Dental Hygienist Career

Opting for a profession in the field of oral health care is blooming and has a tremendous career scope. Dental Hygienist marks a beginning of a successful career in the growth path of Dental care professionals.
| Thursday, October 07, 2010

Job Profile of a Dental Hygienist

A Dental hygienist profession has an array of duties which have to be carried out with utmost care and responsibility.

  • A dental Hygienist provides basic information on Oral Hygiene to the patients to prevent dental carries.
  • A Dental Hygienist conducts the preliminary examination of the patient and creates a report on the basic inspection. He or she carries out dental cleanings, removes off the deposits on the teeth or plaques between the teeth.
  • Documenting the observations (that includes medical history, complaints, abnormalities)is an important part of the Dental hygienist’s responsibility.
  • A diagnosis is then carried out after analyzing the preliminary examination so as to design a treatment plan. Both the diagnosis and the treatment plan require the final approval of the senior doctor whom the Dental Hygienist reports to. Dental hygienists are not authorized to make diagnosis of infections.
  • Implementing the treatment plan under the guidance of the senior doctor comes next. Assessment is then carried out to check the effectiveness of the treatment.
  • Under the guidance of a senior dentist, a dental hygienist may be permitted to administer anesthesia, assist in surgeries to remove sutures, apply filling materials etc.

Difference Between a 'Dentist' and a 'Dental Hygienist'

A Dentist is authorized in carrying out the diagnosis and related treatment in case of any patient with dental carries. Dentists can also provide consulting on the precautionary and preventive measures that a patient can opt to avoid future dental problems. Dentists are also authorized to carry out surgeries related to dental problems or cosmetics. They can also prescribe medicines to the patient as per the treatment plan. Dentists may also be specialized in fields like periodontology, endodontics, pediatric dentistry etc. Most importantly dentists are solo practitioners and may have a group of assistants working under them.

A dentist is more qualified and experienced than the Dental hygienist. Unlike the Dental hygienist, a dent works full time.

Educational Qualifications for a Dental Hygienist

The following are the educational options for one who inspires to be a Dental Hygienist:

  • A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Dental Studies
  • A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from a Dental Hygienist School
  • There are many accredited Dental Hygiene programs organized by reputed universities world over.
  • In countries like United States, a Dental Hygienist must be licensed to work in a clinic. (one with basic education in the field of Dentistry, needs to appear for a written examination for the license)
  • In today’s world of internet, there are some online courses available. Though these courses might be excellent in providing theoretical knowledge, the major drawback is the lack of provision of clinical or practical experience.

Qualification alone does not suffice the need to establish a career in the oral healthcare industry. One should also have a well supervised experience.

Acquiring education, especially in the medical field has become much simpler now. Students can use their contacts and sources like internet to trace financial aids. Universities also offer scholarships that can be motivational enough. There are resources which provide loans and grants as well.

Selecting the right school, college or university is an important aspect. It is of utmost importance to confirm the reputation of the educational institute that offers courses on Dental studies or rather any other medical studies.

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