Hygienists 41 to 50 years in age

May 2, 2014
  • I have changed people’s lives. Starting with getting young patients off to a good start without fear of dentistry and hopefully made a positive impact on their future dental health. I have made a positive effect on the elderly patients and maintain their existing dentition and reinforce their overall health.
  • Love being able to develop relationships over the years, helping patients to improve their home care and flexibility of hours.
  • Rewarding both financially and with being able to provide oral education for patients. I like making a difference in other people's lives.
  • The incredible challenges and uniqueness of every day.
  • When I first started in dentistry in 1986, I was taught by the dentist on how to be a good expanded functioned dental assistant and when I went to hygiene school I was motivated to do the best for my patients. I have completed my BSDH and now am working on my MS in public health. I love the field of dentistry, although I feel that there is a general lack of motivation within the entire field. I feel that the ADA is not interested in helping the field of dentistry move into the 21st century. I believe that the field has focused too much on the look of teeth as opposed to the health of the mouth and the overall body. My sister works for the dean of nursing at NYU, and the dean is working with the dental schools in the area to teach new dentists and hygienists the importance of a healthy mouth equals a health body. I see where there is a disconnect between the medical field and the dental field. My goal in public health is to bring this knowledge to the forefront of the population. I guess this is what I find negative within the field and hopefully we can make changes that not only suit the practitioner but also the patient.
  • I'm a single mother of two and dental hygiene affords me the opportunity to provide for my children.
  • I love being a hygienist working with people to make them feel better about their teeth. I've been in dental hygiene for 21 years. I have seen many patients grow older and transition though different stages of life. I enjoy educating the patients on how to keep their teeth healthy. I enjoy the serving part of dental hygiene but don't enjoy how dentistry has changed. The profession is more about the money that health. I guess the business aspect of dentistry is a reflection on how economic status of the United States
  • Over the years, dental hygiene has not offered professional advancement. The profession is highly misunderstood by the general public and many of those who regulate our position. After 27 years, there is no Golden Scaler awarded. There is frustration.
  • I get to help change patients' lives by introducing techniques and advice on better oral health. I show them how powerful those "little white things" really are.
  • I feel like I am stuck. The market is saturated in my area, and our wages are going down. No retirement or pension, not to mention the toll on my body.
  • All jobs suck. Might as well do what I love to do for a living
  • Although the patient can sometimes be negative, I love the positive force I can place on our patient's lives. I love making people smile and watching a person who does not understand about oral health become a very good patient. I know that I have changed many people’s attitudes over the years while making them healthier and happier.
  • I enjoy being able to talk to patients and educate them on oral health, especially with children. Sadly, we are located in an area where children grow up around someone and all they know is that the person has dentures. So they assume that is the natural course of life. It is our responsibility to break the cycle. Even on bad days, there is often that one person that you felt you had a part in making a difference in their life.
  • Love the idea of being in a health care profession. It is an honor to serve our patients, educate them on their dental status, and create links with their overall health. I am motivated to continue dental hygiene practice with the positive changes and feedback received from my patients.
  • I have never regretted choosing dental hygiene as a profession, However, I strongly dislike the current work situation in that there are no jobs and too many RDHs out looking. I used to work six days a week and now am down to less than three. So when I hear teachers and union people griping about a 2% or 3% pay cut, it frosts me because no one is out there talking about dental hygiene. Not our supposed professional organization or anyone else for that matter. All they keep pushing is how great a career dental hygiene is and how wonderful the compensation is. But who has a job? I am ever so thankful for the three days I do have and worry what would happen if I were to be unemployed. I have always said I'm am blessed in that I love what I do and I get paid (fairly) well for doing it! So many hate what they do and make big money. Others get paid nothing and love their contributions to the world. Hygiene has been very good for me, but times are a changing. It's not what it used to be, that's for sure.
  • Wish I could work full time but due to neck, shoulder, and back issues cannot. Also, cannot get health insurance thru employer. Wish I had gone into nursing instead.
  • I enjoy my job and the services I provide. We have an excellent staff.
  • I love dental hygiene and I absolutely love the direction it is going with the oral systemic link. I feel like we will become more of a frontline health-care provider for our patients, which I feel is really exciting. This profession can really change people’s lives!
  • I wanted to be an RN. My father said he wanted me to be a dental hygienist and would not pay for a nursing degree. I was devastated. Still today I wish I would have stood up to him. I’ve been practicing for 30 years now and have developed neck and shoulder issues. I'm seriously thinking of going back to school for nursing.
  • It has been a great career for me. It has allowed me to work part-time with great pay. Finding the right dentist to work for is the key to making this career enjoyable.
  • I feel I have good clinical skills, good people skills, and that I am making a difference in many different facets of my patients’ lives. It may be by impacting their dental health or encouraging them to follow up with a medical doctor. It may be by listening when they need a friend or giving a hug when it is called for. Dental hygiene is more than just picking and polishing teeth.
  • I love helping patients with their oral health. It's a great feeling knowing that I am not only helping with their oral health but their overall health as well. When I teach, it's really exciting to see the smile on the face of a student! This happens when they achieve their goals. I love giving back what I have learned over the years. It's so wonderful to know I am helping them start their new career in the field of dentistry.
