If dentistry is your passion, but the time and money that dental school requires is out of reach, a career in dental hygiene may be the ideal career choice.
With generous salaries, high levels of job satisfaction, and a team-oriented work environment, dental hygienists are reaping the benefits of a dynamic healthcare career. Here are some great reasons why you should consider becoming a dental hygienist.
While dental hygienists have to undergo rigorous training and learn a variety of patient care skills in order to do their jobs, the difficulty and cost of obtaining a qualification in this field are manageable.
Candidates who are keen on becoming dental hygienists first need to earn a college diploma in their field, and then take the National Dental Hygiene Certification Board Exam. Candidates who expect to work in Quebec can practice without writing the Board Exam.
It’s also important to find out whether dental hygienists in your province need to be licensed to administer anaesthetics. If you don’t complete anaesthetics training and move to a province where it’s required, you’ll have to undergo a special training course before you’re allowed to practice there.
If you’re a team-oriented people person with a passion for dentistry, you’ll find the role of a dental hygienist to be very rewarding. Working with a team of highly-trained colleagues, under the supervision of an experienced dentist, you’ll have a great opportunity to learn, sharpen your skills, and most importantly – to help your patients achieve optimal dental health.
Becoming a dental hygienist means you’re at the front line of patient care. Based on your careful assessment of each patient’s teeth and oral health, your supervising dentist will investigate possible dental health conditions and consult with you when advising patients on their treatment options.
The 20-30 minutes you spend on each patient will allow you to help them keep their teeth in top condition and prevent future dental problems.
With the annual salary for dental hygienists averaging just over $70,000 a year (with experienced hygienists in some areas earning upwards of $100,000), the career outlook for this profession is excellent.
As society becomes increasingly aware of the importance of oral hygiene and the role it plays in overall health, dental professionals are likely to be in high demand. By adding value to each patient’s visit through your high technical competence and great people skills, you can look forward to a successful career in dental hygiene.
After a few years, career advancement through further study is a popular choice with dental hygienists. By completing a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, experienced candidates can move on to careers in research, product development or academic teaching.
A career in dental hygiene is the ideal choice for a candidate who is comfortable working in a team and is committed to enhancing patient health and well-being. With a manageable path to qualifying, lucrative career opportunities and an enjoyable working environment, becoming a dental hygienist may be your ideal career path.
If you’d like to explore the practical side of being a dental hygienist, contact your local dental clinic and find out whether they’d be willing to invite you to their practice to shadow one of their experienced hygienists. You’ll get a taste of the working day that awaits you before you make your college application.