A Dental Hygienists’ work in clinical dentistry embraces preventative health care to include cleaning teeth at all levels from health to severe disease. Further, they educate patients on proper oral hygiene procedures, and how it relates to overall health. They’re also being trained in the administration of local anesthesia, nitrous oxide analgesia and restorative dentistry; a huge benefit to any dental practice.
Beyond the Liberal Arts education necessary to work in clinical dentistry, there are Bachelor programs in Public Health and Education. These degrees take the Dental Hygienist into the school systems to promote health or join an administrative team in an accredited School of Dental Hygiene who train future Dental Hygienists.
The profession of “Dental Hygienist” is currently listed in the US News Top 100 jobs and it’s ranked at number 30! There are so many reasons why Dental Hygiene is an incredible field to join, but we’ve narrowed it down to our top six. Here’s why we believe Dental Hygienists jobs will be “in” in 2020 and beyond.
1. Job Flexibility
For those looking for flexibility, Dental Hygiene jobs can be flexible to the point that you can set your hours whether you prefer full-time or part-time. Some Dental Hygienists work part-time in two or three offices, while others only work a day or two in one office.
Dental Hygienists can also consider working as a temporary. As a temp, you have the unique opportunity to fill in during a maternity leave, jury duty or when a Hygienist is out sick, literally saving the production that has been booked for that day. This incredible flexibility means that you can spend more time traveling, pursuing hobbies, and spending time with family.
2. Helping People Live Healthier Lives
Most seasoned Dental Hygienists report they love the one-on-one relationships they have with their patients. They treat their patient’s individual oral condition and many patients develop strong dependence of the care given them by their Dental Hygienist. Whether you work as a Dental Hygienist in a clinical environment, public health or education, you have the knowledge and duty to educate the public in what oral care has to do with our overall health.
3. Competitive Salary
If you’re not already convinced by the freedom, flexibility, and opportunity to impact your patients’ lives, the paycheck is another great perk of becoming a Dental Hygienist. With a national median salary of $74,070, Dental Hygienist jobs are nearly double the national average salary.
The Dental Industry is always in need of capable and reliable professionals who are licensed and skilled to manage the demands of the Dental Hygiene profession. Success in Dental Hygiene means a willingness to work hard in a fast-paced environment, and truly loving to work with people, both patients and fellow team members
To an employer in the Dental Industry, employing a capable, skilled Dental Hygienist who works hard, is efficient and capable is well worth their very competitive rate of pay.
4. A Variety of Care Delivery…If You’re Up for It.
The Dental Hygienist job can vary from the clinical setting of cleaning teeth to expanded or advanced functions of restorative dentistry and everything in between. In the simplest clinical setting, you are cleaning teeth and taking radiographs in preparation for the periodic exam. No two patients are alike and each patient you see will require a different approach to educating them in their home care.
If you choose to expand your function, no two days are ever the same. The expanded function of the Dental Hygiene job can include restorative dentistry, administration of local anesthesia and nitrous oxide analgesia under various levels of supervision by a licensed Doctor of Dentistry.
Depending on the state, the advanced function of restorative dentistry by the Dental Hygienist is limited to services where the dentist prepares the tooth for a restoration and the dental hygienist places the filling material, finishes and polishes the restoration all under the supervision of the dentist.
Keep in mind, depending on the state, the advanced or expanded function of the Dental Hygiene job requires some level of qualification for the restorative and anesthetic certification from a state board-approved continuing education course. But having a constantly changing array of tasks and procedures can be challenging and exciting.
5. Job Stability
Most positions in the medical field are going to offer a certain amount of job security: people are always going to need professionals to help them care for and educate them on preventative healthcare. The world of Dental Hygiene is no different.
The number of Dental Hygienist jobs is projected to grow nearly 20% by the year 2026, which is faster than the average for all other occupations in the U.S. The demand for Dental Health Professionals has only increased as our population ages, as more research shows (and as we already know) that overall health is undeniably linked to oral health.
With the national unemployment rate for a certified Dental Hygienists at a staggeringly low 0.4%, many people are pursuing Dental Hygienist jobs for the opportunities alone. With such a high-demand job market, Hygienists are more easily able to dictate the terms of employment, including time off and a competitive pay rate.
6. Advancement Opportunities
All Dental Hygienist jobs require completion of an accredited Dental Hygiene program, passing a Dental Hygiene Board Exam (both clinical and written) along with passing an ethics and jurisprudence test. An advanced degree or certification requires further education and testing, all for the opportunity to expand and grow in the desired field of Dental Hygiene.
If you’re ready to pursue your Dental Hygiene career, and you’ve completed your requirements, you can submit your resume at no charge with DentalStaffing.org and start your journey to a fulfilling career in Dental Hygiene.
“The only difference between success and failure is the ability to take action.”
~ Alexander Graham Bell
Dr. Deborah Marynak is the owner of DentalStaffing.org, a dentist with over 30 years experience, and is committed to helping Dental Professionals find the right fit for both employees and employers. She also works with Dental Offices to help them streamline their clinical systems and teach Dental Teams how to effectively document to avoid risk.