The Joys of Being a Dental Hygienist

After completing cosmetology school and obtaining my license, I realized that this wasn't the career for me and started considering going back to college. I wanted to help people and I was interested in the field of health, so nursing seemed like a potential option, particularly midwifery. I dreamed of bringing precious babies into the world and watching family members, oh and ahh, seeing newborns. I love seeing those patients who haven't been to the dentist for many years or, in some cases, their entire lives.

The chance to educate patients about their dental situation, teach them how to properly care for their teeth and gums, take pictures of before and then eliminate years of accumulation of stones to reveal their real teeth, and then show them the images of the after is a real satisfaction for the bone marrow. Fortunately, those are few and far between, and for the most part I have the most amazing, pleasant, sweet and fun patients I can care for. I love meeting these patients, learning about their hobbies and their families. Laugh with them, cry with them, pray with them, learn from them.

I'm not referring to the people you work with or close to them, although I will say that it can certainly be an incredible experience. I've been fortunate enough to work with some wonderful mentors, educators, and peers throughout my career, and I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything. There are some beautiful sunny days in summer or cool days in fall, and I secretly wish I could be out there doing a job. When I think about it, I like the building I work in.

It allows me to feel comfortable while doing what I like. There's now a mobile dentistry option, but that's for another article. I could continue with several other reasons for how much I enjoy the career choice I made all those years ago. The list is long, and maybe that's why I've stayed with it for so long.

I remember with a grateful heart the choice I made. I will never forget the mentors I've had, the sweet patients I met along the way, and all the memories accumulated during my time as a dental hygienist. I hope everyone has their own lists of why they love it. A successful dental hygienist is patient, understanding, detail-oriented, passionate, firm on their feet and positive.

A patient was the first at her hometown hospital to receive a new antibiotic called penicillin in 1941 while treating a dental abscess. Dental hygiene provides a unique opportunity to positively influence the oral health of every person who visits the dentist's office. An ADEA staff member and dental hygienist analyzes his experience in dental hygiene and highlights the many options available in this field. Of course, talk to those patients about their dental needs but also about them; you might learn something.

ADEA's DHCASSM service provides dental hygiene applicants with a standardized application for entry-level, graduate-level and graduate programs. Being a dental hygienist is an incredibly rewarding experience that offers many benefits. Not only do you get to help people improve their oral health but you also get to build relationships with your patients while learning something new every day. You get to work in a comfortable environment where you can make a difference in people's lives.

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