15 Best Dental Hygiene Schools in Illinois | Cost, Requirements, How to Apply.

Attending one of the best dental hygiene schools in Illinois benefits your dental hygiene career in more ways than you can imagine.

People often notice someone else’s teeth as one of their initial impressions. And a healthy smile is more than a friendly expression – it’s also a top indicator of overall wellness. 

As a dental hygienist, do your bit to make others feel and look their best. To achieve this dream, check out the best Dental Hygiene Schools in Illinois 2023.

Dental Hygiene Schools in Illinois have one of the best Dental Hygiene programs, programs that prepare you for what employers are looking for, with practical training so you can start your career with confidence, and a flexible schedule that works for you and makes you smile.

Dental hygienists have several opportunities in the state of Illinois. Compared to other jobs, this one offers excellent compensation and an employment outlook far superior to the average. This makes Dental Hygiene Schools in Illinois top-notch.

Are there Dental Hygiene Schools in Illinois

The City of Illinois provides dental hygienists with many options/opportunities. There are many accredited Dental Hygiene Schools in Illinois. 

Finding the top Dental Hygiene Schools in Illinois is essential if you’ve thought about a career in this field and you’re eager to start the process of receiving the necessary training.

To assist you in making better decisions regarding your future as a dental professional, we have listed the top programs in Dental Hygiene Schools in Illinois in this article and the information you need on the job market.

How Much Does Dental Hygiene Schools Cost in Illinois

The cost of Dental Hygiene Schools in Illinois differs according to the length/type of the program. Also, a public institution will be pocket friendly compared to a private school.

However, on average, Dental Hygiene Schools in Illinois’ estimated cost is  $27, 000 for the 2-year program.

A bachelor’s degree takes about four years and costs about $62,045 on average.

You can also read – Best Dental Hygiene Schools in Minnesota | Cost, Requirements, How to Apply

What are the Requirements for Dental Hygiene Schools in Illinois

The following are the requirements for Dental Hygiene Schools in Illinois, though it varies from school to school:

  • You must be a high school graduate or hold a GED.
  • You must complete college-level chemistry, biology and English courses with a minimum grade of C.
  • Entrance exams, background checks and drug screening.
  • Examinations for entry into basic health occupations (HOBET); CPR certification; faculty interviews.

You can also read – Best Dental Hygiene Schools in Maryland | Cost, Requirements, How to Apply

What are the Best Dental Hygiene Schools in Illinois?

Below are the 15 best Dental Hygiene Schools in Illinois. The Dental Hygiene program in these schools is top-notch and the best you can get in the state.

1. Fox College 

Fox college offers a 20-month accelerated associate degree program in dental hygiene. The faculty creates a program where students gain important skills that guarantee a prosperous career stint using their years of job experience. 

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After completing this course, you will be qualified to polish teeth, process dental x-rays, examine patients, assess their nutritional needs, teach them about good oral hygiene, and give local anaesthetics.

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2. Illinois Health Careers 

The school programs are short, Illinois Health Careers offer hands-on training with the latest dental technology, with real clinic environments and small class sizes all at a reasonable tuition fee.

An expert educator will guide you via a module-based program that includes practical instruction using the newest dental equipment.

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3. Lewis and Clark Community College, Godfrey, Illinois

Dental Hygiene is a two-year selective admissions program. Students must have completed an ADA-CODA Dental Assisting program to apply.

Lewis and Clark Dental Hygiene graduates have a 100% employment rate upon graduation. They are equipped to work in pediatric practices, general dentistry offices, periodontal offices, public health clinics, and hospital clinic settings.

Hygienists with experience may also work for retail businesses and educational organizations.

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4. Lake Land College 

Their hygienist’s services are sought by dentists, schools, prisons, hospitals, departments of health, and industry. The American Dental Association Commission fully accredits the Dental Hygiene program on Dental Accreditation.

The Dental Hygiene department has approved an objective formula for student selection. The formula includes achievement in prerequisite, number of completed credit hours; dental assisting experience; and grade point average. 

This formula includes achievement in prerequisite courses, the number of completed credit hours, dental or dental assisting experience, grade point average, and prior enrollment at Lake Land College.

