Last Updated on March 11, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
Dental hygienists play an important role in any dental practice that takes place up and down the country. Such vital people are responsible for everything from brushing the teeth of patients and making anxious people feel more comfortable with taking x-rays of the mouth and educating patients on dental hygiene at home.
So while it can be extremely rewarding to be such an integral member of a team to better the wellbeing of individuals who work on a regular basis, often it can have its drawbacks.
If you’re looking for a fast, fun, and simple way for your career to break into the healthcare industry, then you’ll want to study the pros and cons of becoming a dental hygienist. Have a look at some of these mentioned below.
Pros of Being a Dental Hygienist
1. Employment Opportunities
The amount of work openings available in this career area is projected to rise by more than 20 per cent through the year 2029, according to reports released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That average is about double the rate for all U.S. job prospects.
2. Minimal Schooling
In several cases, a degree of associate in dental hygiene is necessary to apply for industry jobs. The majority of people will obtain a degree at community college within two years. Some high schools also grant students an advanced placement opportunity, which ensures they will be sure to reach the industry as soon as they have earned their diploma. Now all they need to do is qualify for the certification that allows them to work in their state with patients and it’s done — they are a qualified dental hygienist.
When dental hygienists have the appropriate qualifications, they are permitted to operate anywhere within their state. As a dental practice owner, this means that you will have an almost never-ending line of qualified professionals to choose between hiring temporary staff to fill in vacation time, or hiring permanent staff and expanding your business.
Nearly all dentist’s office will employ at least one dental hygienist to provide the care they need. Because you have to go to advanced preparation to deliver the services you desire, in the United States you will receive a fairly attractive wage.
The median wage in the U.S. for this job option is more than $35 an hour, which is about $75,000 a year. The final deal you’ll get depends on your job status, regional position, and cumulative experience.
4. Flexible Scheduling
If you choose a versatile career, you will enjoy dental hygiene. Dental hygienists also have the choice of doing full-time or part-time jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that nearly half of dental hygienists employed part-time in 2016. And if the employer supports it, the scheduling can be pliable.
Because of this career opportunity, you will have the option to work full-time or part-time and you can make a good living even though you just work in this position for 20 hours a week. Going off the mean income, in some countries, you will still top over $37,000 by working part-time. That means you might be working half of others’ hours while earning a comparable salary.
This can also mean more time with family, other duties, or training, as well as a chance to work for more than one dental practice.
While some dental hygienists feel far from being respected, their experience that they contribute to a patient’s care team is highly valued. Their knowledge and professional experience enable them to offer useful information into a patient’s wellbeing, as they are the people that deliver all of the direct care.
It is also because of this benefit that there is an improved degree of job stability, with work prospects continuing to expand. When Baby Boomers get older and hold their teeth longer, the effect on the value of the routine dental treatment will make people become more aware of the need for dental services.
If you love working with people, then the dental hygiene field can help you experience a high level of satisfaction every day. You’ll get to socialize with a wide range of people of all ages. Through this job, you’ll also get to work with kids a lot, which can be a huge advantage for others. While there are plenty of challenges you will face with this career option, you will also find out that personal fulfilment levels are exceptionally high.
Sometimes, you are able to share in your patients’ life events, forming closer relationships with them than you would expect. They ‘re going to swap ideas with you and you can sometimes bounce thoughts off of them too. You will consider the dental family to be a positive component of who you are as a human.
Cons of Being a Dental Hygienist
1. Lack of Variety
Everyone in their lives enjoys a little bit of variety. But, sadly, when you work as a dental hygienist you do not get much of that. And though they are not limited to performing the same single task for each move, they are stuck with the same set of tasks. This can easily become tedious, which can result in suffering from the quality of their jobs.
As there are few options for you as a dental hygienist, moving to a new office is the only way to create change in your life. And then, you are always going to do the same activities every day. This work is extremely repetitive, meaning it’s also at a higher risk of being replaced in the future by artificial intelligence and automation. You can see new people every day and focus on their teeth but you are still doing the same exercises all the time because of this career choice.
3. Unpleasant Patients
Some people dread going so much to the dentist that they put it off for the longest possible time. It means that when a dental hygienist looks into their mouth, their oral health is not in the greatest condition and it is not fun to operate too close to poor breath, tooth decay and gum disease. Moreover, if a patient lies back in the dentist’s chair internally weighing the cost of the treatment they require, there’s a fair risk that they’ll be grouchy.
This is why it is so important for you to take the time to find a trained professional with outstanding skills for people. A traditional temp agency for dental hygienists is not overly fussy about who they have on their list. A standard organization would be able to list them as long as they are eligible and meet a few other criteria.
4. Mental Challenges
After having some experience in this area, many dental hygienists find that they feel underpaid and undervalued. Most dentists give staff the same salary or hourly rate, whether they have some years ‘ experience dealing with patients or whether they are fresh off from their graduation ceremony. And when you choose this line of work you touch the glass ceiling very early in your career, you have to find fulfilment with how you can support people in a clinical setting.
5. Lack of Full-Time Positions
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that almost half of all US dental hygienists still work part-time. That means you might still be able to earn a median wage in excess of $30 per hour, but you might just put in 3-5 hours of work every day. Although in some areas that level of income can support a family, it may not be enough to satisfy the lifestyle demands you want.
There may not even be prospects for full-time jobs in your city, meaning you will need to move somewhere else to take advantage of your career choices.
Because many officers are small private practitioners, they cannot afford to provide paid sick leave, retirement benefits, or health insurance unless it is required by their society. This means that you may not have access to the same level of benefits offered by other healthcare providers unless you are working for a larger chain practice.
Much of what dental patients pay for (or can afford) is routine teeth brushing, certain screenings, or the occasional tooth or extraction while visiting their dentist. Which means you’ll do a lot of busywork with every patient when the dentist comes in to finish inspecting your job. For the profession, a higher profit margin is obtainable by maintaining high productivity rates.
You will be told to keep a fast pace to get as many services as you can. If you are unable to meet the demands of production, your employer may decide to end the job because there is a recent graduate who may be willing to do that job.