Dental Hygiene


A dental hygienist is a licensed oral health professional who promotes oral health by providing education and therapeutic services. A career in Dental Hygiene provides entry into a variety of professional opportunities including clinician, educator, administrator, public health worker, government worker, researcher and other health care providers.

CEI offers dental hygiene students a comprehensive, affordable, high-quality education taught by expert healthcare providers with advanced degrees. Our small class sizes allow students to engage in personalized educational experiences through individual attention and peer collaboration, and our staff of knowledgeable dental hygienists and dentists supervise students in our innovative, modern, on-site dental hygiene clinic equipped with current technology.

Important Program Information

We are currently in the process of working toward accreditating our new Dental Hygiene program. We cannot enroll our first cohort until this is complete. Our estimated start date for the professional program is Fall 2025. We encourage potential applicants to begin their pre-requisites. We will post updates and application announcements as they become available.

Job Opportunities for A Dental Hygienist

  • Registered Dental Hygienist: Treatment provider for routine patient care. Treatment provider for beginning to advanced stages of periodontal disease.
  • Periodontal Maintenance Specialist: Work in a periodontal specialist practice.
  • Dental Hygiene Educator: With a Bachelor or Masters Degree, perform dental hygiene classroom lecture or oversee clinical instruction with students.
  • Dental Research and Development: Work in development and research of new dental products for hygiene schools and dental practices.
  • Dental Instrument and Supplies: Work for manufactures of hygiene instruments and supplies.

Physical Demands

Physical working demands of a dental hygienist include manual dexterity, stamina and concentration. Educational demands are high. Graduation from a dental hygiene school does not guarantee the chance to practice dental hygiene. After graduation a dental hygienist must pass an 8 hour written National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE), a CDCA-WREB Clinical Board Examination (scaling a quadrant of calculus to remove tarter off of a live patient or manikin teeth), and a written Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). Written and clinical Anesthesia examination (clinical exam is a demonstration of an injection on a live patient). After successfully passing these examinations a candidate is eligible to take the Jurisprudence test, this is the ethics and laws that pertain to each state.

How Long Will it Take?

Associate of Applied Science (AAS)

  • 1 year of full-time pre-requisite courses
  • 4 full-time semesters in the professional program
    • No summer semesters in the professional program

Working Conditions

The working conditions are good, hours are flexible. The environment is a clean and well designed with quality equipment and technology available.

Career and Salary

Job Outlook

Most projections for a dental hygienist in the profession are that there is a shortage and will continue to be shortages for dental hygienists for several years to come, as long as periodontal disease goes untreated. It is a job that can be practiced anywhere in the U.S. Some positions come with benefits and bonus systems.

How much do our graduates make?

The average Dental Hygienist salary in Idaho is $75,117 as of December 27, 2022, but the range typically falls between $65,230 and $85,414. Source

Rebecca Killion
Senior Coordinator
Health & Human Services
(208) 535-5437

(208) 524-3000 ext. 4