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5. Southern Illinois University, School of Dental Medicine, Alton, Illinois

An academic division of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, located in Alton, Illinois, in the United States, is the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine.

The Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine provides exceptional value in dental education. Students benefit from:

  • The latest technology in today’s oral health care field.
  • A state-of-the-art clinic.
  • The lowest dental school tuition in Illinois.

The only dental school in Illinois that is located outside of the Chicago metropolitan area and within a 200-mile range of St. Louis is the SIU School of Dental Medicine.

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6. Illinois Central College, East Peoria, Illinois

The Commission on Dental Accreditation, a specialized American Dental Association accrediting organisation, has granted the Dental Hygiene program accreditation.

You will work directly with patients in the ICC Dental Hygiene Clinic, and enjoy working with people. You’ll learn good manual dexterity because your job will require you to use dental instruments within the patient’s mouth.

You will also learn good communication skills and a sound understanding of biology, chemistry, and mathematics.

For Dental Hygiene, a total of 24 students can be accepted into the Dental Hygiene program. This is broken down into;

  • 4 high schools in the district.
  • 14 post-high schools in the district. 
  • And 6 post-high schools outside of the district.

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7. College of DuPage

Dental hygiene students are overseen by clinical dentists and certified dental hygiene educators.

The program consists of five semesters in length. A cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 is necessary. Students can apply for obligatory state licensing after successfully completing and passing the National Dental Hygiene Examination and the Regional Board Examination.

The American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation has given the Dental Hygiene program its seal of approval and is a member of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association.

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8. William Rainey Harper College, Palatine.

A full-time, six-semester career program, Harper’s Dental Hygiene leads to an Associate in Applied Science degree. It has approval from the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation. This is a limited enrollment program.

In fall 2021, 100% of the Harper’s Dental Hygiene Program graduates passed the American Dental Association’s National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and the Commission on Dental Competency Assessment’s Clinical Board Examination.

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The next application window will open on Oct. 1, 2022, for the summer 2023 class selection.

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9. Prairie State College.

The Dental Hygiene Program at Prairie State College is an 82-credit career program with four semesters and two summer sessions that leads to an Associate in Applied Science degree.

With February 1 application deadline, 38 students are admitted each year.

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10. Parkland College, Champaign, Illinois.

The Dental Hygiene program will provide you with hands-on training in up-to-date labs, classrooms, and clinics. You must have strong interpersonal skills, good manual dexterity, and a genuine interest in a diverse population of people. 

You’ll learn to provide such clinical services as oral examinations, oral hygiene instruction, radiographs, dental cleanings, pit and fissure sealants, teeth bleaching, infection control and sterilization, and local anaesthesia and nitrous oxide sedation.

The completely recognized dental hygiene program at Parkland will get you ready for a transfer, a license exam, or whatever else you need to advance in your career.

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11. Malcolm X College, Chicago, Illinois.

The Dental Hygiene Program is 2 years. Students earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene upon completion.

The mission of the Malcolm X College Dental Hygiene Program is to educate students to provide comprehensive dental hygiene care to diverse populations using critical thinking and evidence-based decision-making.  

Dental hygiene students are exposed to bloodborne pathogens.  These include (but are not limited to) pathogenic microorganisms present in human blood and saliva and have the potential to cause diseases such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B (HBV), and Hepatitis C (HCV.

​The application cycle for Summer 2023 will open on September 19, 2022.

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12. Rock Valley College 

Admission is selective and competitive. All required documents must be submitted to the Dental Hygiene Program office for review for admission. 

Prerequisites and other crucial admissions information are covered at the dental hygiene program information sessions. You must attend a session to get an application packet for the program.

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13. Carl Sandburg College

Carl Sandburg College offers an  Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene. The program prepares students to become dental hygienists in two years (including one summer). 

The National Dental Hygiene Board Examination, the relevant clinical dental hygiene board examination, and the examination for registration as a dental assistant are all successfully prepared for by this restricted enrollment program.

Students must meet with a Dental Hygiene academic advisor to determine application eligibility before applying to the program.

