Dental Hygiene

Topics: Dental hygienist, Hygiene, Academic degree Pages: 6 (944 words) Published: June 12, 2013
Today, not that many people are decided on what they want to become as they mature in

life. The best way to figure this out is by doing research and getting as much

information as possible in order for you to not pick something you do not like. The

profession I chose is Dental Hygiene. Dental Hygienist are license oral health

professionals who attack and treat oral diseases to protect the gums and teeth from

decaying. They remove calculus, stains, and plaque from teeth; take and develop

dental x-ray's and apply cavity preventives such as fluorides and fissure sealants. Dental

hygienists use rotary, hand, and ultrasonic equipment to clean and polish teeth, x-ray

machines to take dental pictures, syringes with needles to apply local anesthetics, smooth

and polish metal restorations. Dental hygienists also help patients maintain oral health by

explaining the relationship between diet and oral health, or conditions as heart disease

and stroke. They also inform patients how to select toothbrushes and show them how to brush

and floss their teeth. To work as a dental hygienist I will need to graduate from an accredited

dental hygiene school with an associate degree. Hygienists conduct their education through

academic programs at community colleges, technical colleges, dental schools or universities.

The majority of community college programs take at least two years to complete with an

associates degree. After receiving that degree it allows a hygienist to take licensure

examinations to become licensed and able to work in a dental office. University-based dental

hygiene programs may offer baccalaureate and master's degrees, which generally require at

least two years of further schooling. Most programs show a preference for individuals who have

completed at least one year of college. These programs have mandatory classes needed in

liberal arts ( English, speech, sociology and psychology); basic sciences (anatomy, physiology

pharmacology, immunology, chemistry, microbiology and pathology); and clinical sciences

(dental hygiene, radiology and dental materials). After completion of a dental hygiene program,

dental hygienists can choose to pursue additional training in such areas as education, business

administration, basic sciences, marketing and public health. These additional degrees may be

required for a career in teaching. Depending upon the level of education and experience

achieved, dental hygienists can apply their skills and knowledge to other career such

as teaching hygiene students in dental schools and dental hygiene education programs.

Research, Office Management and Business Administration are other career options.

Employment opportunities also may be available with companies that target dental-related

materials and equipment. Admission to a program is highly competitive. According to the

American Dental Hygienist Association seventy four percent of dental hygiene programs use

college science GPA as part of admission requirements. In 2006, programs reported twenty five

percent of students applying for admission to associates programs were admitted, while thirty

three percent of students applying to baccalaureate programs were admitted. A baccalaureate

program is considered entry level to the profession; preparing for practice of dental hygiene in a

private dental office or clinic. Almost all states require that dental hygienists be graduates of

commission-accredited dental hygiene education programs to be eligible for state licensure.

Furthermore, almost all states require for licensure to obtain a passing score on the National

Board Dental Hygiene Examination (a comprehensive written examination) in addition to passing

the state-authorized licensure examination. The state or regional examination tests consist of

clinical dental hygiene skills as well as...
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