Best Dental Hygiene Schools in New York – 2024

Written By: Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH

Although dental hygienists in New York work under the general supervision of a dentist, that dentist doesn’t have to be onsite overseeing the services a hygienist is providing. In fact, you will find dental hygienists in the Empire State providing preventative dentistry services in a variety of settings outside the dentist’s office such as public and private schools, Head Start programs, mobile community clinics, hospitals, and event patient homes. The collaborative practice arrangements between dentists and hygienists usually take the form of a written agreement. If dental hygiene is the right career choice for you, we’ve put together this list of the best dental hygiene programs in New York to help you pick a school that meets your needs.


What Skills and Knowledge will I Gain from a Dental Hygiene Program?

Dental hygienists are experts at preventative dentistry. In addition to imparting a strong foundation in basic sciences such as chemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology, dental hygiene schools in NY teach specialized skills such as how to remove plaque and calculus from teeth, remove stains from teeth, examine the mouth and gums for evidence of diseases such as gingivitis and oral cancer, and apply cavity-preventing agents such as fluoride treatments. Some programs also teach hygienists how to take dental imaging studies and administer numbing agents and nitrous oxide. Aspiring dental hygienists learn these skills in a safe clinical lab environment before they begin the clinical rotations where they will be working with actual patients.

Dental Hygiene Program Length & Cost in New York

There are three types of dental hygiene education programs in New York State, and the costs and lengths of time associated with each educational track vary. If you become a dental hygienist by obtaining an associate degree at a community college or a technical health professions college, you’ll spend between 20 and 30 months, and between $5,190 and $57,590 pursuing your degree. Some four-year colleges also offer a dental hygienist program that students typically enter after completing two years of general education requirements; such programs begin at $24,030 if you’re a New York State resident attending a school that’s partly funded with New York State tax dollars and can cost as much as $105,340 if you’re attending a private college or university. A Master’s of Dental Hygiene degree will prepare you for a career in research or teaching; expect to spend an additional one to two years in school and between $31,320 and $96,710 on tuition.

Type of Program Length Cost
Associate Degree20 - 30 Months$5,190 - $57,590
Bachelor's Degree4 - years$24,030 - $105,340
Master's DegreeBetween 1 and 2 years$31,320 - $96,710


(Based on our Ranking Methodology, below are the 7 best Dental Hygiene programs in New York. The list includes both campus-based and online programs.)

1) New York University, New York

The dental hygiene program at NYU’s College of Dentistry provides students an opportunity to learn by being part of an academic environment that includes acclaimed faculty from various specialty dentistry areas. In-depth classroom instruction is supported by extensive clinical rotations where students are exposed to specialty dental procedures.

NYU offers four options for aspiring dental hygienists-

• An associate degree with a fast track schedule that can be completed in as little 17 months.
• If you are working full-time an associate with evening classes that takes approximately 3.5 years to complete.
• A traditional four-year bachelor’s.
• A bachelor’s that is typically meant for students who have already completed their associate degree in dental hygiene.

*While the associate degree educates you with all the professional skills and knowledge required to practice as a dental hygienist, the bachelor’s further broadens your knowledge by including courses in liberal arts as well.

2) Farmingdale State College, Farmingdale

The dental hygiene career is highly in demand and offers an array of employment options. One of the top dental hygiene schools in New York as well as in the nation, Farmingdale State College provides students with an environment of learning and discovery. The college offers exceptional internships and professional growth opportunities through its many industry partnerships.

You can enter the dental hygiene field by either completing an associate or bachelor’s degree, offered by the college. While the former includes general education, biomedical and oral courses, the latter additionally includes courses that prepare you for a career in dental hygiene teaching and research. Both the programs prepare you to take the Dental Hygiene National examination as well as certification in the administration of local infiltration anesthesia and nitrous oxide. To hone professional skills, you will go through a clinical practicum that is planned according to your individualized career goals in your specific topic of interest.

