The sixth largest regulated profession in Canada is a dental hygienist. Currently, 26,000 to 29,000 dental hygienists are practising in Canada. Not only can they work in community health but sales, marketing, and research too.
To perform daily tasks, they use a wide range of instruments. For example, you have ultrasonic and air polishing tools. These instruments enable them to remove stains and plaque.
Technology is advancing in the dental field. Today, dental hygienists are adept in using lasers and radiography equipment too. Apart from using state of the art equipment, they offer oral health tips on how foods affect one’s oral health.
Wondering how to become a dental hygienist?
If you are interested in joining the growing field of dental hygienists, read on.
What Is a Dental Hygienist?
This is a licensed expert experienced in examining oral diseases and cleaning teeth. He or she is also experienced in educating children and adults on the importance of oral hygiene.
The profession was started in North America in 1913 by Dr Albert Fones. Albert Fones was a Connecticut doctor. He opened his first dental hygienist school in his garage and taught students how to become a dental hygienist.
His first class graduated with 27 women.
Thanks to their contribution to dental work at the time, they helped to lower cavity rates by more than 75%. Today, dental hygiene is one of the most recognized professions in the world. It is currently being practised in more than 50 countries.
Duties and Responsibilities of a Dental Hygienist
A dental hygienist has many duties. They include:
- Cleaning teeth and removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Taking dental x-rays and developing them
- Applying sealants and fluorides for tooth protection
- Carrying out a preliminary exam on each patient
- Documenting the treatment plans
- Helping in the administration of local anaesthetics
- Checking on the oral health of a patient before informing the dentist
Teaching patients how to maintain high standards of oral hygiene is also part of their duty.
Steps to Becoming a Dental Hygienist
Dental hygienists can enjoy a rewarding career. Before becoming a professional, there are steps to becoming a dental hygienist.
Step One – Getting Your Diploma or Associates Degree
Want to know how to become a dental hygienist? You need to hold an associates degree or diploma to qualify as a dental hygienist. The degree or diploma must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada.
One of the best schools you can join is Southern Ontario Dental College. Not only is it fully licensed and accredited by regulatory bodies. But we offer dental hygiene programs Level I and II.
We also offer extensive hands-on experience.
To qualify, students must pass a clinical entry to practice exam and a competency exam. Each exam is administered by relevant bodies.
Step Two – Register with a Provincial Dental Hygiene Regulatory Authority
After an assessment, the graduate has to register with the dental hygiene regulatory authority. That is not all. The College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario Quality Assurance will monitor the graduate.
The reason for this is to ensure that you are practising safely. To keep up with emerging dental technology, one must seek continuing education programs.
Step Three – Advancing Your Education
Having a diploma or associates degree is not enough. To get the most out of your career, you need to advance your education. Consider earning higher degrees such as a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in dental hygiene.
This will help you qualify for jobs beyond the dentist’s office.
How to Become a Dental Hygienist
How to become a dental hygienist in Ontario, Canada is quite easy. Start with a Dental Hygiene program level I followed by level II. This will help you build your new and exciting career.
Don’t forget to advance your education. This allows you to seek opportunities outside the dentist office.
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