Job Title: Registered Dental Hygienist And Executive Assistant To The Owner Of The Practice.
Type of Company: I work at a large general dentist's office.
Education: BA, Business, Providence College (Providence, RI) AS, Science, Northeastern University certificate, Dental Hygiene, Forsyth School for Dental Hygienists (Boston, MA)
Previous Experience: I worked in accounting and as a controller's assistant before deciding to go into dentistry. Since then I have worked in many different types of dental offices.
Job Tasks: I open the office up at least three days a week, checking messages, adjusting the schedule, printing daily schedules, starting the compressors, computers, x-ray machines and autoclave. After my first patient, when the rest of the staff arrives, we start with an office meeting to prepare for the day ahead and try to adjust to any problems in the schedule. I am mostly responsible for evaluating patients' dental health, cleaning their teeth, taking any necessary x-rays, charting the teeth in the computer, administering fluoride, and performing laser bacterial reduction, scaling and root planing. I serve up dollops of unwanted hygienic advice. I also do periodontal evaluations, scan x-rays into the computer and write the charts up. I also have to sterilize the operatory between patients and sterilize instruments and set up for my own patients.
In large cases I act as the doctor's photographer and I have recently become his executive assistant, with the added responsibility of helping him with his work outside the office: his volunteer work for several professional organizations, his testimony as an expert witness, and typing bills and drafting reports. When in the midst of all these other things I have occasional down time, I have to sharpen instruments, make referrals to specialists, answer phones, make molds, bleaching trays and sports guards and re-stock supplies.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I love working with patients and getting to know them. I love when I can help a patient improve his health. I hate having a tight schedule that makes me rush my time with my patients.
Job Tips: You need to be a people person who enjoys helping. You can't be afraid of blood. You need to know that you are responsible for cleaning up for yourself and not expect others to do the dirty work for you (the way the dentist does). If you can, shadow a dental hygienist for several hours or days, see what is involved, ask questions no matter how stupid they may sound, and enjoy!
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).
Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
About Brightwood College
Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.
Choosing a school and a new career path can be a very overwhelming process.
Get your career started with Intercoast Colleges.
San Joaquin Valley College - A Private Junior College.
The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.
Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.
Most stories include:
Please also see our detailed information about Dental Hygienists, including: