is dental hygiene a stem major? (solved)

unfortunately, dental hygiene is not a stem major and in this post, you were going to know how and why. In addition, the relevant or alternative career to take if you want to become a stem student. So keeps reading until the end to know the details.

Is dental hygiene a stem major?

All subjects that belong to Dentistry including Dental hygiene are not considered stem occupations regardless of the American Dental Association force and revendications to include Dentistry in the stem occupations.

But even if Dentistry get included in stem occupation dental hygienist is going to be vulnerable. Because dentists normally are doctors but dental hygienists are not they are just assistants.

 That being said This occupation doesn’t involve a lot of Science and Mathematics Like Dentistry PHD. So this is maybe creating some problems for this occupation. But if you don’t know what dental hygienists do. we’re going to explain that then a few paragraphs below.

So normally dental hygienist is an assistant of a dentist, the principal doctor that operates patients’ teeth,  while a dental hygienist helps him in this multiple tasks for instance:

1 – The first thing that a dental hygienist do is to review the dental health history of a patient. That’s being said the all personal health information of a patient, and the previews of Dentistry operations he made before taking a treatment.

2 – The second operation that dental hygiene do is to clean your mouth, especially your teeth from the residues of the Dentistry operations produce.  To clarify, when a dentist cleans teeth from decay Dental, a hygienist uses a specific aspirator that cleans all this residue so the patient doesn’t swallow.

3 – The three principal operations that you might be familiar with and the funniest thing is to keep your mount open.

So now let’s go to understand why it is difficult to consider dental hygiene as a stem major.

Why is Dental  hygiene not a stem major

The simple reason is that dental hygiene doesn’t involve science, engineering, technology, and mathematics combined.

 to accept dental agency hygiene as a stem occupation it must respond to these specifics questions by yes:

  • is dental hygiene a science
  • Is dental hygiene an engineering field
  • Is dental hygiene a technology field
  • is dental hgiene involfing math 

We’re going to try to respond to each of these questions to discover why dental hygiene is not a stem occupation.

1 – is dental hygiene a science

As a philosophic interception, is really hard to consider dental hygienists as a science. In other words, is a combination between these different scientific sectors or branches that are:

  •  Anatomy
  •  anatomy
  •  Material Science
  •  pharmacology
  •  radiography
  •  nutrition and clinical operations 

So it is not an independent science like biology science or physics science, it’s a group combination of other science occupations which makes it vulnerable to be considered as a stem occupation.

 For this reason, we find that dentistry is more close to being a science field than dental hygiene.  But actually and unfortunately, both occupations are not yet approved to be in the stem group careers.

Is dental hygiene a technology field

Dental hygiene is not a technology field it is right that involve and use some technology tools. But it is just a consumer not an interested contributor like other occupations such as biomedical chemical or computer engineering.

In other words, biomedical Engineers or computer Engineers create new technologies or machines that humans can use in their daily life while dental hygiene is a service occupation.

They are just consuming technology tools such as computers, cameras, aspirators, and other medical tools.

So one of the most interesting conditions to accept or include a major in a stem occupation is creating or contributing to building technology platforms or machines.  which we don’t find in dental hygiene.

Is dental hygiene an engineering field

Dental hygiene is not an engineering field, Like biomedical or mechanical engineering for designing new methodologies techniques or machines that humans can use or follow.  in other words as a dental hygienist, you can’t work as an engineer.

 unless you decided to change your major which is another story.

Is dental hygiene a mathetics field

The major proof that indicates dental hygiene cannot be included in a stem field is it doesn’t involve a lot of mathematics except for some statistics college students should take.

They don’t study hard math classes like engineers do like calculus, linear algebra, or discrete math.

So, It is a good option for students who aren’t good at or afraid to study math and are interested to study some scientific topics or build their career around the Dentistry industry.

But if you don’t accept to not be a stem student we’re going to give you five close or similar dental hygiene careers that you can follow and be a stem major.

5 related stem career to dental hygiene

1. Biomedical equipment technician

If you like to be a technician and especially want to be close to the medical field you can become a biomedical equipment technician and be responsible to solve biomedical machines problems in hospitals or any organizations.  But this field requires, having a passion for the world of electronics and mechanics.

2. Public health nurse

The last great occupation that you could take as a  specialization, is to become a public health nurse. That’s being said educating people And also providing some interesting services like:

  • Treating urgent illnesses
  • managing chronic conditions
  • providing preventive care
  • educating patients on health and wellness

you’ll be doing a principal role to raise awareness against disease and offer the all necessary health and wellness information to popularity.

3. Epidemiologist

If you have the intent and will to make to work in biology risk environments then becoming an epidemiologist Is a good fit for you.  Your principal goal, in this case, is to determine the odds and prevent people from being infected by dangerous diseases like viruses.

In this case, you will be conducting a lot of biology research and sometimes deal with dangerous substances in labs, like viruses. 

4. Chiropractor

I will let this video to discover more about what a chiropractor does

5 – Biomedical engineer

the last occupation to become is biomedical engineering where you will be working with companies developing machines and robotics organs people who have disabilities can wear like an industrial arm or legs. It is a very financially rewarding career.

you could read t his related career in biomedical engineering: 4 principal math subjects that biomedical engineering study


Yassin ajanif is a physics graduate and electromechanical engineer width more than 5 years in the field. My goal and my team are to share our experience to help you succeed in your career as a stem major. we talk about all tips, problems, and struggle STEM students face in their career and how to overcome them.