Dental hygiene careers may be appropriate for you if you love to work with people, would like to work in a flexible and diverse environment, with a focus on medical advances and technologies.
As a dental hygienist, you will take a front and center role in a clinical setting. Aside from assisting the primary dentist, you will have a major role in performing certain procedures such as initial checkups and full cleanups. You will also be responsible for providing accurate and up-to-date information to patients, with regards to proper oral care. Many clinical settings also offer opportunities of laboratory work and even having your own list of patients. Depending on where you work, you could also hold the role of promoting awareness of good oral hygiene and participating in various workshops and conferences. As you will be able to find work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, private clinics and mobile clinics, your work schedule could be as flexible as you would need it to be. A dental hygiene career is an excellent choice if your goals are to have a great work and life balance.
In order to start in the profession, you willl have to complete a 2-year associate's degree at the collegiate level. Some technical schools as well as universities offer programs that can grant you entry into this career; it is advised to check with your state's regulations to ensure you enroll in an accredited program. Once you complete your degree, you will be eligible to take licensure examinations. Each state has its own licensing process and most also require candidates to pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination test. After successful completion of these two steps, you will be able to work as a certified dental hygienist.
Dental hygiene careers are challenging but highly rewarding. If you have excellent interpersonal skills, a keen interest in learning about dental procedures, and great manual dexterity, this might be a great career choice for you.
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