Dental Hygienist or Dental Assistant?

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Linds in Nashville, Tennessee

82 months ago

I am a single mother of 1 and workign two jobs to keep my head above water. I graduated with honors from high school but did not ever continue my education. I am looking to go back to school in the Dental field but I am having trouble figuring out which path to take. I will not have hours and hours to dedicate to school but I am willing to work hard. I have heard Hygienist school is incredibly time consuming but the salary is obviously better. I want to make a better life for me and my child, does anyone have any experience in this (especially in the Nashville area? I could use all the suggestions I can get.

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Jennifer in Norfolk, Virginia

82 months ago

Dental hygiene school is EXTREMELY time consuming! I got my bachelors degree which took 4 years...and the last two years I was at school Every single day from about 8am to 6 or 7 pm...plus all the studying time that it takes to actually pass. Hygiene is a great job and the pay is great..but if you are worried about time...I would be an assistant. They make good money as well...but only require some training. :-) Good luck to you!

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Sandy in Grand Rapids, Michigan

80 months ago

Linds.... My husband left me when I was only three weeks into the RDH program, and our daughter was only 6 months old. I had no idea on earth how I was going to continue for the next two years without working while going through a drawn-out ugly divorce. I just told myself there was no other option because I needed the degree to provide for myself and my child the best future possible. I took loans and had help from family and friends. You can do it. It IS very time consuming, and a LOT of work, but I'm one month from graduating and SO happy I did it. And I'm not the only one in my program in the single mom/dire straits situation. Luckily our faculty here is fantastic and encouraging.

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Regina in Toccoa, Georgia

79 months ago

Go for hygiene if you can. The pay is much better and you will have much more flexibility as far as days and hours are concerned. Look into financial aid, student loans, grants, etc to help you will school and living expenses. The financial aid office at the college campus where you are accepted can be your best friend! You will not be able to work full-time hours with the demands of school, but you can work part-time. I filed for divorce from my husband during my second semester but worked part time, lived in a tiny studio apartment and got as much student aid/loan money as possible and I made it! I was an assistant for about 6 years. It was ok, but you get more $, flexibility and respect as a hygienist. If you go for assisting - try to get into an oral surgery office - it's a fun mix of medical and dental, you see fewer patients and I earned more money in surgical assisting than in general dental assisting. YOU CAN DO IT!

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Sonia in College Station, Texas

79 months ago

are all the dental assistant schools taught in an institute or do they have a college for that?

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Tasha in Indianapolis, Indiana

79 months ago

I am looking into and very serious about going to school for dental hygiene. I was planning on attending our local college - 2 years pre reqs and 2 years at the school of dentistry. A small college in my area contacted me and informed me that dental hygiene was very hard to get into and that they offer a dental assisting program for 14 months. And then in turn I could get into the school of dentistry to start dental hygiene. I asked her if I would have to take all the pre reqs even if I did the 14 month dental assistine program, and she said if I knew someone they may be able to get me into the school w/o pre reqs. That seemed a little far fetched to me. I guess what I really want to know is should I do the 14 month program (dental assisting) and then work towards dental hygiene or should I go straight thru with the 4 year program of dental hygiene and be done with it. I know experience is a big deal in getting into the school of destistry, so I wondered if dental assisting first would be the way to go. Someone please help! -Obviously confused.

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L.L in Broomfield, Colorado

79 months ago

Choose Hygiene over assisting... You will enjoy it far more than being a assistant... You make usually double of what the assistant makes unless you are an EDDA...

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ali in Sacramento, California

73 months ago

Linds in Nashville, Tennessee said: I am a single mother of 1 and workign two jobs to keep my head above water. I graduated with honors from high school but did not ever continue my education. I am looking to go back to school in the Dental field but I am having trouble figuring out which path to take. I will not have hours and hours to dedicate to school but I am willing to work hard. I have heard Hygienist school is incredibly time consuming but the salary is obviously better. I want to make a better life for me and my child, does anyone have any experience in this (especially in the Nashville area? I could use all the suggestions I can get.

Yeah, it is VERY time consuming. Especially if you have a little one, it's going to be tough in DH school. I'm graduating this Dec from DH school, and I had no life for th e past 16 months, I tried, but it doesn't work. Thank God I'm single and had all the time in the world for hygiene. There were two divorces and one affair in my class. Very dramatic and stressfull. Yeah, try assisting first, then once your little one gets older, do hygiene.

