Dental hygienist is a highly trained health professional who focuses on providing preventive dental care services to patients. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for dental hygienists as of 2019 was $76,220.
The number of patients a dental hygienist sees on a daily basis is likely to vary depending on the practice. An experienced dental hygienist may see anywhere from 6 to 10 patients in a single day, while someone just starting in the profession could see only 4 to 6 patients.
The dental hygienist’s salary also can vary significantly depending on their experience level, the region they work in, and the type of practice they are employed in. For example, experienced dental hygienists who work in private or chain practices often have higher salaries than those who work in a dental school or in a public health clinic.
Generally, a dental hygienist’s salary is made up of a combination of their base salary, bonuses, benefits (such as health insurance) and overtime. In some cases, a dental hygienist may even be eligible for additional income from reimbursements for taking additional education courses, such as those required for certain clinical procedures.
The average salary of a dental hygienist may vary depending on the specific responsibilities they have. For example, a dental hygienist who specializes in X-rays and radiography may receive a higher salary than a hygienist who focuses on tooth cleaning and patient education.
There are also possible differences in pay when comparing different parts of the country. According to the BLS, the states with the highest average annual wages for this occupation were Alaska, Connecticut and California, with average wages of $102,495, $85,700, and $85,195 respectively. On the other hand, the states with the lowest pay for dental hygienists were Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi, with average wages of $55,780, $54,210, and $52,080 per year.
Overall, dental hygienists are valued members of the dental health care team. They play an important role in preventing and treating dental disease, helping patients maintain healthy teeth and gums. As such, dentists and other healthcare professionals often rely on them to provide excellent service, and they are fairly compensated in return.