What Jobs Are Available in Dental Offices?

When you study to work as a dental hygienist, upon graduation, you will have a variety of jobs in different dental offices to choose from. Some of these could include working in pediatrics, general dentistry, or even working for a specialized practice. Regardless of where you work, your skills as a dental hygienist will be in great demand.

A Pediatric Dentist's Office

If you are working as a dental assistant or hygienist for a pediatric dentist, your patients will be children. The skills you'll need to bring to this type of practice will include soothing children who might be afraid to have their teeth cleaned. Calming their fears from the very beginning of the visit is crucial, especially if they need to have more complicated work done. As a dental hygienist, you may be cleaning their teeth, applying fluoride or sealants to prevent dental decay, and teaching them to brush their teeth and gums properly.

A General Dentist Practice

If you are working in a general dentistry practice, you'll be given the chance to work with both younger and older patients. Here, your tasks may include taking routine X-rays, charting a patient's teeth and/or problem gum areas, as well as providing routine cleanings. If you are assisting a dentist, you might help with filling cavities or acting as the right-hand person to the dentist when he or she is performing a root canal or crown work.

Specialized Dental Offices

Other opportunities also exist for dental hygienists, notably working for specialists such as orthodontists or periodontists. If you're working for an orthodontist's office, you'll most likely be assisting with the insertion of braces and the nearly monthly tightenings. You'll also have the opportunity to frequently check up on your patients' teeth to make sure that the braces they're wearing are working and slowly but surely the teeth are in fact becoming straighter.

If you have a job assisting a periodontist, you'll be working with patients who have gum issues and often need deeper cleanings more frequently. Here, the skills you've learned as a dental hygienist will be crucial to getting a job in this field.

Regardless of what type of practice you work for, your ability to calmly deal with patients, making sure their teeth and overall oral health are in good shape, should bring you much satisfaction. After all, everyone knows a good smile is important. Working in these types of dental offices, you play a pivotal role in making sure every patient who comes through the door has winning smile!

Photo credit: morgueFile

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Tags: Dental, healthcare

Julie McCoy

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