Dental Assistant Salary Vs Dental Hygienist

Dental Hygienist

Are you someone who enjoys making others feel comfortable? Are you detail-oriented and have a knack for working with your hands? If so, there’s a profession where you can put these skills to great use while even giving out free toothbrushes. That profession is dental hygiene. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of dental hygienists and explore how their role differs from dental assistants. So, if you’re considering a career in oral health, keep reading to find out more!

Dental Assistant Salary Vs Dental Hygienist
Dental Assistant Salary Vs Dental Hygienist

What Does a Dental Hygienist Do?

As a dental hygienist, your main responsibility is to ensure that your patients’ gums and teeth are healthy and happy. You play a crucial role in detecting any oral health issues and providing the necessary treatments to resolve them. Some of the tasks you’ll perform include deep cleaning, polishing teeth to remove stains, and applying fluoride treatments to strengthen the teeth. Additionally, you’ll educate and inform your clients on maintaining a healthier smile.

Dental Hygienist Work Schedule Flexibility

Typically, dental clinics operate Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. However, some offices understand that not everyone can visit during these hours. In response to this, certain clinics extend their hours to accommodate their clients’ busy schedules. For instance, some clinics, like the one Kelly Burrows works at in Summerland, B.C., offer appointments until 8 pm and even work on Saturdays. This flexibility allows dental hygienists to cater to a wider range of patients and provide optimal care.

The Importance of Precision and Skill

A dental hygienist’s job relies heavily on their dexterity and ability to work with precision. When assessing patients’ oral health, you’ll utilize various tools, including scalers, which are sharp instruments used to remove plaque and tartar. It’s crucial to be sensitive to touch and possess excellent manual skills as you work with your hands to achieve the best possible results—ensuring your patients have the healthiest mouths.

Steps to Becoming a Dental Hygienist

To become a dental hygienist, you’ll need to complete one year of prerequisites before applying to a dental hygiene program. Some educational institutions also offer degree programs in dental hygiene. Once you’ve completed the necessary education, you must apply to your province’s College of Dental Hygienists to become a registered dental hygienist. Obtaining registration allows you to practice and provide care to patients confidently.

Overcoming Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety is a common concern for many patients. As a dental hygienist, your role is not only to perform necessary treatments but also to ensure your clients feel comfortable and at ease. Communication is key in addressing patients’ fears. If someone is uncomfortable with a particular treatment, they can voice their concerns, and you can reschedule the appointment accordingly. From the moment they walk through the clinic doors, you aim to create a safe, friendly, and comfortable environment. Building trust with your patients is vital for their overall experience.

Embracing Technology for Enhanced Patient Care

Advancements in technology have revolutionized the field of dental hygiene, making it easier than ever to engage patients in their oral health journey. For instance, intraoral photos and digital X-rays allow dental hygienists to show clients real-time visuals of their oral health. This collaborative approach helps patients understand their conditions better and actively participate in the treatment process.

The Distinction between Dental Hygienists and Dental Assistants

One common misconception is that dental hygienists and dental assistants perform the same tasks. However, their roles differ significantly. Dental assistants primarily provide assistance to dentists during procedures, working alongside them. On the other hand, dental hygienists work independently, often having their own dedicated rooms for patient treatment. Understanding this distinction is essential when considering a career in dental hygiene.

Pursuing a Rewarding Career

If you’re considering a career as a dental hygienist, be prepared for a dynamic and fulfilling journey. In this profession, you’ll encounter various dental conditions, and your expertise will be crucial in helping patients maintain healthy gums and teeth. Your attention to detail and passion for cleanliness will be put to good use every day. So, if you’re someone who enjoys making people smile and values oral health, dental hygiene might be the perfect career path for you.

To learn more about dental hygiene and other related careers, visit Make You Smile. Start your journey towards a rewarding career today!