Florida Dental Hygiene Schools

Florida's dental hygiene programs offer two types of degrees. The first is an Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene degree and the second is a Bachelor of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene degree. While both are considered entry level to become a practicing dental hygienist, pursuing you bachelor's degree may open up more job opportunities. Most programs that offer an associate's degree require a year of college prerequisites like English, sociology, psychology and chemistry. Once you've been accepted into a dental hygiene program, you will take a variety of classes. Course requirements will have general education classes, basic science courses and dental science courses. Some of the dental science classes will include dental anatomy, head and neck anatomy, oral pathology, dental materials and instrumentation. You will want to ensure the program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

Hygienist Licensing Requirements in Florida

Once you have graduated from an accredited dental hygiene program you will need to take the board examinations. The first is a written national board exam administered by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations, which is part of the American Dental Association. You will then need to pass the Florida licensing examination; this includes the clinical board examinations.

To be entitled to take the examination in Florida an applicant must meet the following criteria: you must be 18 years of age or older, a graduate of an accredited dental hygiene program, and have successfully completed the National Board of Dental Hygiene written examination. The Florida clinical examination consists of two parts; one is a computer based assessment involving simulated patients and the second part is a patient based assessment. Both will be administered and graded by dentists and dental hygienists licensed and practicing in the state of Florida.

Accredited Dental Hygiene Schools in Florida

Below is a list of Florida's accredited dental hygiene schools and programs:

  • Brevard Community College/ Health Sciences Institute - Cocoa, FL
  • Broward College/ Davie, FL
  • Daytona State College / Deland, FL
  • Edison State College / Ft. Myers, FL
  • Florida State College at Jacksonville / Jacksonville, FL
  • Gulf Coast State College / Panama City, FL
  • Hillsborough Community College / Tampa, FL
  • Indian River State College / Ft. Pierce, FL
  • Miami Dade College / Miami, FL - Associates degree
  • Palm Beach State College / Lake Worth, FL
  • Pasco-Hernando Community College / New Port Richey, FL
  • Pensacola State College / Pensacola, FL
  • Sanford Brown Institute / Ft. Lauderdale, FL & Jacksonville, FL & Orlando, FL
  • Santa Fe College / Gainesville, FL
  • South Florida Community College / Avon Park, FL
  • St. Petersburg College / Pinellas Park, FL
  • State College of Florida, Manatee - Sarasota / Bradenton, FL
  • Tallahassee Community College / Tallahassee, FL
  • Valencia Community College / Orlando, FL

In 2009 the average hourly pay for a dental hygienist in Florida was $28.97 and the expected job growth was 3.9% by the year 2014. If you live in the Sunshine State it is a great time to consider a career in dental hygiene.