How Long Does it Take to Become a Dental Hygienist?
The job of a dental hygienist is one of the few in a growing field of healthcare careers. This relatively new profession requires some study and certain skills. For those who want to become a hygienist, there are certain avenues that can be followed to ensure success.
A hygienist has to have been on the job for at least five years. At the very least, he/she must be in a position of duty for at least two years. In order to qualify as a hygienist, one needs to graduate from an accredited dental school. Those who already have a degree in dentistry but wish to pursue a career in the dental field can opt for shorter courses. They should not however use these courses to get into another profession. Dentistry requires a four-year degree in order to take up positions in dental offices.
There are certain prerequisites needed to be considered for getting into a dentist’s office. For starters, hygienists will require taking a dental course which will teach him how to carry out various procedures. These courses are usually held at community colleges or technical schools. Those who intend to specialize in oral surgery will need to undergo additional training after graduating. Those wishing to be certified end up taking a one-year residency in the specialty.
Some things that might affect the speed of becoming a dental hygienist are having a family member who has already worked in this field. It is also helpful if he/she had already been working for a while in a dentist’s office. Also, a person who already has a degree in dentistry may be eligible to take up a dental hygienist position without having to first get his/her master’s degree.
The length of time required to become a dental hygienist is dependent on how long it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree and how long it takes to complete an associate’s degree. Earning several years of experience in a dental office is also helpful because it gives one the chance to brush up on dental hygienist duties. It could also be possible that a dentist already has a hygienist on staff.
Dental hygienists should know how to use sedatives and pain relievers correctly. It is also important for one to learn the proper way of brushing teeth and to keep one’s mouth and teeth as clean as possible. It is also essential to learn how to give patient’s dental X-rays. This skill could come in handy during emergency situations.