  • It was a positive decision since I have been able to work in various countries and provide positive and comfortable treatment to my patients. The gratitude that they extend to me makes all the aches and pains worth it.
  • I have enjoyed my 25-year career as a dental hygienist in the general dentistry clinical setting. I am continuing my education in the hopes that I may expand my career possibilities in the future.
  • I love being a hygienist because of the many relationships that I have formed with my clients over the years. After a turnover in ownership last year, I found out that there were so many people who really appreciated my work and that has been such a confidence builder for me. It took 10 years to figure it out, but now I know that I do have a positive effect on people's lives, and that makes it all worth it.
  • Dental hygiene has just been the perfect fit for me. I have been practicing for almost 27 years and I love hygiene more now than ever. I love developing patient relationships, educating people, the challenges of clinical care, and keeping up with the constant changes in the profession. That being said, with the job market saturation in the past five to 10 years, I would never recommend it to someone looking for a new career. It has become impossible for new grads to find work, and many return to jobs they had before entering a program. In 2011, a relocation to another state forced me to look for a new position. It took two years to find a single day and another year to add two additional days a week. It's just not worth investing in the education if there is no job availability.
  • I love what I do! I love my educating my patients and making a positive change in their oral health. In the office where I work, the doctor allows the hygienists to do our jobs. We are screening and educating our patients. We also have the ability to schedule the patient back with ourselves, allowing the patient the consistency on seeing the same hygienist.
  • I almost said no because I was out of work as a hygienist for almost four years. I spent so many hours online, calling offices, and driving to offices to find any work. I almost lost my house and I could provide only the basics for my only son. This time was so stressful for my family. I chose dental hygiene because I love to educate people about their oral health and I am helping people every day. I need more hours at the office I work at now because my other dentist at the office has retired. Now I have to start looking again! I wish I could support my family all of the time and not just some of the time. That's why I'm not sure if I made the right decision to become a hygienist.
  • I love dental hygiene, but after 25 years I still have zero benefits. I am under employed. There are not enough hygiene jobs. As I am working for a temporary as need service, I find new doctors and clinics have the doctors performing the hygiene. I have nothing to show for 25 years.
  • Great job! I am long-term employed. But having no benefits really hurts me financially over the years.
  • I've been a dental hygienist for 20 years and I still love it. I enjoying helping people and have had the pleasure of getting to know and help some wonderful patients. All the new technology still gets me excited. I feel quite blessed that God helped me choose a career that I love so much!
  • Our profession will not last another 10 years. It is a tragic shame. Too many hygiene schools pumping out undertrained students willing to take poor wages. A cheap dentist’s dream come true.
  • I love my profession. I graduated hygiene school in 1986 and continue to work because I love my occupation not because I financially have to work. I enjoy talking to patients and teaching someone during the day something they did not hear last time they were in.
  • I love what I do! I love helping people, educating them and making a difference in their life. I work in a great office and am involved in decisions and have freedom to work with patients as I wish. We run a fantastic perio program in a general practice. This is ideal for me as a mom as well. I work great hours, four days a week. I would highly recommend this profession.
  • I enjoy what I do and really like connecting with people. I love seeing positive results from my hard work and from the patients' good work/compliance due to my ability to educate them. I like the challenges given to me. Certainly, there are negatives, but the positives outweigh the negatives. With the new insurance coverages comes more work at a faster pace and more "selling" of products and services. Fortunately, I do not have to sell anything that is not necessary or that I don't think will benefit the patient, but there is a bit of a shift in how hygiene used to be as compared to very recent times.
  • I love my job. I am lucky to have worked in a wonderful office for 19 years. I think it is sad when we have girls come and shadow us who are interested in a RDH career, and I have to tell them the grim truth about lack of jobs out there currently.
  • Now that I am older, things like medical insurance and retirement are more important. Dental hygiene does not provide the security a person needs later in life.
  • Even though times are very negative in RDH careers now, I enjoy the patient care and still try to make a difference.
  • Since I was 15 years old, I knew I wanted to become a dental hygienist. I started out working as a dental assistant at the age of 18. I finally got into the dental hygiene program at Camden County College in 1993. I have been working as a dental hygienist now for the past 18 years and have absolutely no regrets in choosing my profession. The primary and most positive reason I enjoy my profession is that I enjoy taking care of my patients and the relationships that I am able to build with them.
  • I wake up each morning not dreading going to work. I enjoy interacting with my patients and enjoy the fact that each day is different. Unfortunately, this year I was diagnosed with breast cancer. But the loving response I received from my patients was overwhelming. I have been at my job in the same practice for over 30 years and have developed wonderful relationships with my patients. I truly enjoy my work.
  • I love what I do but I feel like any dentist that I have worked for does not respect me as a professional. The dentist values the opinion of the assistant who has no training, no schooling, and no license. Sometimes I wonder why I spent all the money and time to do what I do. Definitely not the salary I was promised in hygiene school!
  • I truly enjoy my field, being able to help people achieve optimal overall health by encouraging and teaching about oral health is very rewarding. I love when people say, "No one ever told me that before." Or they inform the dentist that I taught them something makes it all worthwhile. One of my offices also treats an underserved community so I really am having an impact on children and adults alike when it comes to their health!
  • The pay is good, and there is free coffee.

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