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Dental Hygienist Jobs
Prevention is always better than cure. This is truer even in the dental field of medicine. Dental hygienists play a vital role when it comes to preventing dental problems from arising.
The dental hygienist also ensures you maintain personal care when dental problems arise and will help in post-surgery responsibilities.
Working Life of Dental Hygienist:
As a dental hygienist, you will educate children and adults how to look after their teeth, gums and surrounding oral structures. This work can be carried out on an individual basis or in groups depending on the situation.
Dental hygienists general carry out these duties and responsibilities:
- Scaling teeth (at times, this is done under local anesthetic)
- Polishing teeth
- Applying topical fluoride, fissure sealants and other preventative medications
A dental hygienist works in hospitals or community dental services; most times, they work in general dental practice where they work alongside dentists. Many dental hygienists lead teams of oral health educators and thus engage in massive community outreaches.
Your professional work as a dental hygienist will save many teeth via preventing and or treating already existing gum disease. Your work also helps people get rid of associated problems like halitosis (bad breath). This can offer improved quality of life to your patients.
A dentist will typically advise you, help direct you or work with you but now, it’s possible to work independently when you gain extra training. With extra training, hygienist and therapists can now see patients without the dentist seeing the patient first. In communities, a dental hygienist can work with people with a wide range of special dental needs.
If you work in a hospital setting, you may help patients who have had major dental surgeries or complicated orthodontic treatment or other specific medical conditions that concern oral health. Sometimes, the patients you see may be very ill, unsure after life-changing surgery or may be apprehensive. In hospital settings, there is always more work for dental hygienist.
Entry requirements, skills and interests:
To be a dental hygienist, you need to have five GSCE subjects graded A-CC or equivalent. It would help if you also had two A levels or a recognized dental nursing qualification gained from an identified/verified institution.
A good communication skill is essential. Having a kind heart is necessary too because you might work in various work environments and will probably experience a job with a variety of outlooks and challenges.
Training and Development:
To practice as a dental hygienist, one needs to take an appropriate course approved by the General Dental Council in the country. You also have to be registered with the GDC. Dental schools offer the course for training and usually take two years or up to 27 months full-time.
The subjects include:
- Preventive dentistry
- Dental health education
- Dental pathology
The management and care of patients
In the UK, most dental schools offer courses combining dental hygiene and dental therapy. Further Training and development qualify you to advance further in your career and interests.