Want to become a Dental Hygienist? Here are the Pros and Cons

Want to become a Dental Hygienist? Here are the Pros and Cons

There are so many factors that go into deciding on a career that it can be difficult and overwhelming to settle on one. If you want to become a dental hygienist, it might be helpful to use a pros and cons list to narrow down if this is the right career choice.

The pros and cons listed here are general, therefore it can be helpful to review them and then create pros and cons listed that are more personal to you. Afterward, try to weigh each pro and con and reflect on the importance of each.

Pros

Minimal School Commitment – For most states, an associates degree is required to be a dental hygienist. Earning an associates degree usually takes about 2 years, which is a minimal commitment compared to other careers within the health field. If you want to become a dental hygienist, review the educational requirements on the American Dental Association website. Also, if you’re from or want to live in New York, check out this article on how to become a dental hygienist here.

Average Salary – According to Salary.com, the average dental hygienist can earn 75,944 in the United States. Not bad, right? Although this number will differ based on geographical location, it can be helpful to know what is possible.

High demand – If you decide to become a dental hygienist, you might be surprised by how high the demand is. Although the field may be competitive in certain places, dental hygienists are absolutely necessary for the dental team. Therefore, if a dental hygienist leaves their job, the dental office will try to replace the position quickly in order to keep the office functioning well.

Needed Everywhere – wherever there is a dentist there will be a dental hygienist. Luckily, there are dental office in every state and nearly every city or town. Oral health is so incredibly important and people are becoming more aware of that, too.

Cons

Busy Schedule – Ever tried booking a dental appointment and couldn’t get seen for weeks or months? Dental offices are extremely busy because oral hygiene requires ongoing maintenance. Although this means that dental hygienists are in high demand, it also means that the workload can be extensive. A busy workload can quickly lead to work burnout which isn’t healthy long-term.

Repetitive Work – This is probably one of the biggest concerns amongst dental hygienists. As a dental hygienist you will be performing the same movements and having the same conversations for multiple hours every day. For some people, this isn’t an issue because when you engage in something often, you start to excel in it. However, for those who like variety in their day, this could be a deal breaker. However, it is easy to find ways to make work more interesting by connecting with patients, building work relationships, and focusing on the positives.

At Risk for Physical Discomfort – If you decide to become a dental hygienist then you should also plan how you’re going to take care of your physical body. Not only do dental hygienists sit and stand for long periods of time, they also engage in repetitive fine motor movements with tools that can cause their fingers and wrists to strain or feel uncomfortable.

Working with Difficult Patients – What more is there to say? Working with difficult patients happens in every healthcare setting. However, people tend to particularly hate going to the dentist! This might be a deal breaker for someone who struggles with social interaction and has difficulty with managing stress. However, before you rule out this career, check out the following articles:

Further Reading

Check out these articles to learn more about being a dental hygienist:

Well, what do you think? Do you want to become a dental hygienist? If so, what pros are motivating you to make this decision? Let us know in the comments below.

Are you a Dental Hygienist looking for a job? Create an account here, and we will match your profile when the best job offers in your area.

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About the author

Kristie Cabrera

Kristie is an occupational therapist, mental health advocate, and amateur urban farmer. Her experience with taking care of others in the healthcare setting and taking care of the land are both important pieces that make up who she is. As a life-long learner and creative, she hopes to create content that is centered around wellness and healing.

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