Career Story: Registered Dental Hygienist

Registered Dental Hygienist

Job Title: Dental Hygienist

Type of Company: I work for a dentist.

Education: AS, Dental Hygiene

Previous Experience: I worked in a dental office for a short time in high school.

Job Tasks: I am a registered dental hygienist. That means I have a specialized degree in science and Dental Hygiene. It took me 2 years of college for this. Nowadays it's important to get a bachelors degree because the job opportunities for dental professionals have increased. Every work day I have about eight patients that I see. I review their medical histories, perform an oral cancer screening and also find out if they are having any dental problems. After that I scale and polish their teeth. I usually recommend products they may need and I also review any home care regimes that would improve their overall dental health. Along with this, I take any necessary x-rays to detect bone loss and decay and any abnormalities that I wouldn't notice otherwise.

I also work on children of all ages. They need fluoride treatments and sometimes sealants to prevent cavities. Different people come to the office with varied personalities and issues going on in their lives and its important to be sensitive to their needs without judging. On the other hand, a dental hygienist has a job to do and it is rewarding as well as challenging. Dental hygiene is a very profitable job and the flexibility of the hours works well for families. Its a great job to have.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that I get to meet all different types of people every day. I like that I am doing something positive to better someone's health. On the other hand, working with the public and doing a procedure they don't necessarily enjoy can be a challenge.

Job Tips: The first thing I would advise would be to take science courses in high school: anatomy, chemistry, etc. I would also consider Latin and public speaking. It helps to volunteer or work in a dental office to get real life exposure. I would also consider getting a bachelors degree.

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