Dentistry, a lucrative profession, is concerned with all health problems afflicting the mouth, teeth, gums and other hard and soft tissues of the oral cavity. Accepted as a professional field dealing with dental care and correction, Dentists help people maintain their health and appearance. Dentistry is changing rapidly, creating many opportunities and challenges. Apart from the main career as Dentists, there are people who help Dentists with dental treatment such as Dental Assistants, Dental Hygienists, Dental therapists and Dental Technologists. Here we are discussing in detail about Dental Hygienists who work along with dentists.
A Dental Hygienist is a dental professional who specialises in preventive oral health, typically focusing on techniques in oral hygiene and care. Dentists and Dental Hygienists work together to meet the oral health needs of patients. Primarily concerned with preventative care, Dental Hygienists assist dentists in caring for patients' teeth and educating patients on good oral health practices.
Dental Hygienists can find employment in a variety of work environments, including Dental clinics and educational and aged care facilities. Dental Hygienists work closely with dentists and dental assistants. Some of the more specific duties of a dental hygienist include removing tartar and plaque from teeth, applying fluoride or sealants to protect teeth, take X-rays, and educate patients on proper oral hygiene. At times they are even licensed to administer local anesthesia. They also watch for signs of problems such as gingivitis and cavities during appointments. Hygienists spend time talking to patients about caring for their teeth. They educate people about the impact that diet and lifestyle choices have on teeth and about techniques and habits to keep teeth healthy.
One of the advantage of this career is that it is flexible. Work can be part time, full time, and can include nights and weekends depending on the dental clinic or practice they work for.
Sometimes Dental assistants may be confused with Dental Hygienists as both deal with dental procedures. But both groups perform two different roles. Dental hygienists usually have a higher level of training and expertise and are responsible for cleaning and examining the teeth and gums of a patient and reporting their findings to the dentist. Whereas Dental Assistants are mainly concerned with preparation of the patient, equipment and instruments. They help both dentists and dental hygienists.
Education and Personal Requirements
Dental Hygienist course is offered in many dental colleges either as a diploma or as a certificate course. Applicants who want to pursue a program in Dental hygienist have to pass their 10+2 examinations with physics, chemistry and biology as their subjects.
Dental hygienists should have good eyesight, listening and communication skills and manual dexterity. As with any other medical field, they must have a strong desire to help others, and be able to closely follow instructions of the dentists. Apart from this, good interpersonal skills, patience, diligence and a high degree of precision are the skills needed to be a good hygienist. The ability to work as a team is also required in this field.
Earnings for Dental Hygienists vary widely based on education, experience, and location. Hygienists may be paid on an hourly, daily, salary, or commission basis. Benefits also vary by employer, but they may include paid vacations, sick leave or contributions to a retirement fund. A fresher in the field can expect a starting salary of 8,000-10,000 per month.
Government Dental College and Hospital
Nair Hospital Dental College
Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences
Bharati Vidyapeeth University Dental College, Dhankawadi, Pune
SDM College of Dental Sciences & Hospital