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3 Tips To Help You Become A Successful Hygienist

April 13, 2017 - Randy Sutton

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Dental hygienists are vital aspects of every dentist’s office. General dentists and oral surgeons are too occupied to deal with patient intake, processing, paperwork, administrative duties and basic dental care. That’s where their staff, made up of office assistants, dental assistants and dental hygienists come in. In most offices, the hygienists are the top position, working directly under the general dentist themselves. That means mostly conducting forms of preventative care, such as traditional cleanings, deep cleanings and diagnosis. Many dental hygienists have gone on to have incredibly successful careers – but others have not. These tips will help you ensure that you fall into the former rather than the latter.

Learn. Learn. Learn.

As a dental hygienist, you are in the rare position of working directly with the surgeons and general dentists on a daily basis. In most of their treatments, the hygienist is standing right next to them, ensuring that they have the tools and environment needed to perform their job. In one year working under a dentist, you can learn more than you would in four years of medical school. While that doesn’t minimize the importance of school and proper dental training, as with any profession, there’s only so much you can learn in a classroom or a textbook. Nothing is better than hands-on experience.

Be Resourceful

While being a hygienist is a great stepping stone to moving up in the dentistry industry, there are many who spend their entire careers as hygienists. If you’re looking for a long-term career and want to get compensated more than your counterparts, the best thing you can do is be resourceful. Go above and beyond your normal job duties by learning new skills that can be helpful to the dentist. That’s why the first tip – learning – is so important, as you’ll be able to understand what areas you can gain new skills in to become resourceful, and ultimately irreplaceable.

Keep Patient Care At the Forefront

Treat every patient you deal with as if he or she were family. Nobody looks forward to a dentist appointment, and everyone has other things going on in their lives that can make them less pleasant to deal with. If you want to be successful in the dentistry, you need to learn to respect patients space and always be respectful of their thoughts, regardless of what your own may be. The same applies to other staff members and the doctors themselves – those who make it a point to be generous to everyone are remembered as such.

Randy Sutton