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Diving into a career as a dental hygienist might seem relatively scary at first. You won’t be an actual dentist – but you will still have to be trained enough to spot and work on actual problems. With the dentist watching over you like a hawk, it might sound pretty scary at first.
However, the reasons why you should be a dental hygienist will certainly outweigh the reasons why you should not be. Focusing on preventive oral care, dental hygienists are preventive care professionals who have completed a recognized dental hygiene course. These professionals are licensed for dental hygiene and their main responsibility includes promoting good oral health through clinical, administrative, educational, therapeutic, and research services. With a special focus on preventive oral health care, dental hygienists work with on specific skills under general dentists.
Here are a few reasons why dental hygienist jobs will have you smiling brightly.
1. Great Job Security
Nowadays, it can be difficult to have real job security. Most people change jobs every few years. Companies merge, divest and go out of business, making job security more challenging than it’s ever been. A career as a dental hygienist can be very secure. Those who work in this field have the advantage of a relatively low unemployment rate.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dental hygienists is projected to grow 20 percent by 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for dental services will increase as the population ages and as research continues to link oral health to overall health.
2. Flexible Hours
We all have obligations or interests that need to be met at reasonable hours. Who wants to work until crazy hours? Dental hygienists have relatively flexible hours which is appealing to those who would like to schedule hours to meet family obligations or other personal interests. Some dental hygienists work at multiple offices, working one or two days per week in each one. This allows them to tweak their personal schedule to fit the demands of a busy dental office. Many dental hygienists are able to set their own work hours to meet the needs of their own schedules.
3. Higher Compensation
If there’s one thing that we all know, it’s that doctors – or anyone working in the medical field, for the matter – are paid well. This applies to dental hygienists as well. According to glassdoor.com, dental hygienists average over $69,000 per year.
4. You can be self-employed
As a dental hygienist, there are two paths for you: you can be hired by a dentist, or you can be self-employed. Granted, you will still need to be supervised, but self-employment will provide more flexibility and better pay.
5. The work is exciting
Working as a dental hygienist is not only about “cleaning teeth”. Dental hygienists are also involved in educating patients on the best ways to brush and floss teeth, preventative care as well as which products to use.
“According to dentalhygienists.com, “a hygienist typically removes soft and hard deposits from a patient’s teeth; examines the gums and teeth to discern the presence of disease or oral abnormality; and strips the teeth of calculus (tartar), stains and plaque. A dental hygienist often performs as well root planing (a type of periodontal therapy), takes x-rays and applies cavity-deterring agents (fluoride or sealants)”.” – Careers in Healthcare
So, are you convinced yet? You may be thinking up career options in school, or you may simply want a career change; regardless, the job of a dental hygienist might actually be the one to make you smile.