If you are considering a job in the dental industry and do not want many years in college to do so, it is a good idea to consider a supportive role to the dentist. One popular option is to become a dental hygienist, which will allow you to have a significant impact on the oral health of many patients. Therefore, it will be helpful to consider the following information about training to become a dental hygienist and what you will be spending your workday doing after your training is finished.  

Becoming A Dental Hygienist

In the vast majority of states, a dental hygienist will need to attend an accredited dental hygiene program and graduate with an associate's degree. That includes both the time that you spend in class and an internship that will allow you the opportunity to access practical experience. Although only an associate's degree is required, some dental hygienists choose to get a bachelor's or even a master's degree.

You will also need to pass a state exam and the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination. The National Board Dental Hygiene Examination is a written exam. When you have completed all of the aforementioned tasks, you can contact the state in which you live in order to become licensed.

What Will Your Job Duties Be?

As a dental hygienist, you are likely to find that some of your responsibilities vary from one day to the next and from one dental office to another. However, you will usually be expected to screen patients and determine the extent of their dental problems and to verify their physical condition as well, by taking their blood pressure and pulse. In addition, cancer screenings will probably be your responsibility since you will be inspecting their head and neck prior to them seeing the dentist.  

You will also typically take x-rays of each patient and perform deep cleanings of their teeth.  When warranted and approved by both the dentist and the patient, applying sealants and fluoride to protect teeth will also be necessary. It will not be unusual for you to need to counsel patients about their eating habits and to teach them how to provide their own appropriate oral care at home.

In conclusion, as a dental hygienist, you will provide important services to patients and work closely with the dentist in order to meet the needs of the persons receiving care. By learning the above information, you can be sure that you would like to spend your professional life as a dental hygienist.   

To be treated by a dental hygienist, contact a business such as Legacy Dental Arts.