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The Daily Life of a Dental Hygienist in the US

If you’re interested in what it’s like to work as a dental hygienist, there are a few things to know first. Working as a dental hygienist offers security, gratification, flexibility, and satisfaction. It takes time, effort, skill, and knowledge to become qualified to practice. Once you’ve reached that milestone, you’re rewarded immensely. You receive self-gratification knowing how skilled you’ve become. Job security and income is no longer a worry. Plus, most dental hygienists love their jobs! Let’s find out why.


The Average Schedule

To start, most dental hygienists don’t work a standard 9-5, Monday to Friday schedule. Rather, many of these professionals work 3 or 4 days per week, and often, they work for more than one dental office. That means a dental hygienist could work 2 days at one office and 2 or 3 days at another. Talk about variation in the workweek!


A Typical Work Day

One of the most appealing aspects of working as a dental hygienist is the diversity of one’s responsibilities. The work is far from mundane. A dental hygienist may spend a morning teaching a child how to brush their teeth and floss. In the afternoon, that same hygienist may help an elderly man or woman clean their dentures.


Upon arrival in the morning, a dental hygienist will check the day’s schedule. They may start reviewing patient charts, update historical medical records, review radiographs, or get materials prepared for the first patient. Depending on their practice, they may coordinate the day's responsibilities with the office’s practicing dentist. Alternatively, the dental hygienist may own their own practice! In that case, the hygienist would bear all the responsibility in dictating the daily tasks and overseeing patient care.


On any given day, a dental hygienist may work with 10 patients. During a patient visit, the hygienist is responsible for communication, checking records, speaking about hygiene practices, and offering tips and recommendations. Furthermore, the hygienist will assess the patient’s current oral health. They will remove plaque, clean the patient’s teeth, take any needed radiographs, and procure treatment plans if necessary.


Different Options for Dental Hygienists

Another highly advantageous aspect of being trained as a dental hygienist is the amount of options present. A hygienist may take a salaried role at a dentist's office. Another hygienist may choose to open their practice and become the sole oral health provider in the office. Other hygienists may find a freelance lifestyle more suitable. This would entail the freelancer moving from office to office spending time at various practices.


The Future for Dental Hygienists

For those interested in pursuing a career in healthcare, the future is bright for dental hygienists! The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an 11% growth from 2018 to 2028. This is compared to 5% in all other occupations. Thus, if you want security, flexibility, variance, and meaningful work, dental hygiene may be perfect for you!


Are you interested in increased flexibility in the dental industry and making a difference in other people’s lives? Fill out our form or download the app to join the Stynt Network!