Dental hygiene jobs are responsible for providing necessary expertise in preventive dental care. They clean teeth by removing tartar and stains, apply sealants and teach patients the best ways to keep their teeth and gums clean. And dental hygiene is no laughing matter: There are several diseases and conditions linked to poor dental health. Becoming a dental hygienist is a selective pathway, but there are several opportunities within the field available to those who have put in the time and continued their education.
In private practice most dental hygienists will work directly for the dentist. In federal or state government or large corporations, there is a chance to be promoted into management. This will usually require several years of experience and possibly additional schooling.
Those who have been working as hygienists for 20+ years may want to look at the possibility of teaching. In most cases, a teaching degree is not required — since it is taught at a college level — though some schools may have such a requirement. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 33 percent increase in employment for hygienists over the next 10 years. This means more students will have to be trained to meet the demands of increased employment.
There are always companies looking for professionals to endorse or sell their products. Though this particular position is not the most sought after, there are some companies that will train hygienists to learn their product — and pay those that are hired very well. This is a good opportunity for someone who is a natural-born salesman or who likes getting out and talking to people.
Research and Development
Research and Development (R&D) is another area where more schooling may be required. R&D is a profitable practice in America; the government generally gives large tax breaks to companies for R&D. There are firms that may hire personnel just to do research for specific projects, or they may want help testing a new device or product. Dental hygiene jobs are not restricted to just the dental office anymore, depending on what the individual is looking for. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), there are plenty of options, including going back to school and becoming a dentist. However, the ADA has found that many people who choose to become hygienists enjoy the job and remain in an environment where they are comfortable. Click on the following links for more information about Fortis dental hygienist programs and dental assisting programs.