Best Dental Hygiene Schools in Texas – 2024

Written By: Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH

One of the best career opportunities for someone who wants to help others and promote outstanding health involves becoming a dental hygienist, and this is especially true in Texas. There are thousands of dental hygienists across the state, and the majority enjoy incredible job satisfaction. You will have an incredible salary and enjoy better-than-average job security when you choose this career path, and below, you will discover the best dental hygiene schools in Texas and career outlook details to help you make better decisions about your future education and your career.


Things to Keep in Mind While Selecting a Dental Assisting School in the Lone Star State?

One of the most important decisions you can make involves choosing the school where you will earn the education required to work as a dental hygienist. Though there are dozens upon dozens of programs across the vast state of Texas, not all of them provide you with the quality education that best prepares you for your career. It is important that you pick a school that offers you everything you need to succeed, whether that involves flexibility in your course schedule, access to online courses, clinicals in locations that do not require long commutes, and more. Be very choosy when picking a dental hygiene program in TX, and you are sure to see excellent results.

Dental Hygiene Program Length & Cost in Texas

Cost and time are two things that you should take into a great deal of consideration before making your school selection. You can work as a dental hygienist with an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree, and each one has its pros and cons. You will spend at least 20 months studying, and depending on the degree, you may spend upwards of six years in school. Costs range from $3450 to nearly $150,000 in total depending on the educational path you choose.

Type of Program Length Cost
Associate Degree20 - 30 Months$3,540 - $39,280
Bachelor's Degree4 - years$16,390 - $71,850
Master's DegreeBetween 1 and 2 years$21,360 - $65,960


(Based on our Ranking Methodology, below are the 15 best Dental Hygiene programs in Texas. The list includes both campus-based and online programs.)

1) Texas A&M University, College Station

Located amidst the entertainment, cultural, and educational hub in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Texas A&M University’s dental school offers students umpteen opportunities to explore the locality for leisure and network with students from other colleges. Additionally, being a large dental school, students benefit from the learning that takes place by collaborating with students from other specialties.

The college offers a two-year bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. To be eligible for this program you must complete 60 credits in pre-requisite courses that include biology, nutrition, chemistry, English, psychology, sociology, and communication with a minimum grade “C.” The program is available as a full-time option, nevertheless for those with additional responsibilities; the college offers a part-time schedule in the first year, extending it by one more year. The senior year, however, remains a full-time schedule, making the total program duration three years for part-timers. Upon graduation, you will be prepared to explore job opportunities in teaching, administration and public health. Some graduates even go on to pursue a master’s degree at the university with a focus in dental hygiene.

2) The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston

The University of Texas Health Science Center houses a dynamic faculty within its state-of-the-art Texas Medical Center. Dental hygiene students benefit from the valuable exchange of ideas with undergraduate and postgraduate students of various dental specialties.

The University of Texas Health Science Center offers a number of options for those who want to pursue a career in dental hygiene.

BSDH Program: This is a two-year full-time bachelor’s program that requires you to complete 62 credits in pre-requisite courses. These courses must be completed before entering the program with a minimum grade “C.” You can complete these courses from any accredited college. Once accepted, the dental hygiene coursework will train you to work as an entry-level dental hygienist in private dental offices, government hospitals, education, and dental product companies.

Post-Degree Certificate in Dental Hygiene: This program offers the same two-year coursework as above to those who hold either an associate, bachelor’s or higher in any other field and are interested in becoming a dental hygienist. Before entering this program, you must complete a 34-credit pre-requisite coursework. This is a full-time program and leads to a Certificate in Dental Hygiene. For both the above programs, at least 20 hours of observation or shadowing under a registered dental hygienist is required to be eligible.

RDH-to-BSDH Program: This program is designed for registered dental hygienists who hold either a certificate or an associate and are keen on advancing their professional knowledge. The coursework requires completion of 23 credits and offers all the courses online. Additionally, a seven-credit practicum in a real-world setting must be completed to earn your degree.

3) Texas State Technical College, Harlingen

Texas State Technical College offers the dental hygiene program at its Harlingen campus. The faculty and staff here, strive to prepare students with job-ready skills and initiate personal and professional developmental programs, where they are encouraged to participate and learn vital skills.

This dental hygiene course in Texas is a two-year program that leads to an Associate of Applied Science. To be eligible for this program you must complete the pre-requisite coursework in general psychology, sociology, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, English and chemistry. Once enrolled, you will complete the dental hygiene coursework that teaches you the technical and clinical skills required to offer oral hygiene services to the public. Upon graduation, you will be able to work as an entry-level dental hygienist in varied settings such as dental offices, hospitals, and community health centers.

4) Texas Woman's University, Denton

Texas Woman’s University prepares dental hygiene graduates for varied employment options such as patient care, public health, research, education and entrepreneurship.

