To work as a dental hygienist, the following may be required of you: Earn an associate's degree from an accredited dental hygiene school. I am a young dental hygienist who graduated over 6 years ago, and now my clinical career is hanging on by a thread (literally). With a past minor injury to my upper neck and lower back, clinical dental hygiene combined with a few bad choices has become the ultimate career killer. With starting salaries typically lower than a full-time dental hygienist’s salary, career advancement may actually mean a step backwards financially. Or just from private practice. Programs usually take 3 years to complete. All states require dental hygienists to be licensed; requirements vary by state. These disorders routinely effect speaking, breathing, eating, sleeping, and virtually every other aspect of the patient’s life. From providing oral health education to nurses and other medical professionals, to patient advocacy and helping medical patients navigate their oral health needs, to providing preventive and therapeutic treatment in medical facilities, oral health practitioners in medical settings are vital to the future of healthcare. Transcript: Dental hygienists provide dental care that promotes good oral health and helps prevent or repair problems with patients’ teeth. We know this is an issue, but do not know where to start. Here’s Why. You are no longer limited to the same old clinical role! Quantitative research involves conducting surveys & analyzing the results, while qualitative research may involve testing a new procedure, product, or theory for accuracy or effectiveness. Registered Dental Hygienist to Medical Doctor: My Career Change at (almost) 30. Stay tuned for Part 2 where we continue exploring other innovative roles for dental hygienists everywhere! Career path and progression. But scaling teeth day in and day out, week after week, can get pretty old, pretty fast for some. Do you need a break from your daily clinical routine? MELISSA TURNER, BASDH, RDH, EFDA, has practiced clinically across the country and is a valued thought leader and dental advisor. Examples of research settings include: Dental Hygiene educators are in great demand. Hygienist Confession: Yeah, I Leave Stain. Dental hygienists may want to transition into a career as a postsecondary health specialties teacher and share their expertise with students in dental hygiene programs. Examples of clinical settings include: Thankfully, the dental hygiene profession has reached a pivotal moment where there are now countless non-traditional career opportunities both in and out of the clinical setting. Dental hygienists in a clinical role assess, diagnose, plan, implement, evaluate and document treatment for prevention, intervention and control of oral diseases, while practicing in collaboration with other health professionals. In fact, e mployment of dental hygienists is projected to grow 20 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. The Path to a New Career The Roles of a Dental Hygienist. Look for dental hygienist positions using job-search resources like,, and Do you consider it a personal strength? Dental Hygienist (career change) Looking to change careers and do better for my kids and myself and was looking to attend Dental Hygienist school in the San Antonio, TX area. In order With experience, you could specialise in dealing with particular groups like people with additional needs, or move into dental practice management. Earn a bachelor's or a master's degree in dental hygiene if you want to advance your career. … A dental hygienist or oral hygienist is a licensed dental professional, who assess oral health, perform oral therapeutic services, and assist the dentist. Dental hygiene career paths can lead to employment in a number of diverse settings, such as government education, research, sales and marketing, or public health. Some common places for dental hygienists to work include: What exactly is an independent coach or consultant? Dental hygienists provide clinical services in a variety of settings such as private dental practice, community health settings, nursing homes, hospitals, prisons, schools, faculty practice clinics, state and federal government facilities and Indian reservations. Colleges and universities throughout the U. S. require dental hygiene instructors who use educational theory and methodology to educate competent oral health care professionals. Since the first thing on the page will be the resume objective, this section is critical. Melissa can be reached at MelissaTurnerLLC [at] You can also find job opportunities by contacting your dental hygienist school's career center. The dental industry is always changing—and more importantly—the dental hygiene profession is on the forefront of this change! Reach for the stars… your degree in dental hygiene can and will take you places! Dental hygienist: In 2019, dental hygienists had an average pay of $77,230, with the top 10% earning more than $103,340 . SEE ALSO: Expand Your Dental Hygiene Career by Thinking Like an Entrepreneur, DON’T MISS: Using Social Media to Advance Your Dental Hygiene Career. She is executive moderator of the Dental Peeps Network and has vast experience providing direct services as a mobile clinician. How and where you work today is up to you. PRO: Growing Employment. I am a young 47 y/o single Mom, to two school age kids, who already … Connective Tissue Disorders: Tailoring Dental Appointments for CTD Patients, New AAP Periodontal Classification Guidelines, QUIZ: Test Your Periodontal Instrumentation Knowledge, Mental Nerve Block: A Welcomed Alternative in Mandibular Anesthesia, How Hygienists can Bridge Cultural Differences during Appointments, The RDH Detective: Discovering Sleep Disordered Breathing in Adults, Behcet’s Disease: What Dental Hygienists Should Know & Look For, Frenums: Checking for Frenum Abnormalities During Oral Hygiene Exams. These positions often offer an opportunity to provide care to those who otherwise would not have access to dental care. Elected Leadership & Appointed