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14. Lewis University 

This University is the only college in the Chicago metropolitan region that offers a dental hygiene bachelor’s degree.

Lewis University has partnered with various local colleges to offer this 2+2 Dental Hygienist Degree program.

The partnerships allow you to take advantage of the strengths and resources of both Lewis University and the excellent dental hygiene programs offered by these colleges.

The first two years of the program will be completed at Lewis University, where you will study sciences such as anatomy, physiology, microbiology and more.

At Lewis University, where you’ll spend the first two years of the program, you’ll study sciences including anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and more.

You will enroll in dental hygiene classes and begin your clinical rotation during the final two years, paying their tuition rates, at one of the following partner universities.

  • College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn
  • Parkland College in Champaign

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15. Kennedy-King College 

Kennedy-King College is part of the City Colleges of Chicago. Its CODA-accredited AAS in Dental Hygiene program is offered at its campus in the heart of Chicago’s Englewood neighbourhood.

Prerequisites for admission include 20 hours of college-level study with a grade of “C” or better in Chemistry, Biology, Microbiology and Human Diversity.

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How Much Do Dental Hygienists Make in Illinois?

In Illinois, the average dental hygienist earns $74,210 annually, or $35.68 per hour or $6,180 per month.

They take on so much responsibility and frequently treat patients on their own, dental hygienists support dentists and provide essential oral healthcare services. 

As a result, they earn significantly more money than other support positions like dental assistants. You can increase your salary by gaining experience, obtaining higher education, and working in a more affluent part of Illinois.

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How Do I Become a Dental Hygienist in Illinois? 

Dental hygienists play a key role in maintaining their clients’ oral and systemic health through treatment services and education.

To become a dental hygienist in the state of Illinois;

  • You must be a high school graduate or hold a GED,
  • You must have completed a 2-year dental hygiene program at a CODA-approved school, 
  • Hold a current CPR certificate, 
  • Have passed the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination 
  • And completed a clinical exam at any of the Central Regional Dental Testing Service, Inc. (CRDTS), the Southern Regional Testing Agency, Inc. (SRTA), the Western Regional Examining Board (WREB), or the North East Regional Board (NERB).

Also read – Best Dental Hygiene Schools in New York | Cost, Requirements, How to Apply

Best Paying Dental Hygiene Jobs in Illinois with Salary 

Below are the top companies with Dental Hygiene Jobs in Illinois and their salaries:

Dupage County Health Department 

Position: Dental Hygienist 

Salary: $32K – $48K  per annum

The University of Chicago

Position: Dental Hygienist

Salary: $76K – $109K  per annum

Smalltown Dental 

Position: Pediatric Dental Hygienist

Salary: $66K – $94K per annum

Miles of Smiles, Ltd

Position: Dental Hygienist

Salary: $31 – $50 Per Hour

Arch Dental Group

Position: Registered Dental Hygienist

Salary: $45 – $55 Per Hour

Dr Michael Hiner DDS

Position: Dental Hygienist

Salary: $30 – $55 Per Hour.

Chestnut Health Systems

Position: Dental Hygienist / Full-Time

Salary: $51K – $72K 

United Dental Partners

Position: Dental Hygienist – Full Time

Salary: $39 – $52 Per Hour

MINT dentistry

Position: Dental Hygienist

Salary: $57 per hour 

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Frequently Ask Questions

How long does it take to become a dental hygienist in Illinois?

Dental hygiene programs must be completed in a minimum of two years, however, in Illinois, most programs last five semesters, or 2.5 years. 

What is the difference between Dental Hygienist and Dentist?

Dental hygienists and dentists both help patients achieve better teeth and gums. Dental hygienists focus on cleaning teeth, while dentists supervise dental hygienists and provide treatment to patients relating to their teeth, gums, and mouth.

Does the Dental Hygienists license expire?

Licenses expire after 3 years. You must submit a renewal application to renew it.

Are there part-time Dental Hygienist jobs?

There are both part-time and full-time Dental Hygienist jobs, depending on the company. 

Conclusion

Employment of dental hygienists is projected to grow 6% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. 

The demand for dental services is expected to increase as the population ages and research continues linking oral health to overall health.

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