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Students & New Grads

What’s Next? My Personal Experience towards a Bachelor’s Degree

So you’re a dental hygienist, huh? Yes, yes I am. I am more than that though. Personally, I have goals outside the clinical setting. (And that’s ok if you have no desire to leave the clinic setting too). I hope to one day be an educator or work for a dental company, or possibly be a midlevel dental therapist,...

5 Tips for Passing the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination

It is the exam you’ve studied your entire dental hygiene education for. The upperclassmen have groaned to your class about it, your faculty has alluded to it, and you’ve already asked for board review books for Christmas. You’ve walked through the steps of grief, beginning with denial, “Maybe if I do well in school, they will let me skip my...

Things I Wished I Could Tell Myself When I Started Hygiene

The ever-popular catchphrase that hindsight is 20/20 has been validated throughout my dental hygiene career. If the 15-year veteran in me could go back to talk to the dental hygiene student in me, she would have a plethora of advice and suggestions to offer. However, all I can do now is pass along what I have learned to those...

Dental Job Interviews: It Goes Both Ways

In 2009, when the economy was taking a nosedive, I was working for a small dental practice in a wealthy suburb of Chicago, Illinois. I was under the false impression that, as long as there were still patients on my schedule, that I had “job security.” Needless to say, I was stunned when the dentist took me aside one...

10 Pieces of Advice for New Hygienists

The real world can be a scary place. Whether you’re a newly-licensed hygienist or a “seasoned scaler,” there is always something new to discover and learn, whether it’s new technology or a dental hygiene technique.Yet wouldn’t it have been nice to have someone give you advice on how to brave the real world of dental hygiene? This is guidance...

The Complete Guide to Dental Temping for Beginners

Are you getting burnt out from your 9-5 job? Are you a newly graduated hygienist looking to get some experience under your belt? Have you ever wanted a more flexible schedule in your career? What if you could make your own schedule and choose which days you worked? If this interests or describes you, then becoming a temp hygienist...

Lessons for Hygiene Rookies: “Lifelong” Learning Starts with Other Staff Members

Dental hygiene schools equip future clinicians with the knowledge to navigate through the daily trials of patient treatment. We are taught anatomical structures, clinical skills, radiographic interpretation, pro-fluoride arguments, and community health topics among many other lessons. Long clinic days and difficult patient cases mold us into more efficient and experienced hygienists. While hygiene school is the perfect cocoon where...

Growing into Your Own as a Dental Hygienist

Bright eyed and bushy tailed, I walked into my first day at my brand-new hygiene job. I had all the knowledge from completing hygiene school floating around in my head. I was confident in my ability to connect with patients, educate on oral health, and eradicate disease. Full of good intention, I was ready to tackle my career. Little...

Helping Patients Overcome the Anxiety of Working with a New Graduate

Being a new hygienist, I find myself facing many challenges beyond clinical work. Acclimating myself to a new set of patients and moving to a different office system have been challenges of their own. While some patients are very open and accepting to having a new hire or a different hygienist provide treatment, some often shy away or get...

Tips to Avoid Working in Fast Food Dentistry aka Prophy Mills

I remember the feeling of relief like it was just yesterday. I had jumped for joy after passing to officially become a registered dental hygienist! I was unstoppable, and I felt that I was finally about to have my life together. That summer, I had multiple interviews lined up since most employers were asking for one to two days of...

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