease, practicing in collaboration with other healthcare professionals.
- Health care
Public health programs are usually funded by government or nonprofit organizations. These positions often provide opportunities to provide care to those who would otherwise not have access to dental care.
Research conducted by dental hygienists can be both qualitative and quantitative. Quantitative research involves conducting surveys and analyzing the results, while qualitative research may involve testing a new procedure, product, or theory for accuracy or effectiveness.
Dental hygiene teachers are in high demand. Colleges and universities across the United States are in need of dental hygiene instructors who use educational theory and methodology to train competent oral care professionals.
Dental Hygiene Schools In West Virginia FAQs
In West Virginia, dental hygienists must complete at least a two-year program in dental hygiene before being eligible to practice. Next, dental hygienists must successfully complete the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE) offered by the American Dental Association (ADA), as well as a regional or state clinical examination.
Hygienists will be required to apply for licensure with the West Virginia Board of Dentistry before finding employment in the state. You will also need to pass a clinical dental hygienist exam, which will demonstrate that you have achieved the practical skills required to be an effective professional in your field. The West Virginia Board of Dentistry recognizes a number of different clinical exams offered by regional and state institutions.
Your dental hygienist license is valid for two years and must be renewed after that point. As part of the renewal requirements, you will need to earn at least 20 hours of continuing education each two-year renewal cycle.
Dental hygienists in West Virginia can expect the highest compensation in cities such as Falling Waters, Capon Bridge, and Rio. You can work in dental clinics, hospitals, medical facilities or other places where dental hygiene services are needed.
There were 111 dental hygiene/hygienist graduates in West Virginia with an average income and debt of $0 and $0, respectively. Specifically, at the bachelor’s level, there were 59 dental hygiene/hygienist graduates with median earnings and debt of $0 and $0, respectively.
Finding the perfect program that has a high graduation rate with affordable tuition and small class sizes can be difficult to find. This rating was created to reflect these issues. Using data obtained through the National Center for Education Statistics and program websites, each school was rated on these aspects.
- dentalassistantedu.org – Becoming a Dental Hygienist in West Virginia
- dentalcareersedu.org – Dental Hygiene Schools and Education Programs in West Virginia