Making a great career even better: New job-matching tools help dental hygienists shine

Ask a group of dental hygienists why they went into dental hygiene, and you’ll hear a variety of reasons. Ask them whether they’re happy with their choices, and you’ll get a mixture of “yes” and “no” answers.

Most dental hygienists are helpers at heart. As a dental hygiene professional, you’re in a unique position to make a difference. You support your patients’ dental health (and in many cases, their overall health). Your job is so much more than cleaning teeth and educating people about gum disease. By doing your job well, you can brighten a day, a smile, or even a life.

Many hygienists choose careers in dental hygiene for the flexibility. Fitness Mentors ranks dental hygienist as one of its careers with great work-life balance. The site also calls dental hygiene one of the “best jobs for working moms” because it can be done on a part-time basis and it pays well. Of course, the ability to work part time, full time, or more than full time can be good for anyone.

Regardless of your reasons for choosing a career in oral hygiene, you’ve probably experienced highs and lows. Fortunately, there are ways to make the flexibility of a career in dental hygiene work for you. That’s especially true when you take advantage of today’s job-matching technology. So, are you happy with your career choice? Here are some ways to take control of your career and make sure the answer is “yes.”

Choose your environment.

If you used to love dental hygiene but are feeling burnt out, take some time to identify the source of the problem. In an informative video, Rachel Wall of Inspired Hygiene discusses burnout with Kevin Henry of Dental Products Report. The conversation includes ways to combat burnout and re-focus on the “why” of dental hygiene. Wall and Henry recommend looking at expanded functions and finding a renewed interest in areas that help patients.

A change of scenery can help you deal with burnout or avoid it. When choosing a practice or a general dentist to work with, consider offices where the dentist focuses on something that interests you. If you’d like to work in a specific area such as geriatrics, pediatrics, edentulism, sleep apnea, or diabetes, highlight your experience with it on your online profile and talk to dentists who support those patients.

Your physical environment can also be a source of problems. In an article for the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, Lori Crawford, G. Gutierrez, and Philip Harber report a qualitative study that determined that working in an office with poor ergonomics can take a toll on dental hygienists. Carrying out dental cleanings and wellness checks with poor equipment can really wear you down. If your dentist is not willing or able to invest in proper equipment, it might be time to look elsewhere for employment.

Instead of searching a job board or working for a dental staffing agency, you can use the latest technology to choose where you want to work. Cloud Dentistry lets you tailor your online profile and communicate directly with dental practice owners to see if their office is right for you.

Earn more on your terms.

Respondents to Payscale.com’s salary survey report making $24.65 to $42.45 per hour as dental hygienists. If you’re concerned that your pay doesn’t measure up or that you’re not being paid adequately for your dental-hygiene expertise, it’s time to rethink your job search.

Professionals like dental hygienists and dental assistants often use staffing agencies for placement. However, these services drive your wages down. Temp agencies charge practices high rates for staffing, which eats into a practice’s budget. If you cut out the middleman, more of that money goes to you. Placement agencies also set your rate for you.

With today’s cloud-based technology, building your own brand online and setting your own rates is easier than ever. Cloud Dentistry lets you set your own rate, and it’s more affordable for practices than a temp agency. Practices who hire through Cloud Dentistry are able and willing to pay professional rates because there are no exorbitant fees.

Experience more and grow.

In an interview for Valuepenguin.com, speaker and author Anastasia Turchetta talks about some of her full-time and part-time experiences working as a dental hygienist:

“I worked in, mainly, one-practitioner practices...I would temp on the weekend, and some of those offices would have associate-type dentists...So I got to work with people who were seasoned dentists and new dentists. Then in Florida, I was mainly a temp, and that was really some of the best learning experiences, because I got to see personalities and dynamics.”

Since flexibility is so often cited as a top benefit of working as a dental hygienist, why not take advantage of that flexibility? Working in a variety of dental practices can help you grow professionally. Working in the right dental practices can help you feel satisfied with your career and stick with it.

When you create your profile with Cloud Dentistry, you can specify your work schedule and accept only the jobs you want. The platform is ideal for hygienists who want to work part time, find temp-to-perm positions, fill in gaps in their schedules, or earn more by working extra hours outside of their regular jobs. It lets you talk directly with practice owners to learn more about their open jobs and their practices.

Make your career your own.

Regardless of why you chose dental hygiene, you can stay focused on what really matters when you take charge of your career. Cloud Dentistry is a cloud-based job matching platform that gives you control over your schedule, your wages, and your work environment. Get started today by creating a free profile. Make your career truly yours.

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Trey Tepichin graduated from Duke University with a B.S. in biology and economics and a minor in chemistry. He went on to obtain his J.D. from Harvard Law School. While in law school, he taught two years of introductory micro- and macro-economics at Harvard and was awarded with three Certificates of Distinction in Teaching.

A successful commercial and securities litigator in Boston for nearly ten years, Trey secured numerous multimillion-dollar victories for his clients, which included everything from pharmaceutical companies to individual investors to manufacturers. As a lawyer and economist, Trey understands the intricacies of creating new markets, handling employment matters and maximizing business efficiencies.


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