Registered Dental Hygienists Programs: Study to Become an RDH

Find an Accredited Program at a School Near You

Registered Dental Hygienists are in high demand in Michigan and across the United States. There are hundreds of jobs available for registered dental hygienists in Michigan today. By 2030, job opportunities for dental hygiene are projected to grow by 11%.

Dental Assistant

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average base salary for a registered dental hygienist in Michigan is $66,270.

To become a registered dental hygienist in Michigan, you need to graduate with an associates’ degree from a CODA-accredited dental hygiene program, pass the National Boards, and pass the written and clinical portions of the American Board of Dental Examiners clinical exam. Within a few years, you can gain your license and start a fulfilling career as a registered dental hygienist!

CODA-Accredited Dental Hygienist Education Programs in Michigan

Use the links provided to learn more about the program nearest you.

Delta College

Allied Dental Health Programs

1961 Delta Road
University Center, MI 48710

Ferris State University

College of Applied Sciences
Department of Dental Hygiene and Medical Imaging

200 Ferris Drive
Big Rapids, MI 49307-2740

Grand Rapids Community College

School of Workforce Development
Dental Auxiliary Programs

143 Bostwick Street NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503-3201

Jackson Community College

Dental Hygiene

2111 Emmons Rd.
Jackson, MI 49201

Kalamazoo Valley Community College

Dental Hygiene Department

6767 West O Avenue
P.O. Box 4070
Kalamazoo, MI 49003-4070

Kellogg Community College

Allied Health Department
Dental Hygiene Education Program

450 North Avenue
Battle Creek, MI 49017

Lansing Community College

Dental Hygiene Program

P.O. Box 40010
Lansing, MI 48901-7210

Mott Community College

Division of Health Sciences
Dental Hygiene Program

1401 E. Court Street
Flint, MI 48503-2089

Oakland Community College

Dental Hygiene Program

7350 Cooley Lake Road
Waterford, MI 48327-4187

University of Detroit Mercy

Department of Periodontology & Dental Hygiene
Dental Hygiene Program

2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
Detroit, MI 48208-2576

University of Michigan

School of Dentistry
Dental Hygiene Program

1011 N. University
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1078

Wayne Community College

Dental Hygiene Program

8200 W. Outer Drive
Detroit, MI 48219

What is a Registered Dental Hygienist?

A registered dental hygienist is an oral health professional who is responsible for screening patients, teaching patients good oral hygiene, applying preventive materials to teeth, removing build up and polishing teeth, and supporting the dentist as they treat patients. In Michigan, dental hygienists must be delegated duties by a dentist, but are able to complete many tasks without direct supervision.

What is the difference between a Registered Dental Assistant and Registered Dental Hygienist?

The most significant difference between RDAs and RDHs is the duties that they are able to perform. In Michigan, registered dental hygienists are able to administer intra oral block and infiltration anesthesia if they complete additional training, clean and polish teeth, and assist with charting and examinations. Additionally, registered dental hygienists are able to perform almost all of the same duties as a registered dental assistant, but with less supervision.

Why study for an RDH degree at a CODA-Accredited School?

CODA, or the Commission on Dental Accreditation, is responsible for establishing standards for dental schools, dental hygiene programs, and dental assisting programs. Additionally, CODA is tasked with ensuring the schools it accredits continue to meet certain standards. Studying at a CODA-accredited school is an essential requirement to gaining a registered dental hygienist license in Michigan!

Can I attend school part-time and become a Registered Dental Hygienist?

Yes! There is no requirement that you attend school full-time to become a registered dental hygienist. However, it is important to check with your school to ensure graduation requirements are being met and with the terms of any financial aid or scholarships you receive.

Are there financial aid packages, loans, or scholarships available to help pay for tuition?

Yes! Most schools offer a broad range of financial aid for their students, including loans, grants, and scholarships to help cover the cost of tuition. Additionally, the State of Michigan has invested significantly in programs that help certain qualified individuals obtain a degree from a community college by covering tuition, fees, and other associated costs. You can learn more about the Michigan Reconnect program here. Check with the school’s website or financial aid office to learn more about the various programs that are available.

How do I go from school to full-time employment as an RDH?

The path to becoming a registered dental hygienist is well laid out. Once you enroll in a CODA-Accredited Dental Hygienist Education Program, you’ll be supported along your journey to becoming a licensed oral health professional!

  1. Complete Your Dental Hygiene Degree
    Your Dental Hygiene degree will prepare you for a successful career as a dental hygienist. From preparing you for your licensing examinations to providing hands-on clinical experience, the process of obtaining your degree is the first step towards becoming a registered dental hygienist. Check with the schools you are interested in to make sure you have all the necessary prerequisites to start the program.
  2. Pass the Licensing Exams
    Michigan requires Registered Dental Hygienists to pass the National Boards and the written and clinical portions of the American Board of Dental Examiners exam to qualify for a license. Completing your dental hygiene degree is the best way to prepare for the exams!
  3. Get Hired as an RDH
    Dentists across Michigan are looking to hire hundreds of dental hygienists every year, and that number is growing. Registered dental hygienists can work in a variety of settings in public and private settings. There are many tools available to connect with dentists looking to hire! Take a look at the MDA’s Job Board to see who’s hiring near you. Talk to your school to learn about their career advancement resources to learn more.
  4. Build a Career as an RDH
    As any dentist will tell you, RDHs are essential to the success of any dental practice. The day-to-day experiences and challenges of caring for patients means there’s rarely a dull day in dental hygiene!