You probably think of your dental hygienist as the person who cleans your teeth. But they do a lot more than that. In a modern dental office, a dental hygienist is an essential part of a dedicated team of professionals.
A Great Career with a Bright Future
There are currently more than 183,000 dental hygienists working in the United States, and that number is expected to grow in the future:
The job market for dental hygienists is booming. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the occupation will grow 19 percent by 2024, which is much faster than the average growth rate for most professions.
Where Do Dental Hygienists Work?
As you would expect, most of the growing demand will be for dental hygienists who work in dental offices. This is largely due to the important role that dental hygienists play in promoting preventative care.
There will be additional opportunities for hygienists in other types of medical offices where they are looking to provide complete care, including:
- Emergency rooms
- Physician’s offices
What Skills Does the Job Require?
If you like helping people and you’re interested in working alongside a group of professionals, becoming a dental hygienist might be the right career choice for you. You also need to be good at the right academic subjects and have the dedication necessary to complete a demanding course of study.
If you have the following skills and interests, you might want to consider a career as a dental hygienist:
- Good hand-eye coordination
- An aptitude for biology, chemistry, and math classes
- A strong desire to improve people’s lives
- Willing to take on a variety of tasks in an office setting
- Effective critical thinking skills
- Comfortable educating patients and community members about good oral hygiene.
How to Become a Dental Hygienist
It takes a significant amount of time and effort to become a dental hygienist. You need to complete the following steps:
- Earn your associate’s degree in dental hygienics. This typically takes about three years of full-time study at a community college, a dental school, or a vocational school.
- Pass your National Board of Dental Hygiene Examinations. This a written test that covers basic biomedical and dental sciences as they apply to the field of dental hygienics.
- Pass an examination administered by your state or regional testing agency. This exam is designed to evaluate your ability to perform in a clinical setting.
- Apply for your license which is provided by your local licensing agency.
Visit Your Cosmetic Dentist in Manhattan
Please contact Dr. Grottesman’s office in Manhattan for dental implants and all your other cosmetic dentistry needs. You can rest assured that our dental hygienists and the rest of our team are all friendly and talented professionals.