3) Hudson Valley Community College, Troy

Studying dental hygiene at Hudson Valley Community College, comes with an added advantage of practicing clinical skills at Dr. Robert H. Hill II Dental Hygiene Clinic, one of the largest facilities in northeast region. Furthermore, with a faculty that comprises awardees of excellence in teaching, students are effectively nurtured to reach their academic goals.

To become a dental hygienist in New York, the college offers an A.A.S degree. The coursework beginning in fall, with a full-time schedule, requires considerable dedication of study-time. As a pre-requisite, it is recommended that you complete courses in algebra, chemistry and biology with a minimum “C” grade. Graduation requires completing the 70-credit coursework that gets you ready to take the licensure exam and thereafter work as licensed dental hygienist.

4) Erie Community College, Buffalo

Erie Community College offers intensive training in allied dental careers that prepare students to face the growing challenges of oral patient care. Armed with an experienced faculty, students are taught to be life-long learners by going through a learning process that is a fine blend of class work, lab and clinical experiences.

This associate degree takes two years to complete. The 69-credit coursework includes courses in oral health, anatomy, dental radiography, general psychology, periodontology, microbiology, dental materials, pharmacology, pathology, community dental health and public speaking. The well-rounded curriculum prepares you to take up positions as a dental hygienist in varied settings such as dental clinics, hospitals and perform functions that include patient assessment, removing plaque and applying chemotherapeutic agents to treat dental diseases. The college is highly selective in its admission process and prior to applying recommends students to complete courses in microbiology, oral communication, psychology, sociology with a minimum grade of “C.”

5) Monroe Community College, Rochester

Since 1965 Monroe Community College has had 30 to 40 dental hygiene students successfully graduate each year with employment ready skills. These graduates are providing competent patient care in dental clinics, hospitals and community health agencies across the state.

This two-year dental hygienist program in NY is a fine blend of liberal arts, dental science and clinical experience that will train you take up entry level positions. The clinical training part of your curriculum will be in a proper dental setting, where you will gain hands-on learning experience. Upon completion of the coursework, you will be qualified to take the national board examination. To be eligible for this program the college requires you to complete courses in Math, biology and chemistry.

6) CUNY New York City College of Technology, Brooklyn

CUNY New York City College of Technology is armed with an accomplished faculty that teaches students to be lifelong learners. Additionally, students benefit from its industry affiliations at local, state and national level.

The college offers an associate with a major in Dental Hygiene that combines theory, laboratory and clinical experiences to prepare students to work in private dental practices, public and private health agencies, hospitals and industrial clinics. To train for real world practice, you will go through extensive training at the college’s dental hygiene clinic before you experience hands–on practice experiences at its partner clinical sites. The courses you will complete include human anatomy and physiology, mathematical and quantitative reasoning, principles of dental hygiene, oral anatomy, psychology, public speaking, periodontics, dental radiology, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, dental materials, nutrition and public health.

7) Eugenio Maria De Hostos Community College, Bronx

Eugenio Maria De Hostos Community serves a diverse student population that includes Hispanics and African Americans. Since its inception in 1968, the college has rapidly evolved in terms of expanding facilities and a curriculum that is relevant and apt for the dynamic healthcare field.

This program is an associate that comprises of 41 credits in dental hygiene courses and 29 credits in liberal art courses. You can complete these courses within 2.5 years, including one summer session. The courses you take will make you proficient in oral anatomy and physiology, clinical dental hygiene, dental radiology, oral microbiology, periodontology, community dental health, pharmacology and procedures concerning eight dental specialties.


Dental Hygienist Career Information For New York - 2024

How Many Dental Hygienists are Currently Employed in NY?


Where do Dental Hygienists Work in New York?

Although dental hygienists in New York can provide direct services to patients without physical proximity to a dentist, they cannot provide services without a dentist’s referral, and that dentist must be available for consultation when the service is being rendered. Consequently, nearly 13,500 dental hygienists in the Empire State are affiliated with a dental practice. Slightly more than 150 dental hygienists work with government agencies, usually providing dental prophylaxis at community clinics. The same number of hygienists works as part of a physician’s practice.

