If you’ve happened to find this article, chances are you’re looking to find out everything you can about being a dental hygienist and earning a dental hygienist salary. From the outset, you should know that working as a hygienist in a dental practice is a good career option to pursue, with excellent job security and a great salary offering.
A dental hygienist is a licensed health care professional who works side by side with a licensed dentist to educate and treat patients in oral health care. These professional people work in line with the principle that before the worst happens, you should make sure it doesn’t happen by taking preventive measures early on. These preventive measures include cleaning the teeth and gums of plaque and tartar, including possible bacteria that may cause mouth diseases. Hygienists in a dental practice may also take x-rays of the patient’s mouth in order to make a more informed treatment. They also provide fluoride treatments, apply sealants, and advice patients on the proper ways of taking care of your teeth and gums.
Just like in most other occupations, the dental hygienist salary is affected by the work setting and location the individual will be working at and the years of his experience on the job. The salary this type of hygienist will earn provides a stable source of income which is always a breath of fresh air for people worried by the continuing state of the economy (with the still double figure unemployment rate).
There are many facilities looking to hire dental hygienists because of the growing need for qualified oral healthcare professionals. In fact, this occupation is growing much faster than the average occupation because of a number of factors, chiefly among them being the growing awareness for preventive oral procedures. There are many research papers that point to the connection between a good oral health and general health, reason why there are a lot of people who are more aware of taking care of their teeth and gums.
The law of supply and demand clearly states that if the demand exceeds the supply, prices increase. In this case, the demand for licensed dental professionals like this are greater than the number of licensed hygienists, hence, the higher dental hygienist salary (because of the competition to hire the best hygienists).
For comparison, the mean annual dental hygienist salary in the United States is $67,860 based on the Occupational Employment and Wages report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, updated as of May 2009. The 50% median of this medical assistant salary is $67,340 a year.
The requirements to be a licensed dental hygienist varies by State, but it typically includes having a high school diploma, finishing an accredited dental hygiene program, and passing the National Dental Hygiene Examination Board for your license.