Starting a Career as a Dental Hygienist
Dental hygienist jobs are currently one of the most demanded healthcare jobs today with a high growth rate. There has never been a better time to delve into the field for all oral futurists. Just to make sure you don’t miss out on anything, let’s talk about the basics before considering how to start a career in this “hot” field.
Who is the dental hygienist?
A dental hygienist is a medical professional who often works with a dentist to educate patients on proper oral hygiene.
Roles of a dental hygienist
Teaches patients preventive dental hygiene, perform oral inspection and assessment on patients, gives advice to patience on how to use oral care equipment, perform teeth cleaning and scaling, application of sealants and fluoride, prepare X-rays for diagnosis, document reports on patient’s treatment and may also treat common teeth diseases.
Where they work
Dental hygienists are most commonly found working in private dental clinics and general clinics. However, you may also find them working in other healthcare centers like nursing homes, hospitals, public health, as well as government agencies and dental schools.
To start your career as a dental health professional, you will need to earn either an associate degree (2 years) or a bachelors degree (4 years) in dental hygiene from a specalty dental school. It is expected that upon completing the degree, you would have gained the required theoretical knowledge as well as some level of clinical experience.
After successfully completing dental hygienist school, you will need to obtain a state license before you can be allowed to practice.
Salary expectation According to US Bureau for Labour and Statistics, the current average annual salary for most dental hygienists is $71,520. However, those with experience usually earn more. Apart from their annual income, some dental hygienists may also benefit from perks like vacations, free dental checkups, as well as health insurance.
A career in dental hygiene usually involves a lot of work and patience. However, it remains one of the most rewarding dental careers available, and will make the perfect choice if you’re really longing to be in healthcare.