IndustryNumber of Dental Hygienists
Offices of Dentists12,650
Offices of Physicians130

What is the Average Salary of a Dental Hygienist in New York?

The average dental hygienist salary in New York is $84,860 annually. Many dentists hire hygienists on a part-time basis, and it’s not uncommon to see a single hygienist working two separate jobs to make up a 40-hour work week. Benefits packages vary by employer; there’s no standard for health care coverage, vacation time or other paid leave, and, of course, if a hygienist works 20 hours a week or fewer, he or she may not be eligible for benefits.

Type Salary
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Salary Based on Years of Experience

Years of Experience Hourly Monthly Annual
Less than 1 year (Starting) $30.16 $5,230 $62,730
1-4 years $36.40 $6,310 $75,720
5-9 years $42.80 $7,420 $89,030
10-19 years $46.68 $8,090 $97,100
20 years or more $49.72 $8,620 $103,420
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Dental Hygienist Average Salary Comparison: New York vs. National

In New York, the average salary for dental hygienists is $84,860, which is the same as the national average. Therefore, there is no difference in salary between New York and the national average for dental hygienists. However, it is worth noting that the intense competition for their services within the New York City metropolitan region may impact their earnings despite the comparable average salary.

New York National Difference
Number %
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Job Outlook

The demand for dental hygienists in the Empire State is expected to grow by more than 18 percent by the year 2030. Part of this is due to the fact that the advances in dentistry mean that younger generations have better teeth than their parents’ generation had. For many of these clients, a visit to the dentist is primarily a visit to get their teeth cleaned, and that job is done by a dental hygienist.

Employment Employment Growth (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number Percent
(Source: careeronestop)

Annual Job Openings

New Replacement Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
(Source: careeronestop)

Metro Wise Employment & Salary Data

New York State is really two states: New York City and everyplace else. More than 13,000 dental hygienists work in the New York City metropolitan area, which includes the five boroughs as well as the commuter cities of Newark and Jersey City in New Jersey. Not surprisingly, this is also where hygienists command their highest salaries in the Empire State. New York City teems with professionals who know they have to look their best in order to get ahead, so healthy white teeth are a necessity. The numbers of senior citizens in the Big Apple are also growing, and as members of the Baby Boomer generation, these seniors are interested in keeping their natural teeth for as long as possible.

Upstate New York is considerably less affluent than the city. Individuals may have financial constraints that keep them for paying out of pocket for health care services like dentistry even when those services are beneficial. Accordingly, there are far fewer hygienists in other Empire State cities, and their salaries are markedly less.

Metro Employment Average Salary
Hourly Monthly Annual
New York-Newark-Jersey City 13,270 $44.45 $7,700 $92,450
Rochester 990 $35.71 $6,190 $74,280
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls 920 $32.53 $5,640 $67,660
Albany-Schenectady-Troy 630 $37.10 $6,430 $77,160
Syracuse 500 $36.03 $6,250 $74,940
Binghamton 200 $33.52 $5,810 $69,720
Utica-Rome 170 $37.23 $6,450 $77,440
Ithaca 80 $38.85 $6,730 $80,800
Kingston 80 $38.41 $6,660 $79,900
Watertown-Fort Drum 80 $34.83 $6,040 $72,440
Elmira 60 $33.31 $5,770 $69,290
Glens Falls 60 $35.44 $6,140 $73,710
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Useful Dental Hygienist Organizations & Associations in New York

New York Dental Hygienists' Association

The New York Dental Hygienists’ Association sponsors a yearly Empire Conference that provides continuing education credits as well as insights on emerging oral health products, services, and technology.

Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH
Pattie Trumble is a nurse who worked in both California and New York for many years as an emergency room nurse. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Associate Degree in Nursing from the Samuel Merritt Hospital School of Nursing. After 10 years of providing direct care, she went back to school and earned concurrent Master’s degrees in both public policy and public health from the University of California, Berkeley. Thereafter, she worked for various public health agencies in California at both the community and state levels providing economic and legislative analysis.

Dental Hygiene Schools in other States

  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Washington