The goal of many dentists and office staff is to include as many patients as possible in the daily schedule for treatment by the hygienist. Treating one patient after another without help must be recognized as an extremely difficult task. As health professionals, dental hygienists are often not appreciated by the public despite the essential role they play in caring for patients. Although the profession has existed since 1923, when the American Association of Dental Hygienists (ADHA) was founded, it is still one of the least appreciated careers in the health industry.
We serve more than 4,000 cities in the U.S. Department of State with more than 138,000 offices in our network. Jess Giebel, director of professional education at OraPharma and dental hygienist, spoke with Becker's to discuss the challenges faced by dental hygienists and possible solutions. In addition, you add value to a dental office by keeping up with medical technology as part of your continuing education requirements.
Learning all the dental codes at school and determining when to use them is a challenge, but the real challenge comes when insurance dictates every aspect of the consultation. During a consultation with the dentist, you must perform numerous tasks quickly and efficiently to maintain patients' oral health within a limited time. Maybe you helped them overcome their fears of dental treatment, you gave them hope that they would overcome the infection and pain, you helped them with dental surgery, or you encouraged someone to follow their treatment plan. The term dental is very small, so you can have some mentoring and be able to trust your colleagues and count on that support.
Despite your competence in many aspects of dentistry and your excellent grades in school, the dental office that hired you doesn't need you to clean your teeth, mouth, and gums, or any of the other things you expected to do. Learning to manage time is arguably the biggest challenge of transitioning from school to the real world. If you work in a small office with just one dentist, you now enjoy your job because you help the dentist provide general medical care to patients, perform dental surgery, provide oral health education to patients and staff, screen for oral cancer, and help patients manage their oral health needs. Its role is monotonous because it is limited to a few tasks, perhaps just educating patients about dental hygiene and repeating the same concepts throughout the day.
Patients who use DenTel to find their dental office may be able to ask how to better care for their oral health. Taking X-rays, examining your teeth, and using dental tools most of the day can cause injuries such as carpal tunnel or a ruptured disc in the spine. When you're fresh out of hygiene school, it's easy to overcome the pleasure of passing all the dental boards and rigorous classes.