This dental hygiene school in TX offers a number of flexible program options.

Pre-Dental Hygiene: This program will prepare you for a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. It entails completing 60 credits in pre-requisite courses that usually take two years to complete. You can choose to complete these courses either on-campus or online. Ensure a minimum GPA of 3.5 or higher to enhance your chances of admission into the bachelor’s program.

Professional Entry-Level: This is a two-year program that leads to a bachelor’s degree. To be eligible for this program you must complete the pre-dental coursework before beginning the first semester. This is a rigorous full-time program that takes you through didactic teaching, lab learning, and clinical training. Upon completion, you will gain the knowledge and skills to explore positions in teaching, research, and patient care.

RDH-to-BSDH: This program is designed for registered dental hygienists who are keen on advancing their education. The program is offered completely online with no clinical requirement. Although 120 credits are required for a bachelor’s degree, a maximum of these, up to 90 can be transferred from your previous education. This leaves 30-credit coursework to be completed to earn this degree.

Dual-Enrollment Dental Hygiene: This program that leads to a bachelor’s in dental hygiene is meant for those enrolled in an associate dental hygiene program at any of the university’s partnering colleges. To be eligible for this program, you must complete the associate degree coursework with a minimum grade “C” in all the dental hygiene courses. All the courses in this program are offered online, so you enjoy considerable flexibility with this dual degree program.

MS in Health Studies - Dental Hygiene Focus: If you have completed a bachelor’s in dental hygiene and are seeking higher positions in education and public health, then this 36-credit master’s coursework can greatly help brighten your career prospects.

5) Pima Medical Institute, Houston

Pima Medical Institute offers job ready dental hygiene training that prepares you for this challenging career. The training comes with an externship opportunity at varied settings, such as hospitals and dental clinics. This learning experience is valuable as you work under professionals, developing work ethics, all this while building up on your professional network.

The college offers a two-year associate degree program that thoroughly prepares you with skills and knowledge to perform entry-level functions such as examination and evaluation of a patient, cleaning and polishing teeth, dental radiography, and patient management in a variety of settings. The coursework, a total of 90 credits strengthens your communication and critical thinking skills. It spans across six semesters and emphasizes on clinical training, having incorporated 780 clock hours in experiential learning into the curriculum.

This program can also be used as a pathway to the Online Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration degree program that prepares you for leadership positions in health care.

6) Concorde Career College, Dallas & San Antonio

Concorde Career College trains dental hygiene students with a quality education that translates into employment, soon after graduation. To gain job-ready skills students undergo clinical training at various affiliated sites.

This dental hygiene program in Texas is an accelerated associate degree that takes just 17 months to complete. The coursework includes components of biomedical sciences, behavioral sciences, and social sciences along with dental hygiene courses. This provides for a well-rounded education and enhances your critical thinking, decision making, and communication skills, helping you provide competent patient care. Some of the courses you will take include oral histology, dental anatomy, dental radiography, periodontology, dental pharmacology, nutrition, dental laws and ethics, and dental office management.

7) Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls

Midwestern State University offers dental hygiene education at its Gaines Clinic. Here you work with diverse patients and gain the much-needed hands-on experience.

The college offers a bachelor’s degree that will take you two years to complete. The pre-requisite and basic core courses required before starting with your two-year dental hygiene coursework can be completed, either at Midwestern or any other accredited college of your choice. This program admits 18 students each year who start their coursework in fall and progress through the two years together. Graduation requires a total completion of 120 credits, out of which 55 are in pre-requisite, and basic core courses and 65 credits are in the dental hygiene courses.

8) Amarillo College, Amarillo

Amarillo College offers quality dental hygiene education at its modern facility in Jones Hall. Its on-campus dental clinic provides dental services to patients from the local community for ten months in a year. Students benefit from this experience by practicing live on patients, thereby enhancing professional skills.

To become a dental hygienist in TX, you can consider this associate degree program, with which you can enter the workforce in two years. To be eligible for this program you must complete pre-requisite courses in anatomy, physiology, psychology, microbiology, and English with a minimum grade “C.” Upon acceptance into the program, you will complete courses in communication, oral anatomy and histology, nutrition, dental materials, dental pharmacology, oral and general pathology, dental radiology, and community dentistry.

9) Lamar Institute of Technology, Beaumont

Lamar Institute of Technology facilitates quality dental hygiene education with its experienced and dedicated faculty. The college provides a safe environment with the latest lab facilities where students sharpen clinical skills. Additionally, with its on-campus dental clinic, students are offered the opportunity to serve the community while offering subsidized dental services.

