Top 10 Best Dental Hygiene Schools in Tennessee 2023 | How to Apply

Best Dental Hygiene Schools in Tennessee: To become a dental hygienist, you have to undergo training first in any of the accredited dental colleges.

In 2012, there were just 3,460 dental hygienists in Tennessee.

But by the year 2023, about 4,500 dental hygienist jobs will be created in Tennessee for new intakes. 

This shows about a 29% increase in the professional employment rate, creating 190 job openings each year.

Judging from these statistics, anyone willing to join the oral health profession is assured of job security upon graduation and a high paying salary.

But to be able to enjoy these, you must be educated and equipped with the right skills for the profession.

Therefore, in this guide, we have done our research and come up with a list of the best dental hygiene schools in Tennessee that will train you to become a dental hygienist.

Dental hygiene schools in Tennessee have up-to-date, state-of-the-art facilities and expert teachers who will guide you on a journey to becoming a dental hygienist. 

Upon graduation, you will be able to take care of a patient’s oral health care needs.

These schools were selected based on the state of the school’s accreditation, tuition cost, and academic excellence.

To help you make the best choice, we have also included the factors you must consider before settling for a dental hygiene school in Tennessee.

If you would like to further study and become a dental hygienist in Tennessee, you will find a peek into the career exposition of the profession.

With that being said, let’s take you on an educational ride.

Let’s get started!!!

ALSO READ: Top 10 Dental Hygiene Schools in Texas| Requirements, Cost & How to Apply

Does Tennessee Have Dental Hygiene Schools?

Tennessee is one of America’s top study locations due to the presence of colleges, schools, and universities that consistently rank high in school rankings.

These schools are known to have proof of results of their academic excellence and prowess. 

One of the programs offered in most schools of higher learning in Tennessee is the dental hygiene program.

The number of schools offering dental hygiene programs is limited due to the level of professional equipment required for the course.

Why most students choose to study dental hygiene in Tennessee is the outstanding educational curriculum that trains students to become dental hygienists. 

When the students complete their program, they can take and pass the state, national, and regional licensure exams and get their license to practice in Tennessee or other states in the USA.

What Programs Will I Study in Dental Hygiene Schools in Tennessee?

Basically, two undergraduate career paths will train you to become a dental hygienist in Tennessee.

An undergraduate course in dental hygiene is enough to let you practice. 

But for people who want to go into teaching and research, you will need a master’s degree in dental hygiene. 

So, here are the undergraduate and graduate programs available in dental hygienist schools in Tennessee;

  • Associate Degree: Technical and Community Colleges.
  • Bachelor’s Degree: Universities.
  • Master’s Degree: Universities.
  • RDH-BSDH Degree: Universities

At different levels, each of these programs prepare you for a career in dental hygiene.

Kindly note that an RDH-BSDH degree program is for already working hygienists with an associate degree who want to take their career up a notch.

Read More: Top 10 Dental Hygiene Schools in Georgia| Requirements, Cost & How to Apply

What Courses are Offered in Dental Hygienist Schools in Tennessee?

Dental hygienists are trained to take care of the oral health of patients.

Sometimes their job description extends to preventive oral health care and educating patients on how best to care for their oral cavity.

To know how to carry out such tasks, you will be trained across a variety of dental hygienist programs divided into courses spread across semesters.

Majorly, the dental hygiene programs in Tennessee will cover a variety of courses, such as 

  • Radiology
  • Periodontology
  • Dental anatomy
  • Dental Materials.
  • Preventive dentistry
  • Dental Instrumentation
  • Patient Communication
  • Community dental health
  • Anxiety and Pain Control
  • Dental practice management and leadership.

Essential Factors To Consider When Choosing a Dental Hygiene School in Tennessee.

Before you choose to attend a dental school, there are many factors you must put into consideration if you are to make the right choice.

Either or all of these factors in our list will help you make a choice of the best school for you. 

When choosing a dental hygiene school, you should choose a school based on its ability to fulfill your academic needs.

Read More: 5 Best Dental Hygiene Schools in Colorado

How will you know that?

These factors will help you find a dental hygienist program for you;

#1. Is the School Academically Sound?

Before enrolling in any dental school, you have to find out the level of academic excellence.

Your school choice should be based on academic excellence and how well the course is taught.

Quality education is what makes you ready for the jobs out there.

Therefore, to have a fair knowledge of any dental school on your list, check out Alumni reviews on the university’s website.

#2. Is the Dental Hygienist Program Flexible?

Can you study on weekends? 

Are there online options for students who don’t want to be on-campus?

Are there night programs for dental hygienists taking an RDH-BSDH degree program?

These questions will help you assess the flexibility of the dental hygiene schools in Tennessee on your list.

You have to ensure the dental hygienist program you’re enrolling in at any of the Tennessee schools is flexible. 

