The Job of the Dental Hygienist
If you are interested dentistry, but perhaps don't want to spend as many years in school as a dentist, a career in dental hygiene may be ideal for you. Dental hygienists help the dentist by doing initial examinations and performing dental assessments on patients, cleaning and taking impressions of patients' teeth, and taking dental x-rays. Dental hygienists also help patients develop and maintain good oral health by providing nutritional counseling, and showing patients how to properly brush and floss their teeth.
Many colleges and universities offer courses and programs that lead to a degree in dental hygiene. There are also many dental hygiene schools and colleges throughout the country that offer specialized degrees in dental hygiene. Most dental hygiene programs are about two years long and qualify you to earn an associate's degree, which is a sufficient degree for practicing as a dental hygienist in most dental offices. Dental hygiene programs typically include instruction in subjects such as anatomy, physiology, chemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, nutrition, radiography, periodontics, dental equipment, and clinical dental hygiene.
Careers in Dental Hygiene
The need for dental hygienists is continuing to grow as the demand for dental care increases, and the greater use of dental hygienists to perform services previously performed by dentists expands. As a qualified dental hygienist you will be able to pursue a career as a dental hygienist in a private dental office, or in hospitals, nursing homes or public health clinics.
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