The statistics from states regarding job security in the salary survey allowed RDH eVillage to be a little more adventuresome in rating the states based on the effect of local and national economies. In a 2009 issue, RDH eVillage ranked which states were the best for practicing dental hygiene. The 2009 ranking viewed dental hygiene from a variety of viewpoints, including salaries and residents’ commitment to healthier lifestyles.What about a similar ranking based on job security? We devised a point system using the overall national results from the RDH eVillage salary survey as a baseline to determine the economy’s effect on finding and retaining a job. The salaries from that survey mentioned above were not factored in, however, in the rankings below. We project that salaries in an area are what they are, and are primarily influenced by cost of living factors.Here are the best states to practice dental hygiene based on job security:1. Alaska — It’s too cold and only 12 responses to the survey from Alaska warrant at least a phone call to someone already there — just to check the economic temperature too. But those dozen hint at much better economic conditions than the rest of us are experiencing.2. Arkansas — Above the national average in every category, Arkansas is also warmer than Alaska.3. Iowa — They were top of the heap in the 2009 best states to practice dental hygiene survey. So why not now? Because 73% think there’s a surplus of dental hygienists in the state.4. Massachusetts — The fact that the dental economy is doing respectably well (36% report full schedules) translates to only 15% who would consider leaving the profession (more than 10 percentage points better than the national average).5. New York — Remember all those people who said the recession ended in mid-2009? This is where they live.6. Oregon — “Business is good” at 88% of the dental practices, and 42% say that jobs are available. What’s not to like about Oregon?7. Louisiana — The schedules are full at 40% of the offices, and only 40% (20 percentage points better than the national average) say it’s hard to find a job.8. Colorado — The state is slightly above average with several economic indicators, and 88% are perfectly happy with that.9. Tennessee — Only half say the economy kept them from earning what they aimed for in 2010. The other half couldn’t have been that far behind, since 83% remain happy with their career choice.10. Alabama — Overall, the recession was very gentle here. But remember that preceptorship will always anchor down the nation’s lowest dental hygiene salaries.11. Maryland — The District of Columbia area generally does well in salary surveys. Maryland happens to be in that neighborhood.12. Texas — Only a third think there are too many hygienists. Jobs must be growing on pecan trees down in Texas.13. New Jersey — 58% claim that jobs are available in this bustling state.14. Missouri — Half got pay raises this year, which always elevates the mood about the job.15. Pennsylvania — See Missouri. They’re 900 miles apart. So what gives?16. Kansas — A positive attitude in Kansas would stretch on forever across the plains if only 83% weren’t waiting for a pay raise.17. Virginia — Believe it or not, the half of the Virginians who believe too many hygienists roam the state is much more positive than elsewhere.18. Oklahoma — Apparently, the Sooners are more prone to hand out pay raises; 72% got one in 2010.19. New Hampshire — 92% think there are too many hygienists here. 92%? How come Jane on Lake Street doesn’t agree with the rest of you? Overall, the state seems to be holding steady.20. Kentucky — Half say the difficulty in finding a job is about the same as it’s always been. The other half says it has become harder to find one.21. Connecticut — The state has an alarming number (42%) who would leave the profession; the other half doesn’t think the economy has affected their ability to earn what they want.22. Wisconsin — Half got a raise in 2010, but 77% are nervous about the surplus of dental hygienists here.23. Indiana — 77% of the Hoosiers worry if they’ll ever see another raise.24. New Mexico — The 14 respondents must live in all four corners of New Mexico, because their opinions canceled each other out.25. Washington — 27% of practices report a growing concern about reduced revenues, an indication of the state’s economic woes. But Washington is a liberating state to work in, and half say jobs are available.26. Georgia — Georgia matches the national average with the exception of just too many hygienists in that big city right in the middle of the state. Atlanta, spread out a little bit. Um, guess it already is.27. North Carolina — All the stats lean toward North Carolina eerily reflecting the national average; but 72% also say there is a surplus of dental hygienists.28. Idaho — 92% think the state is a happy place as far as dental hygiene is concerned. But 73% think there are too many happy hygienists. Incredibly, it’s getting crowded in Idaho.29. Minnesota — Hygienists offered opinions that resulted in the state being ranked below average in three economic categories. It can’t be that bad, though, since 81% are still very happy with their career choice.30. California — If the economy turns around and the state halts the rash of new dental hygiene schools, California will rule the dental hygiene world. Until then ...31. Ohio — The state’s economy, as far as dentistry is concerned, seems to be OK, but still 35% would leave the profession if anything better came along.32. Illinois — 40% would consider leaving the profession, even though the dental economy isn’t that bad compared to other states.33. South Carolina — “Boss, can I have a raise?” “No.” 85% get tired of hearing that answer.34. Arizona — Only 14% of schedules are always full, and 28% of practice owners are visibly concerned about reduced revenues. What does that usually mean for a dental hygienist?35. Utah — 92% said economic conditions impacted their ability to earn what they desired. Wow!36. Michigan — Is it just us, or does everyone tire of picking on Michigan? Although most of the economic indicators reviewed show Michigan to be below average, the fact that doctor’s offices are merely average with their financial health keeps Michigan from being grouped with Florida and Nevada.37. Nevada — 44% say practice owners are “very concerned” about reduced revenues. Are the casinos still open?38. Florida — 83% do not think 2010 was a good year for the state’s dental economy, and 73% say it’s been more than a year since a pay raise. Overall, it’s just an ugly picture.A weaker level of responses from Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming prevent those states from being included in the ranking.