#3. Dental Hygienist Program Lasts For How Long?

The Dental Hygiene Programs can take up to 30 Months to complete and some 4 years. 

This factor is important when choosing a school for dental hygienist training because you will know how long you will have to spend in school.

Also, it determines how much you get to spend on tuition.

Read More: Top 10 Best Dental Hygiene Schools in Indiana

#4. Which Dental Hygiene Program Does the School Offer?

As we stated, there are two undergraduate career paths for dental hygienists.

The associate or bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. 

Also, there is a master’s degree program option for students who want to further.

On the other hand, there is an RDH-BSDH degree program for Registered Dental Hygienists who want to go further in their career.

So which are you going for, and what schools are offering it?

#5. What is the Cost of Dental Hygiene Schools in Tennessee?

Another factor to consider when choosing a school from the list of dental schools in TN is the tuition cost.

Most students are usually on the lookout for cheap dental schools in TN.

Therefore, to find out how much you get to pay, you will have to find out the dental hygiene schools in the State that have dental hygienist programs whose tuition is cheap.

So find out how much it will take you to complete a degree in dental hygiene schools in TN?

Read More: Top 10 Best Dental Hygiene Schools in New York City

How Long is A Dental Hygiene Program in Tennessee?

Like we made you understand earlier, there are two undergraduate career paths to getting a dental hygiene degree in Tennessee. 

Each of these programs have its duration. 

An associate degree in dental hygiene in Chicago will take 20 – 30 months or just 2 years to get a degree. 

A bachelor’s degree, on the other hand, lasts for 4 years. 

If you want to go into dental education and tutoring, a master’s degree program in dental schools and colleges takes 1 to 2 years.

How Much Does it Cost to Attend Dental Hygiene Schools in Tennessee?

How much you will get to pay for tuition in dental hygiene schools and colleges in Tennessee will vary based on factors such as

  • School. 
  • Dental program.
  • Location of school.

There is no specific cost because each university has its own price tag.

ALSO READ: Best Dental Hygiene Schools in Florida

List of Best Dental Hygiene Schools in Tennessee.  

Here is a list of dental hygienist schools in Tennessee, the programs they offer, tuition, and the requirements to apply;

#1. Department of Nursing and Allied Health Chattanooga State Community College

  • Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee 
  • Dental Program: Associate Degree. 
  • Dental Program Duration: Five Semesters
  • Annual Tuition Fees: $4,063 in-state,  $15,727 Outstate 

Chattanooga State Community College is a highly competitive and selective school for dental hygienists.

To get admission into Chattanooga State Community College for a dental hygiene program, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Also, students must have studied a high school chemistry course with a grade of B. 

Students are ready to work in private practices, health departments, hospitals, or nursing homes after graduation. 

#2. East Tennessee State University: Department of Allied Health Sciences.

  • Location: Johnson City, Tennessee 
  • Dental Program: Bachelor’s Degree. 
  • Dental Program Duration: Four Years
  • Annual Tuition Fees: $8,935 in-state,  $27,199 Outstate

Studying dental hygiene at East Tennessee State University will lead you to study in on-site clinics, laboratories, darkrooms, and with state-of-the-art facilities such as x-ray machines. 

Keep in mind that the East Tennessee State University dental hygiene program is full-time.

Students must undergo clinical rotations at Sevierville, Kingsport, Johnson City, and Bristol dental clinics.

To be able to enroll in the East Tennessee State University dental hygiene program, you must have graduated from high school.

If you hold an associate’s degree in dental hygiene, East Tennessee State University is one of the schools that will offer you a bachelor’s degree online through the degree-completion program 

Read More: Top 10 Best Dental Hygiene Schools in Tennessee

#3. Hiwassee College

  • Location: Madisonville, Tennessee 
  • Dental Program: Associate Degree. 
  • Dental Program Duration: Two Years
  • Annual Tuition Fees: Not Specified

Hiwassee College offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in dental hygiene. 

At Hiwassee College, students get to study with ultrasonic scalers, digital x-rays, and intra-oral cameras. 

With these facilities, students get hands-on experience on the required skills for the profession.

#4. Roane State Community College

  • Location: Oak Ridge, Tennessee 
  • Dental Program: Associate Degree. 
  • Dental Program Duration: Two Years
  • Annual Tuition Fees: Not Specified 

Although Roane State Community College main campus is in Harriman, the dental hygiene school is in the Oak Ridge campus.

Graduation from Roane State Community College dental school will require students to complete 78 credits.

A striking reason why many students enroll at Roane State Community College is the 100% job placement rate for graduates of the dental hygiene program.

Read More: 5 Best Dental Schools in Arizona| Requirements, Cost & How to Apply

#5. Southern Adventist University

  • Location: Collegedale, Tennessee 
  • Dental Program: Associate Degree. 
  • Dental Program Duration: Two Years
  • Annual Tuition Fees: Not Specified 

In our list of dental hygienist schools in Tennessee, Southern Adventist University is one of private universities with dental hygiene programs. 

