A dental hygienist’s best friend: Modern cloud-based technology makes a great career even better

Ask a group of dental hygienists why they chose dental hygiene as a career and you’ll hear all kinds of different responses, from wanting to help people live healthier lives to enjoying the flexible lifestyle that comes with the job.

Most aspiring dental hygienists are true helpers at heart. And by adopting a dental hygienist career, they enjoy the unique position of making a real difference to ordinary people every single day. Their role involves much more than cleaning teeth and educating patients about gum disease. By doing their job to the best of their ability, they can brighten days, smiles and even lives on a daily basis. Who wouldn’t want that kind of professional gratification?

Many people working dental hygienist jobs chose that career path so they could enjoy flexibility in their professional and personal lives. Fitness Mentors ranks dental hygiene as one of its careers with great work-life balance. The site also reports dental hygiene as being one of the “best jobs for working moms”, because it can be performed on a part-time basis and it pays well. Of course, the ability to work part time, full time or more than full time isn’t just for moms — it’s a fantastic career perk that everyone can benefit from.

Dental hygienist job satisfaction — high or low?

With being in a position to help improve lives every day combined with a flexible schedule, you’d think that dental hygienist job satisfaction would be high. But that’s not necessarily the case for everyone in such a position. Ask a dental hygienist or anyone in a similar dental assistant profession whether they’re happy with their occupation choice and you’ll get a mixture of “yes” and “no” answers.

Regardless of your reasons for choosing a dental hygienist career, you’ve probably experienced your fair share of highs and lows over the course of it. 

Despite being listed as one of the 100 best jobs for several years running, a dental hygienist career isn’t quite as fulfilling as some were anticipating. But with development in modern technology, many dental hygienists are embracing new means of employment that will provide them with the revered work-life balance we all strive for.

Ask yourself, are you happy with your vocation? If your answer isn’t a resounding yes, here are some ways to take control of your career and transform a negative response into a positive one.

Rediscover your “why”

If you once loved your dental hygienist career, but you’re currently suffering from workplace burnout, don’t reject dentistry altogether. Instead, take some time to identify the source of your problem and solve it. Managing stress is something that all dental hygienists and dental assistants need to master if they’re going to succeed in the industry. 

In an informative video, Rachel Wall of Inspired Hygiene discusses burnout with Kevin Henry of Dental Products Report. The conversation covers how to combat burnout and remember the reason you were inspired by dental hygiene jobs in the first place. Wall and Henry recommend looking at expanded functions and renewing your interest in areas which help patients.

Choose the right working environment for you

A change of scenery often helps recuperate from burnout or avoid it altogether. When choosing a practice or dentist to work with, consider offices where the dentist focuses on a specific aspect of dentistry which really appeals to you.

For example, if you’re particularly interested in an area such as geriatrics, pediatrics, edentulism, sleep apnea, or diabetes, highlight your attraction to it within your online profile and ensure you mention any experience you have or knowledge you’ve gained on the subject. Dental practice owners prefer working with staff who are passionate about the same things they are and showcasing your interests will help you attract the right type of employer. 

While it can help you flourish, your physical environment can also cause you problems. In an article for the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, Lori Crawford, G. Gutierrez and Philip Harber report a qualitative study which proved that working in an office with poor ergonomics takes a toll on dental hygienists.

Performing patient teeth cleanings and oral health checks with old, poor-quality equipment can really wear you down. Not only is shoddy apparatus bad for dental hygienists, but using it also means you can’t provide patients with adequate care. If the dentist you work for isn’t willing or able to invest in modern, top condition tools, it might be time to seek employment elsewhere.

Old, run-down surroundings can also cause problems for dental hygienists. A relaxing, welcoming environment is beneficial for everyone, from dental staff to patients. Whether you work part-time, full-time or something in between, you spend a huge proportion of your time in the dental practice and if it’s not up to scratch, it can really wear you down.

Just like your employer should be willing to invest in up-to-date equipment, they should also aim to keep your working environment fresh and modern. If they’re getting away with the absolute minimum and your practice is in dire need of a makeover, it could be a sign that you need to leave the past behind you can look for a position in a new dental office.