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ali in Sacramento, California

73 months ago

Tasha in Indianapolis, Indiana said: I am looking into and very serious about going to school for dental hygiene. I was planning on attending our local college - 2 years pre reqs and 2 years at the school of dentistry. A small college in my area contacted me and informed me that dental hygiene was very hard to get into and that they offer a dental assisting program for 14 months. And then in turn I could get into the school of dentistry to start dental hygiene. I asked her if I would have to take all the pre reqs even if I did the 14 month dental assistine program, and she said if I knew someone they may be able to get me into the school w/o pre reqs. That seemed a little far fetched to me. I guess what I really want to know is should I do the 14 month program (dental assisting) and then work towards dental hygiene or should I go straight thru with the 4 year program of dental hygiene and be done with it. I know experience is a big deal in getting into the school of destistry, so I wondered if dental assisting first would be the way to go. Someone please help! -Obviously confused.

Go straight to hygiene! dental assissting experience helps a little in the beggining of the program, then everyone is in the same boat. Hygiene is far more complex then assissting.

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Dh student in Rancho Cucamonga, California

73 months ago

I'm also in a 16 month program. It can be stressful at times but it is very manageable. I have 2 kids and a husband and have time for them, working part time, and my favorite t v shows. I'm not the best student (a's and some b's) nor do I put that pressure on myself. At the end of these 16 months 4.0 and I will get the same pay. I'm lucky that I am excited to be an rdh and can see the big picture when prioritizing family, school, friends, and work. Without those fundamental tools I probably would be more stressed out. Good luck!

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A-T-H in Sherwood, Arkansas

73 months ago

I am reading alot of replies that state DH school was very time consuming. Perhaps you may consider coming across the border to Arkansas @ UAMS. The DH school is seperate from college. You may take your pre-reqs anywhere (accredited college) you like & at any pace. Then, DH school here is pretty much on auto-pilot. I just graduated in May and many of my classmates kept their jobs and a few had 2+ children. It was very manageable and the professors very flexible and understanding (a few ladies had children while they were in the program)

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A-T-H in Sherwood, Arkansas

73 months ago

Go straight into hygiene. Assisting is DIFFERENT than hygiene! I know that most states, the assisting program (even if given at a college) doesn't offer accredited course hours (transferrable hours) that can be used towards anything, not to mention a dental hygiene bach of sciene degree. Assisting is simply a certificate. You don't even need to go to school for it. Here in arkansas, we have MANY assistants straight out of high school (most dentists prefer "fresh minds") that start out around $16/hr. If you have the choice- go for hygiene- average about $350/day.

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Erika in Grand Terrace, California

73 months ago

Dh student in Rancho Cucamonga, California said: I'm also in a 16 month program. It can be stressful at times but it is very manageable. I have 2 kids and a husband and have time for them, working part time, and my favorite t v shows. I'm not the best student (a's and some b's) nor do I put that pressure on myself. At the end of these 16 months 4.0 and I will get the same pay. I'm lucky that I am excited to be an rdh and can see the big picture when prioritizing family, school, friends, and work. Without those fundamental tools I probably would be more stressed out. Good luck!

Hi ,My name is Erika and I am very intersted in the DH program in rancho cucamonga. I know that you should be very busy ,but is any way that we can comunicate about the school?
My email is erikasaraivab@hotmail.com
I also have a baby and have some questions about the program.
Thanks,
Erika

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A-T-H in Sherwood, Arkansas

73 months ago

It is true that you and 4.0 will get the same pay; however, keep in mind that you're competing with 4.0 to get a job in the first place. Most dentists belong to some group (frat, sorority, honor society) and belonging (or even the notice of attempting to belong) stands out to these folks.

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Toyad1703

72 months ago

Hi. I am also interested in dh program. i am trying to get accepted to mdc medical campus to do the dh program. it is 2 years. do they usually have you work in a dental office w/p pay to get experiences while in school?

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A-T-H in Sherwood, Arkansas

72 months ago

My program had a fully functional hygiene clinic that saw patients on a regular schedule. There were a few other rotation places that were involved in the educational process such as Children's Hospital Dental Clinic, VA dental clinic, etc. There was no pay- only required credit hours counted as LAB.

