Good news for dental hygienists: more jobs on the way!

Dental hygiene is expected to add more than 33% more jobs in the next 10 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and its Occupational Outlook Handbook. FOCUS Editorial Director Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS, talks about the increasing demand for new hygiene jobs in the future. She also discusses recent updates to radiation safety in dentistry, a new treatment for oral mucositis, and World Oral Health Day slated for March 20.

Mar 7th, 2014
Radiation Safety Fo

In this issue, we cover a myriad of topics. One of the most inspiring is a story about a group of people who C.A.R.E. We also talk about older adults, a potentially dangerous chemical, and hopefully clear up some misconceptions about Triclosan in oral health care products.

Also in the news, The California Dental Association (CDA) recently updated its Radiation Safety in Dental Practice guide, which contains the regulations applicable to dentistry and a template for completing a written safety program. All sources of radiation must have a copy of the radiation regulations and a written radiation safety program. While this was written specifically to ensure compliance with state radiation regulations in California, this 72-page guide is helpful to offices in any state.

The Department of Public Health (DPH) and dental school faculty members updated the 1996 guide. The recently updated guide can be downloaded for free at the CDA website. The radiation safety program template included in the guide allows the dentist or X-ray machine owner to fill in the necessary information. The template was created with the assistance of the DPH, which also has a guidance document on its website to assist all X-ray machine registrants in developing a written radiation safety program.(2)

Good news for dental hygienists!

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and its Occupational Outlook Handbook, the in-demand job paying more than $70,000 per year is dental hygiene!(3) According to the report, dental hygiene is expected to add 33% more jobs over the next 10 years, which is three times more than the estimated 11% job growth in the U.S.(4)

The prediction is that there are anticipated job openings, as a result of greater focus on dental health, an aging population, and Federal health legislation which expand individuals with dental insurance. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects more than 114,000 jobs will be added from 2012 to 2022, and 64,000 of those will be new jobs and not simply filling existing jobs of people retiring or leaving the workforce.(3)

The bad news, in my opinion, is the Bureau of Labor Statistics makes dental hygiene sound like a technical job, versus a professional career. Until we have baccalaureate entry level, and award dental hygienists a degree commensurate with their education, this will not likely change.

On the new product front, there is a new treatment for oral mucositis in the U.S. Invado Pharmaceuticals LLC is a privately held LLC headquartered in Pomona, N.Y., and the product is NeutraSal (5) NeutraSal received marketing clearance in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2009.

NeutraSal (supersaturated calcium phosphate rinse) is a prescription mouth rinse. It is indicated to treat the painful symptoms associated with oral mucositis, and should be started at the beginning of cancer therapy including chemotherapy or radiation therapy. NeutraSal is packaged in single use packets of dissolving powder, that when mixed in water, creates an oral rinse supersaturated with calcium and phosphate ions. It does NOT contain sugar, yeast, wheat, gluten, soy, milk, egg, shellfish or any preservatives.

For information on the mechanism of action, oral mucositis, and a complimentary Oral Mucositis Support Kit available with all NeutraSal prescriptions, visit the websites.(5,6)

And last, but not least, World Oral Health Day (WOHD) is March 20, and is celebrated every year on the same day. It is an international day to highlight the benefits of a healthy mouth and promote worldwide awareness of issues around oral health and the importance to everyone old and young of looking after oral hygiene.(7) The theme is “World Oral Health Day 2014, Celebrating healthy smiles” because having a healthy mouth is cause for celebration!(7)

As the World Oral Health Day approaches, Oral-B, Procter & Gamble, has started a Sharing Smiles campaign structured ultimately to reach disadvantaged communities that cannot afford dental care products and consultations with dentists.(8) As part of the ways to celebrate the World Oral Health Day on March 20, 2014, and in commitment to total oral health, the campaign is targeted at providing free dental services through Oral B’s Mobile Dental Clinic (MDC) to people who ordinarily cannot afford the service. The campaign kicked off on Jan. 30, 2014.

What will you do to celebrate World Oral Health Day?

References
1. www.cda.org.
2. www.cdph.ca.gov.
3. Morris P. The in-Demand Job Paying More Than $70,000 Per Year. The Motley Fool, Feb 23, 2014.
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Dental Hygienists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-hygienists.htm (visited March 01, 2014).
5. http://www.neutrasal.com/.
6. http://www.neutrasal.com/uploads/Post_card_Oral_Analgesic_Kit_Postrcard_v2.pdf.
7. http://www.fdiworldental.org/events/world-oral-health-day/2014.aspx.
8. http://businessdayonline.com/2014/02/procter-gamble-kicks-off-oral-b-smiles-campaign/.

Sincerely,

Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS

To read previous RDH eVillage FOCUS introductions by Maria Perno Goldie, go to introductions.

To read more about radiation and dental hygiene, click here.

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