Objectives: Although dental hygienists have a high employment rate as professional workers, turnover and retirement rates are very high. This study analyzed the factors related to work life of dental hygienists to prepare an alternative for life extension. Methods: From August 1 to December 31, 2019, 224 dental hygienists and 446 dental hygiene students were examined.
Results: The expected working years for dental hygienists were 10–14 years (25.4%) and over 31 years (22.4%) for dental hygiene students. The recognized working years for dental hygienists were 10–14 years (22.4%) and 20–24 years (26.0%) for dental hygiene students. Work values of dental hygienists and dental hygiene students averaged 3.85 and 3.86, respectively.
Furthermore, the average motive for selecting a major in dental hygienists was 3.08 points and in dental hygiene students, 3.24 points. The average career identity of dental hygienists and dental hygiene students were 2.82 and 2.91 points, respectively. Conclusions: The perception difference between dental hygienists and dental hygiene students was compared, and the factors that could play a positive role in prolonging life were identified. Based on this study, further systematic comparative studies and preparation of alternatives for life extension are required.