Current Dental Hygienist Shortage
Currently, there is a need for dental hygienists in Ontario. As current hygienists age, the need will only grow. In addition to a growing job market, new hygienists can expect good job security, high compensation or pay, and a flexible schedule. All of which contribute to a balanced life between work and family time. Today, hygienists do more than just cleaning teeth. As you will see they play a more active role in one-on-one patient care with a wide range of responsibilities, including screening for a variety of dental health issues. They also are a source for educating patients about preventative oral health.
More than just an assistant, dental hygienists examine and asses a clients overall dental health. They clean and polish teeth using high-tech and effective tools. Hygienists also do dental impressions, take, and prepare digital x rays, prepare and organize patient records, administer different treatments, help the dentist screen for abnormalities, and so much more.
Young adults in high school who are thinking of becoming a dental hygienist can start right away by developing good academic habits. Select advanced classes that focus on English, Math, and Biology. As well, good communication or people skills are a must, as most of their time will be spent interacting with and educating clients. This will often include helping people who have anxiety about dental appointments. Therefore, a hygienist will also need to show empathy at times and be able to comfort those in distress. Physical education and sports may also help you in your goal to become a hygienist as dexterity, coordination, and fine motor skills are needed.
After high school you will need to go to an accredited college or university. To become a dental hygienist in Canada you must earn a diploma or bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. Such programs focus on oral and clinical science, prevention strategies, and patient health. Work placements during school and on-site dental clinics offer hands on training and practical skills. Once completed you must be successful writing the National Dental Hygiene Certification Exam. Then to practice as a hygienist in Canada, you must be registered or licensed by your provincial regulatory authority. In Ontario, it’s the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario that will license you.
Time Investment and Area Colleges
Currently it takes three years to complete most of the post secondary school courses available for future hygienists. In this area George Brown and Durham College in Toronto offer dental hygiene programs (to name a few). Speak to your school guidance counselor about the best school in your area. As there is a great need, more schools in the future will be offering related courses.
There are great opportunities for dental hygienists all over Canada. It may be a good fit for you. Erbsville Dental in Waterloo has the areas best hygienists. If you’re contemplating this career and have questions, ask Dr. Mathews or your hygienist at your next appointment. Read some of the beautiful reviews Erbsville Dental has received regarding their hygienists.