Committees Information, Constituent & Component Officer Update Form, COVID-19 Resource Center for Dental Hygienists, Clinical Director, statewide school sealant program, Program Director, dental hygiene educational program, Dean of Health Sciences, educational institution, Executive Director, state association staff. Hygienists might work in research or for manufacturing firms that produce dental equipment or supplies. Corporations also employ educators who provide continuing education to licensed dental hygienists. Becoming a dentist takes years of training and … Dental Hygienists rank #1 in Best Healthcare Support Jobs. There are so many careers out there, that it's hard to know which one is right for you. Do you feel underpaid in your current job? Dental hygienists have become clinic directors, health-care administrators, and even elected politicians to effect change. Clinician: Dental hygienists in a clinical role assess, diagnose, plan, implement, evaluate and document treatment for prevention, intervention and control of oral diseases, while practicing in collaboration with other health professionals. Entrepreneurial opportunities developed by dental hygienists include: Learn more about the education, licensure, and training required for dental hygiene career options. The dental hygiene field is growing rapidly , as are opportunities for employment. Some hygienists combine positions in different settings and career paths for professional variety. The median annual wage for dental hygienists was $76,220 in May 2019. Peroxide Use in Dentistry: Is it Safe for Oral Health Care? Next: ... For those thinking about a complete career change, we've compiled a list of jobs that offer a strong salary, good … Career changers make this decision later in life and some have been out of school for many years working in another profession before they realize that dentistry is their true calling. Dental Hygienists Save Lives Known for impeccable teeth cleaning, a dental hygienist does more than clean teeth. Never before has there been more opportunity for professional growth. In the dental office, the dentist and the dental hygienist work together to meet the oral health needs of patients. According to BLS, top paying industries in insurance ($86,460), dentist offices ($81,400), and management ($77,040). However, complete hygiene independence is gaining traction and, in a few states like Colorado and Maine, dental hygienists are able to own dental practices and provide services to anyone, in any place, at any time. Let’s face it, as dental hygienists we love what we do! She launched I Heart Mobile Dentistry, a Facebook support group for clinicians practicing mobile dentistry, and is co-founder of the first annual National Mobile Dentistry Conference on February 28-29, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. Let your dental hygiene education and experience open doors to YOUR career path and consider the possibilities…, The Path to a New CareerThe Roles of a Dental Hygienist. Depending on your particular state’s statutes, dental hygienists may be able to own or manage mobile dental programs in non-traditional practice settings like universities, corporate workplaces, hospitals, schools, or even patients’ homes. Take the Fast Track from Student to Professional. The opportunities are endless! Leaders throughout the dental industry often employ dental hygienists due to their clinical experience and understanding of dental practice. Change, 2019-29; Percent Numeric; Dental hygienists: 226,400: 239,700: 6: 13,300: Careers Related to Dental Hygienists [About this section] Dental Assistants. © Today's Digital Media, LLC d/b/a Today's RDH, 5 Non-Traditional Career Opportunities for Dental Hygienists, Academy of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy, International Association of Orofacial Myology, Expand Your Dental Hygiene Career by Thinking Like an Entrepreneur, Using Social Media to Advance Your Dental Hygiene Career. Hygienists work to keep your teeth clean and protect your overall health. Career Options. It generally takes a hiring manager about six seconds to decide, based on the resume, whether a person has all necessary qualifications for a job. Read more about how we rank the best jobs. Do you enjoy writing? Thankfully, the dental hygiene profession has reached a pivotal moment where there are now countless non-traditional career opportunities both in and out of the clinical setting. Pay. Skills To Put in a Dental Hygienist Resume Objective. The answer: Whatever you want it to be. A typical day involves examining patients’ teeth and gums for cavities and disease, cleaning and polishing teeth, and teaching patients proper brushing and flossing techniques. American Dental Hygienists' Association January 2007, 81 (1) 11; Median salary: $74,820 Stress level score: 6.0 Work-life balance score: 10.0 If you're a dental hygienist, you're cleaning patients' teeth. Job Outlook Myofunctional therapists are often licensed as dental hygienists or speech-language pathologists and integrated into various clinical care teams. Dental hygiene program students and graduates often think of clinical practice in a dental office or clinic as a singular career path. I mean, they’re both me of course but my surety and wit are completely different. Examples of administrative positions include: By using imagination and creativity to initiate or finance new commercial enterprises, dental hygienists have become successful entrepreneurs in a variety of businesses. One of the main benefits of a career in dental hygiene is job security. With further training you could teach student dental hygienists. That can make a career change a difficult choice. Working in a private dental office continues to be the primary place of employment for dental hygienists. Consider expanding your responsibility into any of the following non-traditional roles that are currently trending among our colleagues: Quickly gaining in popularity, myofunctional therapists specialize in dealing with disorders of the muscles and functions of the