Because the Southern Adventist University is a private school, students have access to small sized classes and one-on-one coaching from tutors. 

However, this program at Southern Adventist University is a pre-dental hygiene program, and it does not satisfy academic requirements for licensure.

This program is recommended for those who would want to transfer to a four-year program.

#6. Tennessee State University

  • Location: Nashville, Tennessee 
  • Dental Program: Associate and Bachelor’s Degree. 
  • Dental Program Duration: Two Years
  • Annual Tuition Fees: $8,792 in-state, $21,512 Outstate 

At Tennessee State University, students can enroll for an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene.

The associate degree prepares students for entry-level dental hygiene positions and requires the completion of 79 credit hours of courses.

On the other hand, the Bachelor of Science degree is a completion program that is required if you’re to get your license.

Both programs include externship and teaching practicum, and clinical rotations.

Read More: Best Dental Schools in Utah| Requirements, Cost & How to Apply

#7. University of Tennessee

  • Location: Knoxville, Tennessee 
  • Dental Program: Associate Degree. 
  • Dental Program Duration: Four Years
  • Annual Tuition Fees: $9,390 in-state, $28,418 Outstate 

The University of Tennessee’s  bachelor’s degree program in dental hygiene is a 2 plus 2 program. 

Students take general coursework in the first 2 years, and in the later 2 years, they focus on dental hygiene programs.

An outstanding feature of studying at the University of Tennessee is the infusion of clinical instruction in the Department of Dental Hygiene’s dental clinic.

Enrolling in the University of Tennessee Dental Hygiene program requires a high school diploma or GED and completing 58 credit hours of pre-professional college-level courses.

#8. Remington College-Nashville Campus

  • Location: Nashville, Tennessee 
  • Dental Program: Associate Degree. 
  • Dental Program Duration: Two Years
  • Annual Tuition Fees: Not Specified 

Remington College-Nashville Campus is a private, not-for-profit university based in Nashville, Tennessee, that offers dental hygiene programs.

Read More: 10 Best Dental Hygienist Schools in Arizona

#9. Concorde Career College-Memphis

  • Location: Memphis, Tennessee 
  • Dental Program: Associate Degree. 
  • Dental Program Duration: Two Years
  • Annual Tuition Fees: Not Specified 

Concorde Career College-Memphis is also a private, for-profit university based in Memphis, Tennessee.

This is a good school but enrollment is very competitive.

Read More: 5 Best Dental Schools in Chicago| Requirements, Cost & How to Apply

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Hygiene Schools in Tennessee.

Where Dental Hygienists Work in Tennessee?

You will find a dental hygienist working in a 
Doctors offices
Nursing Homes.
Pediatric Homes.
Offices of Physicians.
Local, state, or federal government. 
Dentists’ offices both private and shared practices. 

How Much Do Dental Hygienists in Tennessee Earn?

The average annual salary for dental hygienists is a bit higher than the state median, at $62,640. 
According to the Tennessee Career Center, the annual salaries based on experience levels of dental hygienists are;
Entry level positions: $46,787/year 
Mid-level positions: $64,216/year
Experienced level positions: $70,569/year
Also, how much you make as a dental hygienist will also depend on your location and the facility where you work.

Are Dental Hygienists High In Demand in Tennessee?

In 2012, there were just 3,460 dental hygienists in Tennessee.
But by the year 2022, about 4,500 dental hygienist jobs will be created in Tennessee for new intakes. 
This shows about a 29% increase in the professional employment rate creating 190 job openings each year.
This growth can be traced to the ever increasing population of residents which means more need for health professionals including dental hygienists.
Judging from these statistics, anyone willing to join the oral care profession is assured of job security upon graduation as well as a high paying salary.

Is Being A Dental Hygienist Hard?

Dental hygiene can be a demanding career physically, and if we do not look after our bodies, all that scaling can begin to take a toll. 
Remember to do some stretching and muscle strengthening to help with your posture.

What Cities in Tennessee Pay Dental Hygienists More?

If you want to be paid more as a dental hygienist in Tennessee, here are the cities to look for jobs;
Jackson
Knoxville
Memphis 
Clarksville 
Cleveland
Morristown
Chattanooga 
Johnson City 
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol 
Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin.

Who Accredits Dental Hygiene Schools in Tennessee?

Dental schools in Tennessee are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) of the American Dental Association.

Conclusion

We hope you found this article very enlightening.

Any of these dental hygiene schools in Tennessee that we have listed above have programs accredited to train you to become a dental hygienist.

Upon graduation, you can get your appropriate license and start practicing. 

Remember, your choice of school should be based on your educational needs.

Ensure you visit the school website to find out the requirements for applying.

Good luck!!! 

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