Becoming a dental hygienist can be a very promising and long term career for an individual who is seeking employment in the dentistry field.If you have chosen to obtain a dental hygienist certification, it is extremely important to research dental hygienist schools in or around your area in order to find which program will be best suited for you.Learning how to become a dental hygienist varies from State to State as some states allow their hygienists to perform certain duties and carry more responsibilities that other States do not.It is this type of information that you will need to familiarize yourself with, in addition to learning more about the growing need for dental hygienists and what the rules and regulations are for dental hygienist training when searching out dental hygienist schools.
Dental Hygienist Job Description
Dental hygienists are responsible for various different jobs within the dental office. As mentioned above, the responsibilities can and do vary from State to State, so an overall description of job duties shared at dental hygienist schools can include things such as taking the time to discuss with a patient the best oral hygiene practices when it comes to the mouth and teeth.In fact, some dental hygienists develop a close relationship with their patients in order to get the best effort from the patient which in turn yields better results. A hygienist is the individual who is responsible for using instruments to remove build-up of tartar and plaque from a patient’s teeth and informing them of the best practices to avoid the return of build-up in order to prevent cavities or unnecessary expenses regarding dental care. A hygienist is also responsible for becoming familiar with the many tools that a dentist uses to care for a patient’s teeth. These tools can include polishing tools that are used to polish a patient’s teeth, along with tools that are referred to as rotary tools that actually clean the teeth.Cleaning stains from a patient’s teeth, gums and gum lines and removing calcium deposits are also performed by the hygienists, as well as performing physical examinations on and around the patient’s chin in order to rule out lymph node swelling or soreness as seen in oral cancer.
Becoming a Dental Hygienist
Examining the patient’s gums for disease is also an important part of ruling out disease that may require urgent treatments. These are some of the important responsibilities that are required of an individual in this field.Dental hygienists are also responsible or performing x-rays on a patient’s teeth in order to look for damage or cavities that might require repair or fillings.In addition to performing the x-ray, a dental hygienist might be responsible for reviewing or interpreting the x-ray in order to inform the dentist in charge of probable problem areas or areas in need of treatment.Because of the acquired knowledge that a hygienist obtains when learning the instruments as taught in dental hygienist schools, he/she may be responsible for setting up the room for the dentist to perform work that hygienists are not responsible for.Some additional tasks that a hygienist may be responsible for are procedures such as suture removal on a patient returning from a surgical dental procedure, preparation of tooth for filling of a cavity, filing or reshaping of teeth following a fill, and even possibly administering anesthesia on a patient who is being prepped for a surgical dental procedure.As with many surgical procedures, there are two types of anesthesia, known as general anesthesia and local anesthesia. Some States will allow a hygienist to do both, while others will only allow the hygienist to administer local anesthesia.
Dental Hygienist Education As mentioned above, becoming a dental hygienist can be a very promising career at any age. This is because statistics have shown that the employment rate for this field continues to rise in the United States and is predicted to continue to grow for many years to come.It has also been proven that the growth of this field is faster than that of many other comparable positions or occupations in the medical field.Because dental care is needed for all ages, you will not find a decline in the need for dental hygienists at any rate. Now more than ever, the dental field continues to focus on the need for regular cleaning and dental care on a bi-annual basis, preventative measures, and oral hygiene care, thus proving the need for long term dental care, and job security for dental hygienists.While in dental hygienist school obtaining your certification, you may ask yourself “how much do dental hygienists make?” regarding the dental hygienist salary.Again, this will vary from State to State and even can vary based on employer or location of your position. The numbers are impressive and on average, an individual who has obtained a certificate from one of the dental hygienist schools can expect to make upwards of $60,000 dollars annually, while beginners may make around $45,000, again depending on their State or even on the type of facility where they performed their duties.
Dental Hygienist Employment
Facilities that employ dental hygienists can include hospitals, public and/or private dental offices or dental clinics. Sometimes, a dental clinic will travel to other facilities to perform dental work, such as a school for example.The type of facility you choose to work in may also play a part in the type of salary you can make in this field. While employed as a dental hygienist, you will be required to take certain precautions as seen with many medically based positions.Because some diseases are transferred via bodily fluids, dental hygienists are required to properly protect themselves from any possible infectious diseases that can be passed on during dental work.The precautions usually come in the form of safety glasses, masks that are worn over the face covering the nose and mouth, and rubber gloves that are used to protect the hands.As seen in any medical facility, you will find that a dental hygienist will wash their hands numerous times per day and in between each patient.
Dental Hygienist Licensing and Training
To become gainfully employed as a dental hygienist, you will need to complete the training at one of the thousands of accredited dental hygienist schools found throughout the United States.In order to apply to attend one of these schools, you must first have received your high school diploma or the equivalent as found with a GED. In addition, some dental hygienist schools may require you to have some history of college or have passed a college entrance exam.Some dental hygienist schools present their graduates with a certification while others offer their graduates a degree. Of the several hundred schools that are accredited, you may be able to achieve a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree which an individual would most likely need if interested in employment with a research or teaching facility in the dentistry field.In a majority of the dental hygienist schools, you can expect to takes courses related to nutrition, pharmacology, anatomy, physiology, radiography, chemistry and physiology, among others depending on your school.Choosing to become a dental hygienist can be a very rewarding position. Furthermore, this position offers an excellent level of job security with increasing employment in this field in the upcoming years.Choosing one of the accredited dental hygienist schools is the first step in earning your certification or degree.