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10 Must-Know Facts About Dental Hygienists

Sunday, August 20th, 2017

Part of the smiling team you’ll always see at Hagen Dental is our Dental Hygienists!

Curious about what dental hygienists do?

During the past 100 years, the dental hygiene profession has drastically evolved.

Starting back in 1906, the position originally only consisted of providing thorough dental cleanings. Now, in addition to administering preventative care, dental hygienists are also responsible for much more (1). Let’s take a closer look…

10 must know facts

They’re Different from Dental Assistants

Sometimes mistaken for the same profession, there is a difference between dental hygienists and dental assistants, although many people do use the wording a bit interchangeably. Dental assistants typically work as a direct aide to a dentist, while dental hygienists provide one-on-one care to patients, generally speaking!

They Do More Than “Just” Clean Your Teeth

In addition to scrubbing your pearly whites, they also perform more advanced tasks. Initially, many of these tasks were only done by dentists. Dental hygienists perform patient history reviews, vital checks, risk assessments, periodontal examinations, and much more!

They Are Very Well Educated

Becoming a dental hygienist isn’t necessarily easy (but of course we’d like to think it’s worth the time it takes!)

To enroll in a dental hygiene program, a student must have already taken human anatomy, sociology, chemistry, and sociology (not the easiest courses, huh?) Dental hygiene programs can vary in length, depending on the institution. Most range from 2-4 years. After schooling, they must take a standardized exam and acquire state licensure in order to perform patient care!

The Job Outlook is Positive

Did you know?! From 2014-2024, the job outlook for dental hygienists is calculated to grow 19 percent, which is much faster than the average job outlook. Demand for preventative care by hygienists will grow as research continues to uncover the strong correlation between oral and overall health. We like to think it’s because more and more people are interested in helping people with their oral and overall health!

did you know dental hygienists

They’re Absolutely Essential In Our Dental Office

Dental hygienists perform much of the “behind-the-scenes” tasks, but they definitely receive much praise in our office for helping so much—and for making patients feel comfortable and at home!

Even though you don’t always see it firsthand, the team members in a dental office work diligently together to provide you with excellent oral care.

Without hygienists taking on roles involving the business side of a dental office (attending meetings, maintaining equipment, updating health histories, and much more!) it wouldn’t run quite as smooth. Essentially, think of Dental Hygienists as helping take care of you, the patients, and helping to keep all the detail you don’t see running smoothly—all with a smile of course.

…But They Don’t Just Work in Dental Offices

Did you know that dental hygienists aren’t only needed in dental offices? They also work in hospitals, nursing homes, community clinics, and schools—so it’s not just the people you see when you go to visit the Dentist.

And, in some cases, they might not always be working directly with teeth. Some dental hygienists find work as researchers, administrators, entrepreneurs, or educators (3, 4).

They Are Not All ‘9-5’ers

You might think that dental hygiene is always a full-time profession, but that’s not always true either. In fact, plenty of dental hygienists work within a flexible schedule. Weekend, evening, and part-time schedules aren’t out of the ordinary. That’s another reason so many find it as an attractive career option.

They Are Your First Aide in Early Detection

Dental hygienists are your first line of defense in preventing and identifying oral health issues. Examining your mouth and jaw area by feeling for abnormalities and taking X-rays, they can help detect oral cancer, periodontal disease, TMJ, and more (6). (Clearly, they deserve our appreciation!)

They Rank High on Career Satisfaction

“Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Fortunately for the majority of dental hygienists, they actually feel this way. More specifically, about 84 percent of folks in this profession are satisfied with their career and feel that they made the right choice in becoming a dental hygienist.

With nearly half of Americans feeling unsatisfied with their jobs, this is a promising statistic for those considering dental hygiene as a profession! (8, 9)

Not Only Will They Take Care of Your Teeth, But They’ll Teach You How to Take Care of Your Teeth

Sure, dental hygienists will help to give you a thorough teeth cleaning and examination while you’re at your check-up…but, most of the time, it’s you who’s taking care of your teeth!

After helping to give your mouth a deep clean, they’ll be able to suggest at-home maintenance tips specific to your needs. For example, if you’re experiencing bleeding gums, they’ll suggest a distinct regimen using specific products in order to minimize the bleeding! (And, of course, Dr. Hagen will want to speak to you about any issues you’re having as well.)

Come Meet Our Dental Hygienists

Want to meet some of the best dental hygienists around that are sure to make you feel comfortable and at ease? Give Hagen Dental Practice a visit! We want the best for your oral health, so don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and schedule your next appointment.

Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit today.

Sources:

  1. http://www.rdhmag.com/articles/print/volume-30/issue-1/feature/our-remarkable-role.html
  2. https://www.concorde.edu/blog/dental-assistant-vs-dental-hygienist
  3. http://www.allalliedhealthschools.com/dental-assisting/how-to-become-dental-hygienist/
  4. https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/dental-hygienists-surprising-facts
  5. https://www.wku.edu/dentalhygiene/facts_dentalhygiene.php
  6. http://www.firstchoicedental.com/blog/your-dental-hygiene-visit-more-cleaning
  7. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-hygienists.htm
  8. http://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2015/02/career-satisfaction-dental-hygienists-are-satisfied-yet-still-daydream.html
  9. http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2016/10/06/3-how-americans-view-their-jobs/