The college offers an associate in dental hygiene that prepares you for the state and national licensing exams and employment in dental offices, hospitals, public health departments, and schools. During the two years, you will spend completing this coursework, you will learn to assess and evaluate a patient’s oral health, use preventive dental treatments such as applying fluoride and sealants, processing dental x-rays and perform cancer screenings of the neck and the head. To graduate you must complete 68 credits with a minimum grade “C.”

10) Coastal Bend College, Beeville

Coastal Bend College serves a diverse student population to become proficient healthcare professionals. Graduates of the dental hygiene program are known to have performed exceedingly well on the national and state licensing exams. The faculty regularly liaises with dental professionals to keep the curriculum updated.

This associate in dental hygiene requires completion of 68 credits. To be eligible for the program, the college requires you to complete pre-requisite courses in anatomy, physiology, and chemistry, with a minimum grade “C.” Students who complete the general education and science courses before starting the first semester can allot more time for the dental hygiene coursework and usually achieve a positive academic outcome. Upon completion of this program, you will be able to work as an entry-level dental hygienist at an array of work settings.

11) Howard College, Big Spring

Howard College’s dental hygiene faculty aims at helping each student achieve their academic and career goals. The curriculum is designed with a focus to enable students to think critically and enter the workforce with confidence.

This dental hygiene training offered by the college is an associate degree that takes about two years to complete. The dental hygiene part of the curriculum is intensive, and it is recommended that you complete the general education and science courses before starting these courses. Some of the courses that you take are oral anatomy, dental radiology, dental nutrition, preventive dental hygiene, dental materials, periodontology, community dentistry, and dental pharmacology. You must complete all these courses with a minimum grade “C.” to earn your degree. Admission into this program is competitive, so ensure you score a minimum college GPA of 2.5 and gain some work experience in a dental office to enhance your chances of acceptance.

12) El Paso Community College, El Paso

El Paso Community College provides a conducive learning environment with state-of-the-art facilities and small-sized classes that help dental hygiene students achieve their personal academic and career goals.

The dental hygiene program offered by the college is an associate that can be completed in two years. The curriculum combines biological and dental sciences with dental hygiene courses. You will learn to provide preventive oral services to patients that include educating patients about good oral hygiene and nutrition, cleaning of teeth and removal of plaque, application of sealants and fluoride to prevent decay and processing and evaluating dental x-rays. The program begins every fall and admits a maximum of 18 students. Upon completion of the program, you will be eligible to take the national and state licensing exams.

13) Tarrant County College, Fort Worth

Tarrant County College’s warm and close-knit environment nurtures each dental hygiene student’s individual career aspirations. Its dedicated faculty designs a curriculum that incorporates broad topics, thereby creating proficient graduates who are ready to face real-world challenges.

You can enter the workforce with this associate degree in dental hygiene that takes two years to complete. Starting in fall, it is available on a full-time basis, leaving you with hardly any time for other commitments. Admissions are competitive, and to increase your odds of getting in, a GPA of 3.5 is recommended. After successfully completing the 68-credit curriculum you will be eligible to take the national and state licensing exams.

14) Lone Star College, Kingwood

Lone Star College’s dental hygiene education stresses on clinical practice, helping students to hone their technical and clinical skills before they start with their first job. The state-of-the-art facility provides students with easy access to digital radiography, office management software, and ultrasound technology.

The college offers an associate degree in dental hygiene that requires 68 credits to graduate. To be eligible for this program you must complete 14-credit coursework in chemistry, composition, human anatomy and physiology, and principles of sociology.

Lone Star also offers a dual enrollment program in collaboration with Texas Woman’s University. It allows dental hygiene students to take online courses through the TWU and earn a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene while completing their associate degree at Lone Star. This way, at the end of two years you will graduate with two degrees.

15) Del Mar College, Corpus Christi

Del Mar College’s dental hygiene graduates develop job-ready skills with the extensive lab and clinical training they go through.
The faculty constantly strives to keep the curriculum and teaching pedagogy relevant to the changing trends in the dental industry.

The college’s dental hygiene course takes four semesters to complete. To graduate you must complete the 68-credit coursework that includes courses in biological, behavioral and dental sciences. This well-rounded curriculum trains you with entry-level skills required of a dental hygienist to promote oral health and hygiene. The first-year entails practicing professional skills on fellow students and dental mannequins. After going through ample practice sessions, students perform dental hygiene procedures on patients at the free dental clinic at Del Mar College. These treatments are provided under the supervision of experienced faculty.


Dental Hygienist Career Information For Texas - 2024

How Many Dental Hygienists are Currently Employed in TX?


Where do Dental Hygienists Work in Texas?

