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Can You Make a Living as a Dental Hygienist?

It is entirely possible to make a living as a dental hygienist. Indeed, it is a very common profession, as there are over 50,000 dental offices in the United States and Canada alone. The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics found, in 2012, that the average median salary of a dental hygienist is over $70,000 per year, with many dental hygienist practitioners earning well over this amount.

This is simply because there are varying degrees and responsibilities that a Dental Hygienist may perform. Moreover, the Department stated that the prospect of such jobs and its associate outlook for open positions was “good” and that there were over 190, 000 Dental Hygienists currently operating in the United States in 2012.

Further, according to the Occupational Outlook for Dental hygienists, employment of dental hygienists is expected to increase by thirty-three percent from 2012 to 2022, quicker than the average for all measured occupations. Continued medical research has found that there is a direct correlation between good oral health and good general health. Regular dental checkups can reveal a host of general health problems or potential problems that can be avoided if preventative measures are taken. This will generate interest and demand for preventative dental services, which are often performed by Dental hygienists.

As their practices expand, dentists will hire more hygienists to perform routine dental care, allowing the dentist to see more patients.

Newer federal health legislation that has been introduced will definitely expand the number of patients who have access to medical and dental health insurance. Patients with additional or expanded dental insurance coverage will be much more likely to visit a dentist than with their new insurance and coverage. This will mean that there will be an increased demand for all dental services, which include those services that are predominantly performed by Dental hygienists.

Dental Hygienists can perform a plethora of dental procedures – so the role can vary occasionally, depending on the practice or institution that the hygienist is working within. From the initial assessment of a patient to promoting educational and preventative services to a patient, in order to maintain dental care and oral health, the role of a hygienist is interesting and varied and, as a result, is always in demand. Further, some Dental Hygienists command higher salaries as they have undertaken further training and are able to administer local anesthesia and perform dental radiography.

Compared to other medical professionals, the role of the Dental hygienist is one of the better-paid supportive roles. Again, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a Dental Hygienist will earn more than a Dental Assistant, Medical Assistant, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Physical Therapist Assistant and Registered Nurses. Further salary increases can be obtained by the Dental hygienist from further training, job experience and from undertaking further medical responsibilities that are associated with the role.

The training and development that is undertaken by a prospective dental hygiene student are necessary so that the hygienist can practice in a safe and controlled manner. The dental industry ultimately awards Dental hygienists accordingly and, as such, it is not only possible to make a living, as a Dental hygienist, but rather it is a very rewarding and lucrative career in which you can be directly involved.