Many people have become interested in becoming a dental hygienist because of the projected 36% growth in employment opportunities within the next ten years. This job outlook makes dental hygienist one of the fastest growing professions. Therefore, having a career as a dental hygienist will not only provide financial security, it also offers job stability. There will always be vacancies in the field of dental hygiene as there is a greater emphasis on preventive dental care today. More people are also concerned with natural teeth retention therefore there is an increase in dental patients. To help meet these demands, dentists employ more dental hygienists in their clinics to assist them with dental procedures.
A job as a dental hygienist pays well with a salary that ranges from $17 to $38 per hour. Salary earnings are dependent on location, employment setting, experience and whether dental hygienists are paid with a fixed hourly, daily or monthly or by commission basis. Depending on the employment setting, dental hygienists can get dental coverage and other substantial benefits.
Dental hygienists also have flexible schedules. Some are employed full-time, part-time, on the evenings or during the weekends. In some cases, dental hygienists are asked to come in the dental office to work twice or three times a week. Because of this, dental hygienists have the option to hold more than one job.
Another advantage of working as a dental hygienist is being able to work at a clean and comfortable working environment. Dental offices are typically clean, well-lighted, and well-ventilated. Additionally, workers are required to use protective devices such as surgical masks and gloves when treating patients to promote safety and to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
No matter how lucrative a career as a dental hygienist can be, not all possess the qualities that are needed to become a good dental hygienist. Dental hygienists must, first and foremost, have the clinical knowledge to treat dental issues and problems. They must be extensively trained and have good manual dexterity. Good hand and eye coordination is also necessary. Often times, it also helps if dental hygienists have a solid background in science to be able to understand various diseases, bacteria, infections, medical conditions and viruses.
Not only must dental hygienists be skilled in treating dental issues, they must also possess good communication skills in order to properly respond to the patients. Dental hygienist must also have interpersonal skills because they need to interact with patients on a constant basis. Not only do dental hygienists have to interact with patients, they must also know how to be a team player and work well with their coworkers. Furthermore, dental hygienists must also be caring, sensitive to their patients’ needs, compassionate and sympathetic to the patient’s overall health and must also be great listeners.
It is also important for dental hygienist to be able to multitask. They must have the skills to manage time, to organize the workplace and to maintain a flexible schedule.