Career Paths – the Dental Hygienist
The medical industry has always represented one of the most exciting and prosperous career paths across much of the Western World, though the dental profession seems to be one niche that often gets overlooked in terms of genuine focus.
Nevertheless, dental jobs up and down the US are being snapped-up like never before and have the potential to lead to some of the most desirable and indeed enviable careers in life.
Perhaps the most commonly sought position according to the national dental recruitment agencies is that of the dental hygienist. So, for those looking to take their lives on a bold new direction and at the same time make a real difference in the lives of thousands, what exactly do dental hygienist jobs entail?
Dental Hygienist Job Description
When a person makes a visit to the dentist for a routine check-up or examination, chances are they will find it is the dental hygienist with whom they spend most of their time.
Often mistaken as something of a rudimentary assistant to act as a second pair of hands for the dentist, the dental hygienist is in fact also a fully-qualified dental professional with a special skill in oral health and tooth-care.
A qualified dental hygienist will carry out a variety of everyday tasks including full inspections of teeth and gums for problem detection, professional cleaning of teeth, examination of any current or previous work and the offering of advice and guidance on how to maintain optimum oral health for the whole family.
Exactly how far the duties of the hygienist go will vary significantly depending on the practice itself and their own level of experience in the industry.
Like most in the medical profession, these kinds of dental nursing jobs are extremely vocational and are thus only open to those with the relevant skills and qualifications. As far as general education goes, it is usually a prerequisite that candidates must possess at least five GCSE qualifications at grad C or above, before being allowed to continue on to the certification stage.
In order to practice in the US legally, a dental hygienist must take and pass the appropriate course which is fully approved and accredited by the General Dental Council of Great Britain. Such courses enable a person to register with the GDC, which is a mandatory requirement for most dental jobs UK offices post.
Dental Hygienist Job Description
The primary job task of a dental hygienist is to clean teeth. This is done using a series of picks, scrapers, polishing tools and deep-cleaning devices. Other important duties include educating patients on proper dental hygiene practices; reviewing patient charts; preparing dental molds and X-rays; applying fluoride treatments and dental sealants to teeth; performing dental examinations for cavities, gum disease and other problems; and assisting the dentist. This job field requires good communication skills, manual dexterity and the ability to interact positively with clients. In addition to providing care to patients, a dental hygienist might occasionally be called upon to perform basic office administration tasks including answering the office telephone, assisting with scheduling appointments, locating patient records and supporting other office staff members in their work.
Dental Hygienist Salary Statistics as of 2012
Median annual salary for a Dental Hygienist is $59,665 based on statistics in the U.S. as of 2012. The highest salary recorded was $88,572. The lowest salary reported was $42,904. These figures will vary on a state to state basis as these are averages across all 50 states.
There are few areas of specialization in the field of dental hygiene. All dental hygienists perform the same basic tasks. Some dental offices specialize in serving specific clientele, such as adult, pediatric or family dentistry. Periodontists are dentists who specialize in dental diseases. A dental hygienist may work for any of these types of dental practices, but the basic job duties remain the same no matter which type of clients the office serves.
Originally posted 2013-04-27 11:00:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter