Job Market and Salary
Most of the approximately 100,000 active dental hygienists in the United States are employed by general dentists. Additionally, dental specialists (such as periodontists or pediatric dentists) employ dental hygienists. Most hygienists work chairside, although they often participate in the business aspects of the practice. Dental hygienists also may be employed to provide dental hygiene services for patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and public health clinics. Depending on the level of education and experience they have achieved, dental hygienists can also apply their skills and knowledge to other career activities, such as teaching dental hygiene students. Research and office management are other options. In addition, employment opportunities may be available with companies that market dentally related materials and equipment. Starting salaries in Oklahoma generally range from $35.00 to $39.00 per hour.