dental hygienist/RN and pay difference

  1. why is it that dental hygienists get paid so much more than rns?
    really, all they do is clean teeth. i have nothing against them at all, it's great that they are concerned for the health of peoples mouths, but come on, nurses do waaay more than that! i have a sister and cousin who are both hygienists, but i don't have the nerve to ask them this question! just curious if anyone had some logical answers.
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    About OURN83

    Joined: Jul '05; Posts: 130; Likes: 9

    19 Comments

  3. by   RazorbackRN
    Around here, they don't make more than RN's.
  4. by   suzanne4
    A dental hygienist has a four year degree and they do much more than clean teeth. Most areas the pay is similar to the RN, but again it depends on where you live and supply and demand.

    A dental assistant in many places can clean teeth.
  5. by   OURN83
    There are also associate degree hygienists.
  6. by   OURN83
    Quote from iwannabeanrn
    Around here, they don't make more than RN's.
    here in Tulsa, they make about 10-15k more a year.
  7. by   MadisonsMomRN
    My sister in law just finished college as a dental hygienist (she went to school for 2 years and has an associates degree) and she makes $6 more an hour than me:angryfire ...and she is fresh out of school. However, she WAS a dental assistant for the same dentist for a long time so that might be why!
  8. by   lindarn
    Associate Degree hygienists, are dental assistants, more like the differance between an RN, and a medical assistant or nurses aide. And in most areas, hygienists make alot more money than nurses do. It is simple supply and demand. Their are not alot of hygienists around, and nurses are a dime a dozen. All the more reason to go to a BSN as entry into practice, and limit the masses of people becoming nurses. A new grad is always 6 months away from graduation from ABC Community College.There is no reason to focus on retention when the older nurses leave, and the hospital can pay a new grad, ten dollars an hour less than the older nurse. Say it isn't so.


    Lindarn, RN, BSN CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
  9. by   nicuRN2007
    ?
    Last edit by nicuRN2007 on Feb 15, '06
  10. by   OURN83
    Quote from lindarn
    Associate Degree hygienists, are dental assistants, more like the differance between an RN, and a medical assistant or nurses aide.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
    Well I don't know how it is In Spokane.. But here there are actually hygienists with associates degrees.
  11. by   MadisonsMomRN
    My sis in law is a dental hygienist (associates degree)...she had to take two days worth of state boards to become a registered dental hygienist.
  12. by   OURN83
    Quote from lindarn
    ... and nurses are a dime a dozen.


    Lindarn, RN, BSN CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
    Well if thats the case.. Then what is this so called "Demand" thing I keep hearing about?
  13. by   nurse2be2007
    My CC offers an associates in Dental Assisting and an Associates in Dental Hygiene so no an associates degree does not equal dental assistance. At least that is the way it is here where I live. A good friend of mine went to my CC a few years back and got her associates in dental hygienist started working and then continued on to get her Bachelors. There was no difference in pay when she finished her Bac. Maybe its different in other areas of the country.
  14. by   magz80
    My cousin is a dental hygienist and she made $84,000 last year!! She's only been doing it for 2 years and has an associates degree. I know that many hygienists have a base salary plus commision. Most dental offices around my area pay $30 and hour base and anywhere from 35-45% commision. I know some areas in the country pay less, but the same holds true for nurses as well. I don't get it myself and it's very frustrating to me as a first year nursing student.

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