SmallSmilesUSA – What You Should Know about Dental Hygienist. Are you dreaming to be a dental hygienist? Maybe, most of people think that dental hygienist is similar to dentist. However, that’s wrong. Dental hygienist, indeed, has the knowledge and skill, similar to dentist, where they deal with dental or tooth problem. Some of dental school that also is the place where people who want to be a dentist study, also can help you to be dental hygienist, such as university of the pacific dental school. However, dental hygienist is different.
What is Dental Hygienist and what is Their Job?
Like its name, dental hygienist is profession that deals with the dental hygiene. Therefore, they are very knowledgeable and skilled about how to clean your teeth, and teach you about how to clean your teeth in correct way, such as how to brush or floss. Other than cleaning part, dental hygienist also can do an examining process on your teeth and gums to find the problem in it. They also can take dental x-rays for further diagnostic of your teeth and gums condition. And, if necessary, dental hygienist also can apply some sealant and giving the treatment. There are also many places and dental center, where hygienist help dentist as well as they work under their supervision. But, dental hygienist also can work alone in health care facility or clinic. Now, after you know what this profession does, do you want to try this career? If you do, there are few things that you need to know.
The Program, School and Training
To become a dental hygienist, you need to take several training and dental program, which you can get from dental hygienist school. There are many schools and program that related to this profession you can choose. When you take this program, you can get associate or bachelor degree. You also can find more about this program and the school or university that provide it through the list of American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation list. School or university that gets that accreditation can be said as promising and best school you can enter.
When you take program, there are several courses you need to finish. For entry-level program, you will need to take general science courses and other specific course related to dental hygiene. The course that is related to dental hygiene is dental anatomy, oral pathology, dental material, anesthesiology, pharmacology and radiology. During the course, you will train to deal with many different types of patients, such as kids, adult and elder, as well as those with special needs. For you who take bachelor degree program, you may need to take other courses as well, such as dental hygiene research, hygiene education and health care management.
The most important part here is the training part. For this one, you will try to experience to work in real world in clinic. During this part, you will have chance to use your skill on patient and really treat them. There are also many different practices that you can do during your training. Some of university, such as university of minnesota dental school, offers cleaning service, x-rays and other treatment for anyone who need it, and you are the one that will deal with this job. Most of this service is available at lower price. It’s reasonable, because this program is originally made to give their student real experience in this field.
License and Certification
After you finish your education, you also need a license or certification in order to be able to apply your skill and work in this field. Every state has different requirement for license and certification. However, most of them will need you to take and pass National Board Dental Hygiene Examination. This is the proof that you have clinical proficiency that needed to work in dental healthcare business. The other requirement that you may need to have is CPR certification. And, of course, you also need to finish the training that has been given to you from your school. After you get and fulfill all of those requirements, you will become registered dental hygienist.
And, the most important question that you may have here is how long does it take to become a dental hygienist? It depend on how good you in your study. However, normally, after you finish the associate degree program, you will need around two years after the training to work as dental hygienist. Then, for you who finish bachelor degree program, you will need four years.
Working as Dental Hygienist
The most important thing to know when you want to work as dental hygienist is how much money you can earn in this career. According to 2012 data, in US, dental hygienist can earn average of $70,210 annually. However, if you can become the best in this field, you can get more than $95,000 and for the lower position, you can get around $46,000 a year.
This profession also has good prospect. In US itself, there is prediction that this profession will increase around 33 percent from 2012 to 2020. You still have lot of chance and long time to work in this field. More than that, if you are looking at the today’s society, most of people are more aware about their health. They understand that taking care of their body and have healthier lifestyle only give them more benefits in the future. More than that, appearance is also important today. People try to get the best impression in front of public. Therefore, there are many people that use this service to get both of them. They can keep their dental hygiene, as well as get best appearance and confidence with it.
Basically, dental hygienist is one of best career that you can choose. There are also many fields you can work in this career. Other than dental hygienist, you also can try dental lab technician jobs, dentist assistant and many more. And, if you can work well, you will have better future. So, do not hesitate. If you want it, you can try it, moreover there are many schools that can help you to get education and training that you need