Do you like helping people? Are you good with your hands? Do you have a strong aptitude for chemistry and math? If you said “yes” to these questions, then you might want to consider a career as a dental hygienist.
A Great Career Choice
Dental hygienics is a respected profession with solid potential for growth in the coming years. Government economists project that it’s going to be “one of the fastest-growing occupations” through the year 2020.
Do You Have the Right Skills?
Dental hygienics is a great career, but it’s not right for everyone. Here are some of the skills and interests that a good dental hygienist should have:
- Enjoy working with people
- Aptitude for math, chemistry, and science
- Not shy about speaking in front of people
- Critical thinking skills
- Willing to occasionally perform office duties
- Attention to detail
How to Become a Dental Hygienist
If you’re thinking about becoming a dental hygienist, it’s going to take a lot of work. Here’s the three steps for becoming a dental hygienist.
The first thing you need to do is earn your Associate’s degree in hygienics. This usually requires three years of full-time study. You can pursue your Associate’s degree in hygienics from one of the following types of institutions:
- Community college
- Vocational college
- Dental school
The Classes You Need to Take
Earning your Associate’s degree in dental hygienics involves mastering a demanding course load which will include these types of classes:
- Dental materials
- Oral pathology
- Pain management
- Community dental health
Passing Your Exams and Getting Your License
After you finish your course of study, you will need to pass two examination: The National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and a state or regional examination. Finally, you apply for your license with your local licensing agency.
What Does a Dental Hygienist Do?
Dental hygienist are very busy and they are asked to fulfill a number of roles:
- Take blood pressure
- Review patients’ health histories
- Perform clerical and other office duties
- Provide preventative treatments, including fluoride and sealants
- Screen patients for oral cancer
- Conduct x-ray examinations
- Speak to students and other groups about effective dental care
Where do Dental Hygienist Work?
There are currently over 183,000 dental hygienists working in America, and they don’t just work in dental offices. They can also be found working in:
- Emergency rooms
- Physician’s offices
- Assisted living facilities
Visit Your Dentist in Grand Rapids
At Robson Family Dental, our Hygienist is an essential part of our team. And we’re all working to help you protect your smile. So why not schedule your next checkup today?