face and mouth. The chart below details some common career jumps for dental hygienists. Q: Are there new career options on the horizon? Examples of corporate positions include: Community Health programs are typically funded by government or nonprofit organizations. The profession of dental hygiene is at the crossroads of change, and the variety of career opportunities are expanding as never before. Dental hygienists typically need an associate’s degree in dental hygiene. You're … It’s tough to be a dental hygienist nowadays, and more and more of them … A career as a dental hygienist offers a wide range of challenges. This is an exciting time to be a dental hygienist. For today’s dental hygiene professional, there are many other career pathways to explore as well. Examples of public health opportunities include a variety of roles and settings: Research conducted by dental hygienists can be either qualitative or quantitative. In addition to clinical practice, there are career opportunities in education, research, sales and marketing, public health, administration and government. But don’t limit yourself to just dental-related publications—consider other avenues like blogs, local newspapers, and even magazines and journals geared towards other healthcare professions. The field of dental hygiene is displaying a projection of rapid growth. You can also visit specialized online job portals, such as The American Dental Hygienists Association's job board. Comparing these two pictures side by side, you see two very different people. Worki… Dental Hygiene Workforce Issues: A Minnesota Study. It’s not a nice feeling, and it may … Is there anyone out there that has successfully changed careers away from dental hygiene. Examples of education positions may be full time or part time and include: Dental hygienists in administrative positions apply organizational skills, communicate objectives, identify and manage resources, and evaluate and modify programs of health, education and health care. In most states, hygienists can only provide direct services to underserved individuals and must be an employee of a dentist. Examples of clinical settings include: Corporate dental hygienists are employed by companies that support the oral health industry through the sale of products and services. For those with a passion for dental hygiene who do not wish to practice clinically, there are many career paths outside of the operatory available in education, research, administration, public health and corporate business. High Compensation. Since each state has its own specific regulations regarding their responsibilities, the range of services performed by hygienists varies from state to state. Many hygienists find new career directions built on the foundation of their solid health-care education and experience in the field. SEE ALSO: 5 Non-Traditional Career Opportunities for Dental Hygienists Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS, is owner of Seminar's for Women's Health, past president of the ADHA, and a dental hygiene key opinion leader. Dental assistants perform many tasks, ranging from providing patient care and taking x rays to recordkeeping and scheduling appointments. But scaling teeth day in and day out, week after week, can get pretty old, pretty fast for some. Other -- In addition to the above, dental hygienists have ventured in diverse categories with a wide range of formal training, time, and financial commitment. Independent coaches tend to work one-on-one with the client and focus on particular areas such as health coaching, motivational life coaching, or professional career coaching. You could also move into a related area like orthodontic therapy or health promotion. Dental hygienists can find employment in a variety of work environments, including medical clinics and offices and educational facilities. Sarah Verville Basile and David O Born. More than ever before, dental hygienists find themselves leading initiatives, managing teams, directing programs, advising policy, influencing legislation, and bridging the medical-dental divide. Then why not submit a few pieces for publication in dental magazines? Career change. Keeping a Grateful Heart in Dental Hygiene, Barodontalgia: How Pressure Changes can Cause “Tooth Squeeze” Pain, Entrepreneur Hygienist Ingrid Adeogun Launches PANGA with Eco-Friendly Homecare Products, VIDEO: Com-Fit Plush Natural Fit Mask Application, Today’s RDH Honor Awards 2019 Recipient: Mandy Macachor, RDH, Today’s RDH Honor Awards 2019 Recipient: Jennifer Geiselhofer, RDH, 8 Reasons to Stop Being a Clinical Dental Hygienist. Jobs are ranked according to their ability to offer an elusive mix of factors. On the other hand, consultants tend to work with a team of oral health professionals at their specific workplace and focus on developing efficient in-house programming to increase practice revenue, improve patient retention, and create customer satisfaction. Thinking about leaving clinical dental … Because there is no governing board overseeing the industry, myofunctional therapists do not necessarily have to be certified—however, there are two well-known organizations that do provide multi-day certification courses: Many dental hygienists are passionate about educating others on the oral-system link, and are now exploring creative ways to bridge the great medical-dental divide. profiling dental hygienists working in unique settings. Let’s face it, as dental hygienists we love what we do! Learn more about dental hygienists. If you desire a change from your daily routine, then why not use your dental hygiene degree to explore a non-traditional opportunity? Amber Auger, RDH, MPH, is a practicing dental hygienist and clinical innovations implementation specialist.With 14 years' experience in the dental industry, Auger works with practices to provide customized protocols, refocus on the patient experience, and … Hygienists have … Take a look around, and you will discover how dental hygienists are participating in innovative roles, both in and out, of the op. Rankings. A: Yes!