If you have decided to leave your old practice behind you for something better, avoid searching a job board or working for a dental staffing agency. One of the biggest professional benefits for dental hygienists is the flexibility the role offers. But neither job boards for dental staffing agencies provide you with the professional freedom you desire and deserve. Instead, use the latest technology to take control and choose where you want to work. 

When you look for dental hygienist jobs with Cloud Dentistry, it’s entirely up to you which job offers you accept and which potential employers you contact. When you’ve found a position which interests you, you can chat to the dental practice owner directly and ask any questions you may have about your future working environment. This way you can find out if the position is right for you without wasting any time. 

Earn what you deserve

According to indeed.com, the average dental hygienist salary is $38.46 per hour. If you’re concerned your pay doesn’t measure up to the national average or you don’t think you’re being paid enough for your experience and knowledge, you need to consider looking for dental hygienist jobs in other places.

Professionals like dental hygienists and dental assistants often use staffing agencies for placement. But when you work through third-party companies like these, you significantly reduce your income potential.

Dental temp agencies charge practices high rates to use their services. This takes a sizeable chunk out of the budget they set aside to pay staff, which means in turn they can’t afford to pay you as much as they had planned to. If you avoid this type of company and instead look for dental hygienist career opportunities with more modern companies which specialize in pairing the right dental professional with the right dental practice instead of just turning a profit, you’re guaranteed to earn more money. 

Some dental temp agencies take it a step further and limit your earning potential. Instead of being able to set your own rate according to your qualifications, knowledge and experience, when you work for a staffing agency, it’s often the agency who determines your hourly rate. When you work as an independent contractor, your dental hygienist salary should be something you have control over. It should never be put into the hands of a third party. 

With today’s innovative cloud-based technology, building your own brand online and setting your own rates is easier than ever. For dental hygienists, the benefits of using Cloud Dentistry are that you can decide your hourly rate and how many hours you work, meaning you’re in total control of your income each month. Creating a profile and searching for dental hygienist jobs is completely free.

For dental practice owners, the benefits of using Cloud Dentistry are that you pay an affordable monthly fee for unlimited access to the platform. The fee includes unlimited realtime books, unlimited and unfiltered direct messaging and unlimited job postings. Better still, if you find a dental professional who is such a great asset to your business that you want to employ them permanently, there are no permanent placement fees to pay. This means you can dedicate more of your budget to hiring more qualified and experienced dental hygienists who charge a premium instead of wasting your money on exorbitant fees.

Experience more and grow

In an interview for valuepenguin.com, speaker and author Anastasia Turchetta discusses her experience 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 one of the top dental hygienist benefits, why not take full advantage of that flexibility? Working in a variety of dental practices can help you grow both professionally and personally, helping you gain skills, expand your experience and improve your talents.

Whether you work as an independent contractor full time or you offer your services on a freelance basis to supplement your regular income, with Cloud Dentistry you’ve got total control over which and how many practices you work for. Whether you have such an incredible experience that you only want to temp at a single practice or you want to gain as much dental and patient experience working for as many dental offices as possible, you’re in control of how you grow and where you career takes you. 

Working in the right dental practices can massively increase your dental hygienist job satisfaction and help you feel more fulfilled with your career. Since dental hygiene is one of the most future-proof careers there is, it makes a lot of sense to ride your problems out and stick with it, instead of changing your career. 

When you create your free profile with Cloud Dentistry, you have the freedom to set your work schedule and accept only the jobs you want. If you find you’ve got more or less time on your hands as normal, you can adjust your availability accordingly, whenever and as many times as you like.

The platform is ideal for dental hygienists who want to work part time, find temp-to-perm positions, fill gaps in their schedules and earn more by working extra hours outside their regular jobs. It lets you talk directly with practice owners to learn more about their open jobs and their practices before accepting a position. 

Make your career your own

Whatever you reason for initially choosing a career in dental hygiene, taking full control of your career provides you with true professional fulfillment and helps you stay focused on what really matters to you. Cloud Dentistry is a cloud-based job matching platform that gives you control over your schedule, your wages, your work environment and your employer, supporting you to make the most of your life inside and outside the dental practice. Take control of your career and build a happier future today by creating your free profile.

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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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