Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.

Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Hygienists in Atlanta, Georgia

If you want to be a dental hygienist, the Atlanta, Georgia area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 5,110 jobs for dental hygienists in Georgia and this is projected to grow by 38% to 7,050 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for dental hygienists are expected to grow by about 36.1%. In general, dental hygienists clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease.

Dental hygienists earn approximately $32 per hour or $67,340 per year on average in Georgia. Nationally they average about $32 hourly or $66,570 annually. Earnings for dental hygienists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Dental in Georgia and not quite as good as general Dental category earnings nationally. People working as dental hygienists can fill a number of jobs, such as: oral hygienist, registered dental hygienist , and hygienist.

The Atlanta area is home to ninety-one schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Atlanta where you can get a degree as a dental hygienist. The most common level of education for dental hygienists is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. You can expect to spend about two years studying to be a dental hygienist if you already have a high school diploma.


Dental Hygienist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, dental hygienists clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. They also may educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop X-rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.

Dental hygienists furnish clinical services and health education to further optimize and maintain the oral health of patients and the general public. They also clean calcareous deposits and stains from teeth and beneath margins of gums, using dental instruments. Equally important, dental hygienists have to feel and visually examine gums for sores and signs of disease. They are often called upon to record and review patient medical histories. They are expected to examine gums, using probes, to identify periodontal recessed gums and signs of gum disease. Finally, dental hygienists remove excess cement from coronal surfaces of teeth.

Every day, dental hygienists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for dental hygienists to feel lymph nodes under patient's chin to uncover swelling or tenderness that could indicate presence of oral cancer. They are often called upon to maintain patient recall system. They also expose and develop x-ray film. They are sometimes expected to chart conditions of decay and disease for diagnosis and treatment by dentist. Somewhat less frequently, dental hygienists are also expected to conduct dental health clinics for community groups to augment services of dentist.

Dental hygienists sometimes are asked to apply fluorides and other cavity preventing agents to arrest dental decay. They also have to be able to administer local anesthetic agents and make impressions for study casts. And finally, they sometimes have to place and remove rubber dams and temporary restorations.

Like many other jobs, dental hygienists must be reliable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Atlanta include:

  • Licensed Practical Nurse. Care for ill, injured, or disabled persons in hospitals, nursing homes, and similar institutions. May work under the supervision of a registered nurse. Licensing required.
  • Radiation Therapist. Provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards. Duties may include reviewing prescription and diagnosis; acting as liaison with physician and supportive care personnel; preparing equipment, such as immobilization, treatment, and protection devices; and maintaining records, reports, and files. May assist in dosimetry procedures and tumor localization.
  • Radiological Technician. Maintain and use equipment and supplies necessary to demonstrate portions of the human body on x-ray film or fluoroscopic screen for diagnostic purposes.
  • Radiology Technologist. Take x-rays and Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT or CT) scans or administer nonradioactive materials into patient's blood stream for diagnostic purposes. Includes technologists who specialize in other modalities, such as computed tomography, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance.
  • Respiratory Therapist. Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, and operate equipment.
  • Surgical Technician. Assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel. May help set up operating room, prepare and transport patients for surgery, adjust lights and equipment, pass instruments and other supplies to surgeons and surgeon's assistants, hold retractors, and help count sponges, needles, and instruments.


Georgia Perimeter College - Decatur, GA

Georgia Perimeter College, 3251 Panthersville Rd, Decatur, GA 30034-3832. Georgia Perimeter College is a large college located in Decatur, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 22,713 students and an admission rate of 72%. Georgia Perimeter College has an associate's degree program in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist which graduated thirty-five students in 2008.

Lanier Technical College - Oakwood, GA

Lanier Technical College, 2990 Landrum Education Dr, Oakwood, GA 30566. Lanier Technical College is a small college located in Oakwood, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,168 students. Lanier Technical College has a two to four year program in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

Gainesville State College - Oakwood, GA

Gainesville State College, 3820 Mundy Mill Rd, Oakwood, GA 30566. Gainesville State College is a medium sized college located in Oakwood, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,060 students and an admission rate of 98%. Gainesville State College has an associate's degree program in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Clayton State University - Morrow, GA

Clayton State University, 2000 Clayton State Boulevard, Morrow, GA 30260-0285. Clayton State University is a medium sized university located in Morrow, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,056 students and an admission rate of 46%. Clayton State University has a bachelor's degree program in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist which graduated twenty-three students in 2008.


Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Associate Fellow: Your Associate Fellow certificate lets your patients know that you are an experienced, credentialed implant professional.

For more information, see the American Academy of Implant Dentistry website.

Certified Dental Technician: Certification is the process of assessing a dental technician's knowledge and applied skill level necessary to perform the tasks required of a dental technician.

For more information, see the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology website.


Dental Hygienists

Licensing agency: Georgia Board of Dentistry
Address: 237 Coliseum Drive, Room 310, Macon, GA 31217-3858

Phone: (478) 207-1680
Website: Georgia Board of Dentistry


Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia photo by Evilarry

Atlanta is located in Fulton County, Georgia. It has a population of over 537,958, which has grown by 29.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Atlanta, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Atlanta cost $173,200 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, five hundred two new homes were constructed in Atlanta, down from 1,247 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Atlanta are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 28 minutes. More than 34.6% of Atlanta residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Atlanta is 11.1%, which is greater than Georgia's average of 10.1%.

The percentage of Atlanta residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.7%, is more than both the national and state average. Aarons Tabernacle Church, Welcome Home Baptist Church and Adair Park Church are some of the churches located in Atlanta. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Atlanta is home to the Martin Luther King Junior Community Center and the Diuid Hills Golf Club as well as Alexander Park and Wesley Avenue Park. Shopping malls in the area include Rio Mall Shopping Center, Collier Heights Plaza Shopping Center and Northside Parkway Shopping Center. Visitors to Atlanta can choose from Country Inn-Stes Atl Dwntwn S, Comfort Inn and Comfort Inn Buckhead North for temporary stays in the area.