Dental Hygienist

JOB DESCRIPTION

Dental hygienists work with the dentist to meet the oral health needs of patients.

There are many employment opportunities in the field of dental hygiene, since many dentists employ one or more dental hygienists. Dental hygienists are in demand in general dental practices, as well as in specialty practices such as periodontics or pediatric dentistry.

Depending upon the level of education and experience achieved, dental hygienists can also apply their skills and knowledge to other career activities such as teaching dental hygiene students in dental schools and dental hygiene education programs. Research, office management and business administration are other career options. Additionally, employment opportunities may be available with companies that market dental-related materials and equipment.

Since each province has its own specific regulations regarding their scope of duties, the range of services performed by dental hygienists varies from province to province. 

Dental hygienists support some important patient care services provided in a dental office, including:

  • Removing calculus, stains and plaque from teeth
  • Taking and developing dental radiographs (x-rays)
  • Teaching patients appropriate oral hygiene strategies to maintain oral health (e.g. Tooth brushing, flossing and nutritional counseling)
  • Applying fluoride and pit and fissure sealants
  • Counseling patients regarding good nutrition and its impact on oral health
  • Making impressions of patients’ teeth for study casts (models of teeth used by dentists to evaluate patient treatment needs)
  • Patient screening procedures, such as assessment of oral health conditions, review of the health history, dental charting and taking blood pressure and pulse
  • Performing documentation and office management activities

Dental hygienists may also be employed to provide dental hygiene services for patients in hospitals, nursing homes and public health clinics.

SALARY RANGE

$45,000 - $50,000

 

RECOMMENDED HIGHSCHOOL COURSES

Mathematics 40S - Required

(Pre-calculus 50% min or Applied 70%)

Biology 40S

Recommended

Chemistry 40S minim50% - 

 

CAREER BENEFITS

Personal Satisfaction
One of the most enjoyable aspects of a career in dental hygiene is working with people. Personal fulfillment comes from providing a valuable health care service while establishing trusting relationships with patients.
Respect
As a result of their education and clinical training in a highly skilled discipline, dental hygienists are respected as valued members of the dental health team.
Variety
Dental hygienists use a variety of interpersonal and clinical skills to meet the oral health needs of many different patients each day. Dental hygienists have opportunities to help special population groups such as children, the elderly and the disabled. They may also provide oral health instruction in primary and secondary schools and other settings.
Flexibility
The flexibility offered by full and part-time employment options, as well as the availability of evening and weekend hours, enables dental hygienists to balance their career and lifestyle needs. Dental hygienists also have opportunities to work in a wide variety of settings including: private dental practices, educational and community institutions and research.
Security
The services that dental hygienists provide are needed and valued by a large percentage of the population. There is currently a great demand for dental hygienists. Employment opportunities will be excellent well into the next century. Due to the success of preventive dentistry in reducing the incidence of oral disease, the expanding older population will retain their teeth longer, and will be even more aware of the importance of regular dental care. With the emphasis on preventive care, dentists will need to employ more dental hygienists than ever before to meet the increased demand for dental services

TRAINING & EDUCATION ROUTES IN MANITOBA

University of Manitoba
Senior Years Course Selection 
Senior 4
Mathematics 40S - Required
(Pre-calculus 50% min or Applied 70%)
Biology 40S - recommended
Chemistry 40S minimum 50% - recommended

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

There are many employment opportunities in the field of dental hygiene, since many dentists employ one or more dental hygienists. Dental hygienists are in demand in general dental practices, as well as in specialty practices such as periodontics or pediatric dentistry. Dental hygienists are responsible for some important patient care services provided in a dental office, including removing calculus, stains and plaque from teeth, applying fluoride and pit and fissure sealants, taking and developing dental radiographs (X-rays), providing oral hygiene instructions (e.g. brushing, flossing and nutritional counseling). Dental hygienists may also be employed to provide dental hygiene services for patients in hospitals, nursing homes and public health clinics. Depending upon the level of education and experience achieved, dental hygienists can also apply their skills and knowledge to other career activities such as teaching dental hygiene students in dental schools and dental hygiene education programs. Research, office management and business administration are other career options. Additionally, employment opportunities may be available with companies that market dental-related materials and equipment.
http://www.manitobadentist.ca/team-hygienist-advantages.cfm

 

UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA - PROGRAM DESCRIPTION 

The Diploma in Dental Hygiene is a 3-year program that prepares students to work as dental hygienists in a variety of employment settings. Dental hygiene is a self-regulated health service profession concerned primarily with the prevention of oral disease and the promotion of optimum oral health. As a licensed professional, the dental hygienists' scope of practice is regulated by provincial legislation. The dental hygiene process of care consists of five components: assess, diagnose, plan, implement and evaluate, which guide dental hygiene practice in every setting. Dental hygienists work in private dental offices, community health centres, educational institutions, personal care homes and various other environments.

 

WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT THIS PROGRAM AT THE U OF M?

The only dental hygiene program in the province, the University of Manitoba's School of Dental Hygiene educates students in state-of-the-art preclinical laboratories and clinics providing students with technologically advanced and hands-on training. Students benefit from an education provided by highly trained researchers and clinicians with specialized expertise in their respective fields. Educators in the School of Dental Hygiene are leaders in the profession locally and internationally. Diploma graduates may opt to return to the School of Dental Hygiene to complete their degree. 

http://umanitoba.ca/student/admissions/programs/dental-hygiene.html

UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA

College of Dentistry – School of Dental Hygiene

Phone: 204.789.3683

dent_hygiene@umanitoba.ca

LINKS TO SITES

The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association www.cdha.ca
Proctor and Gamble (Crest’s) www.dentalcare.com
Colgate World of Care www.colgate.com/app/Colgate/US/OC/HomePage.cvsp
Manitoba Dentist http://www.manitobadentist.ca/team-hygienist.cfm