A dental hygienist has a different role in oral health to a dentist. A dentist treats tooth and gum conditions, while a hygienist helps to stop problems from starting in the first place. Some say that it is harder to become a dentist than a hygienist, as the role is usually higher paid and has more responsibilities. If this sounds like a career you’d enjoy, here’s everything you need to know to get started:
As a hygienist, you’ll do things like scale and polish the teeth. You may also apply sealants to fissures. If you’re working in a hospital, you’d also help patients who are having treatment on the mouth stay healthy. Your role will vary depending on where it is you are working. The salary of a dental hygienist will also vary depending on where you work. You can work in community dental services, or a general dental practice. You’ll need to make patients feel at ease and have great communication skills.
Getting the Qualifications
In order to get a job like this, you’ll need to do an academic program at a community/technical college. You could also go to a dedicated dental school. If you go to a dedicated dental school, you can do both dental hygiene and dental therapy. You’ll then be able to take a licensing examination so you can work in a dental practice. It could take up to 2 years to become qualified. Of course you will have had to have previously completed high school. Here’s a rundown of what you need:
A high school diploma.
A Bachelor’s degree.
National Board Dental Hygiene exam.
A state clinical exam.
You may only be required to get a CPR certificate depending what state you live in. Double check in your state to see exactly what it is you need to become employed in a role like this.
Applying for Jobs
Once you’ve qualified, you can take a look online for any job availabilities. You may find that having great people skills and computer skills stand you in better stead. You should be able to make patients feel calm about their appointment.
If you attend job fairs in your area, you have more chance of finding the kind of job you want and making an impression. Try to network and make connections.
Contact dental offices in your area and enquire about positions opening up. You can always give them your resume to keep if there’s nothing coming up for a while. If you can’t seem to get a job in your area, you may need to move. Check this out to make an impression when you finally get a job.
If you’ve now decided that this job isn’t for you, you have plenty of other options. You can be anything you want to be if you have the determination! Do you have any tips on becoming a dental hygienist? Perhaps you’re in the middle of receiving your qualification? Leave a comment!