Dental hygienists do everything from cleaning their patient's teeth to taking dental pictures using x-ray machines. Angel Hardy is giving me a front row seat to it all.
Ok Ferrari, today we're going to go get my patient Andrew. He is having a cleaning this morning. And we are going to do some periodontal charting on him.
Ok, cool. Like most hygienists, Angel works under the supervision of a dentist and sees several patients a day.
We do cleanings. Cleanings also known as prophylaxis, polishing, flossing to make sure that there's no cavities that they're maintaining their dental health. Which includes flossing, right Andrew?
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Angel says you've got to have a great personality to keep patients coming back.
You have to be good at what you do. When I educate my patients, I educate them the way that I truly believe is going to help them.
I'm sure you have to be kind of soothing to a certain extent also because a lot of people aren't really a big fan of coming and having someone work on their teeth, whether they're scared or just freaked out by it or.
Well and you know again you have to sort of read the patient. Patients that have been coming to you for years it's like an old friendship. New patients you have to read them.
To start working, you'll need a license and a degree from a dental hygiene program.
They tend to like the, the applicants with experience with dental assisting. Better grades, so there is a waiting list in some schools.
The degree you get from the program will only qualify you to work as a dental hygienist. So are you pretty busy throughout the day, running around and seeing everybody back to back?
Very busy. Our office runs every 45 minutes to an hour. I have patients in that time frame. So there is hustle and bustle, but, but its fun.
The job market is booming for all you future hygienists. It's all due to a growing population. In fact, dental hygienists rank among the fastest growing occupations.
The great thing about being a dental hygienist is that there's lots of opportunities to work different hours. Whether you have children or things going on on the weekends or you know. A lot of times offices are open on Saturdays and they need a hygienist for Saturday afternoon.
More than half of all hygienists work part time.
I work till 3 three days a week. I come in at 9 every day. You know, it's a great schedule. It's a great environment. It's very friendly.
Hygienists average more than 31 dollars an hour, although some earn a salary. Angel says the job is perfect for someone who cares about people.
I get to spend 45 minutes with my patients. We chitchat, we catch up, they've become friends. At the same time, I'm helping them with their dental health.
Dental hygienists have their work cut out for them. 78% of Americans have at least one cavity by age 17. Well, it's time for us to head out. As you can see, Angel's pretty busy with a new patient already. So we're going to get out of her way. See you later.
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