Dental hygienists are increasingly sought after for general dentistry practices as well as specialty practices that include pediatric or periodontics dentistry. They are also employed to provide dental hygiene services for patients in health-related organizations such as public health clinics, nursing homes, and hospitals.
Depending on their education and level of experience they have accumulated, they can also apply their skills to the education sector such as teaching hygiene students in various dental schools. Read on to find out more about hygiensists.
Dental hygienists have received extensive training
To become a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH), they need to graduate from a two-year college program that includes at least 2000 hours of classroom studies as well as extensive clinical experience that is supervised. The student must also pass a comprehensive state clinical exam and a national-level written test to earn their RDH license. If they can get a Baccalaureate degree in dental hygiene, they will be able to enter positions that are higher up which include public health, administration, and teaching.
Dental hygienists have a busy daily routine
Cinical dental hygienists at a general practice educate patients on preventative measures based on their lifestyle and overall health, apply sealants, facilitate fluoride treatments, take X-rays and clean teeth.
Creativity is a needed skill in dental hygienists
As hygienists are required to interact with diverse population groups, they will need to be creative in how they approach their patients in educating them successfully on oral health care and management.
Quick statistics about dental hygienists
• In the United States alone, there are more than 150,000 dental hygienists
• The career choice of dental hygienists is widely dominated by women who account for 98% of the entire working population of dental hygienists
• Most of the states in the country do not allow dental hygienists to practice without the supervision of a dentist; the only exception is Colorado where RDHs can practice without the presence of dentists in all settings
• The employment rate for dental hygienists is set to grow by at least 30% in 2016
Now that you know more about dental hygienists, why not help to recognize their efforts during the coming National Dental Hygiene Month in October? Make an appointment with a dental hygienist from our dental office and celebrate the great work they are doing with some words of encouragements!