More than 94% of all the dental hygienist in the state of Texas work in dentists’ offices, including private practices and shared practices. The other 6% work in doctors’ offices or for the local, state, or federal government. In dentists’ offices, you will provide a wide variety of services to your patients, including cleanings and oral hygiene education. If you work for the local government, you may work in a local health department, a prison system, or a school. In a physician’s office, you will also provide the same services as in a dentist’s office, but in a different environment. This is ideal for patients who come to one facility to get all the care they need, and it is something that more clinics across Texas are beginning to offer.

IndustryNumber of Dental Hygienists
Offices of Dentists10,590
Offices of Physicians110

What is the Average Salary of a Dental Hygienist in Texas?

Dental hygienists in Texas earn an average annual salary of $79,690 a year, which is equal to about $38.31 an hour or $6,640 a month. This salary can be influenced by several factors, and of these, education and experience play the biggest roles. The more experience you have working as a dental hygienist within the state of TX, the more you can earn. Your dental hygienist salary in TX will be larger if you have a bachelor’s or master’s degree as opposed to an associate’s degree, as well, so be sure to keep that in mind.

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) $31.93 $5,540 $66,420
1-4 years $36.90 $6,400 $76,750
5-9 years $38.30 $6,640 $79,660
10-19 years $42.43 $7,350 $88,250
20 years or more $44.40 $7,700 $92,350
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Dental Hygienist Average Salary Comparison: Texas vs. National

The average annual salary for TX-based dental hygienists is 6.09% lower than the national average. In Texas, dental hygienists make $79,690, while nationally the average salary stands at $84,860.

Texas National Difference
Number %
$79,690$84,860 -$5,170-6.09%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Job Outlook

The Texas population continues to grow rapidly, and because of this, more and more health professionals will be required to provide outstanding care to patients. What’s more, Texas residents now have access to better and more affordable dental insurance than ever before, which is also driving the demand for dental care. As a result, between the years of 2020 and 2030, the employment of dental hygienists across the state is slated to grow by 31.69%. Some 4,190 new positions will become available during this timeframe.

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

Another crucial factor for you to consider is the metro area you choose to work in. Depending on the city, your salary could fluctuate by $20,000 a year or more. As an example, if you work in the Corpus Christi metro, which is one of the less affluent metropolitan areas in TX, your average annual salary will top out at just under $77,950. On the other hand, if you go to work in the Dallas metro, which is known for its more affluent neighborhoods and suburbs, you can earn more than $81,000 a year on average.

Though a significantly high salary may seem amazing, it is important to remember that in places with high salaries like this, job opportunities are typically limited. It is important for you to choose a metro that offers you an acceptable commute, several unique job opportunities and room for growth, and a salary that best suits your needs. One of the best and most popular work locations in TX is Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington. In fact, about 40% of the state’s dental hygienists work in this metro, and they earn an average annual salary of $81,870 – well above the national average.

Metro Employment Average Salary
Hourly Monthly Annual
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 3,370 $39.36 $6,820 $81,870
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land 1,960 $38.21 $6,620 $79,470
Austin-Round Rock 1,320 $39.97 $6,930 $83,130
San Antonio-New Braunfels 1,010 $38.41 $6,660 $79,890
El Paso 300 $34.20 $5,930 $71,140
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission 240 $34.80 $6,030 $72,390
Corpus Christi 160 $37.48 $6,500 $77,950
Beaumont-Port Arthur 150 $38.18 $6,620 $79,420
Killeen-Temple 150 $37.59 $6,520 $78,190
Lubbock 150 $36.70 $6,360 $76,340
Brownsville-Harlingen 140 $33.82 $5,860 $70,340
Tyler 140 $36.47 $6,320 $75,850
Amarillo 130 $37.12 $6,430 $77,210
College Station-Bryan 130 $36.92 $6,400 $76,800
Waco 120 $37.34 $6,470 $77,670
Longview 110 $35.45 $6,140 $73,730
Abilene 80 $36.67 $6,360 $76,280
Laredo 80 $34.88 $6,050 $72,550
Midland 80 $39.97 $6,930 $83,130
Sherman-Denison 80 $38.03 $6,590 $79,110
Odessa 60 $40.19 $6,970 $83,590
San Angelo 60 $36.49 $6,320 $75,890
Texarkana 60 $35.56 $6,160 $73,960
Wichita Falls 60 $37.32 $6,470 $77,620
Victoria 40 $37.35 $6,470 $77,680
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Useful Dental Hygienist Organizations & Associations in Texas

Texas Dental Hygienists' Association (TDHA)

The Texas Dental Hygienists’ Association, or TDHA, is made up of licensed dental hygienists who serve the citizens of the state by providing them with outstanding dental health services. They are dedicated to preventing disease and helping Texans maintain their good oral health. Membership is optional but comes with numerous benefits, including advocacy and representation at the federal, state, and local levels. Membership gives you access to the annual conference, as well, and anyone can access the website to learn more about legislative updates that affect dental hygienists in TX.

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
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Washington