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N-M-L in Windsor, Ontario

68 months ago

I will be graduating from dental hygiene in April, and have applied to UBC to complete my degree online. I would like to work part time and take 2-3 courses a semester. However, I am VERY nervous that I will not be able to handle the workload. I currently have a a GPA of 4.0/4.0, and I am a very dedicated student, so i don't mind putting forth the effort. I was just wondering if anyone has completed this degree and has any tips for me?
THANKS! :)

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savannah in Dayton, Ohio

37 months ago

In springboro, OH there is a dental assistant school that is one day a week for ten weeks, and you are done!!!! There are also scholarships available for a full ride! Dayton Dental Assistant school (I think it is called).

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Cerritos College grad in Placentia, California

36 months ago

[QUOTE who="If you have the choice- go for hygiene- average about $350/day.

It's $0/day if you can't find a job.

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RDHCJ in Boston, Massachusetts

33 months ago

I highly suggest you work as a dental assistant because you can start working right now and do NOT need to be trained in a school! Apply to orthodontist offices and other dental offices that say they will train the right person for the job! You get a decent hourly wage and usually full benefits as a DA. There are more jobs for DAs than hygienists and once you become a hygienist it is hard to get anyone to hire you for a lower level job like DA because the dentists all assume you will quit after a short time.

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Anonymous in Elizabethtown, Kentucky

31 months ago

DENTAL HYGIENE SUCKS!!!! Don't do it! I graduated 20 years ago from Dental Hygiene school. I have been EXTREMELY BURNED OUT for the last 12 years of my career. Even in DH school, the teachers told us that the average career-span for a dental hygienist is 5 YEARS! That's because it is SOOOO repetitive. You do the same things over and over and OVER... all day/everyday! You get asked the SAME questions over and over and OVER AGAIN... all day/everyday! It is also VERY STRESSFUL running on a schedule day after day; hour after hour. I am here to tell you that DENTISTS ARE AN ODD BREED of people!!! It's one thing to be their patient, but to work for them, you will see! They are as money-focused as can be, and mostly care only about how much insurance money they can squeeze out of every patient!! Don't believe me??? Then I guess you'll have to find out the hard way.... LIKE I DID! :(

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jobless in Grand Rapids, Michigan

31 months ago

I went to dental hygiene school because I was a single mom and needed a good paying job/career. I sacrificed a lot of time and money to get my degree, and found it was extremely difficult to even get subbing jobs. In theory it's a good job, but between the economy and money-driven dental environment, I wish I'd done something else. The schools keep pumping out graduates and they'll never cut back or be honest about the market because the school is in the business of getting tuition money from students... There seriously need to be fewer schools.

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stephanie in Campbellsville, Kentucky

28 months ago

tiffany in Elizabethtown, Kentucky said: I live in KY i am going toEDDA school in Louisville ATA collage it is a 10 month course 4 days a week in the evening it is very good school. Pay is about 16.00 a hour. If you did this first you could keep your head above water. Then go to hygene school. 4 years is along time to go with very little pay. They have free tutoring too.

Hey,
I'm looking into Kentucky Dental Academy in Elizabethtown and Academy of Dental Assisting at Medquest College in Louisville...Do you know anything about those programs or anyone who attended them? They're cheaper and shorter programs, KDA doesn't offer EDDA but alot of their students complete their basic dental program then go to UofL for their EDDA program(which requires 1 year work experience) but is still cheaper than MedQuest...IM SO LOST on what to do, any suggestions?

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Anonymous in Elizabethtown, Kentucky

28 months ago

I'm a hygienist...
DON'T DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Future RT in Waterbury, Connecticut

28 months ago

I live in CT and a dental assistant here makes about $14-$18/hour to start. A dental hygienist at my office makes $35/hour and she also works in Fairfield County making about $55/hour. A dental assistant here goes to a 14 month full time program and gets a certificate. A hygienist can get an Associates Degree or a Bachelors and make a lot more money. I would chose hygiene over assisting anyday. However, I just got accepted into my school's Respiratory Care Program. I didn't choose hygiene because most hygienist work part-time. It's hard finding full time work in this field. Most of the hygienist I work with work in 2 or 3 different offices just to get a 5 day work week.

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Jo Ann in Trenton, Michigan

28 months ago

Linds in Nashville, Tennessee said: I am a single mother of 1 and workign two jobs to keep my head above water. I graduated with honors from high school but did not ever continue my education . I am looking to go back to school in the Dental field but I am having trouble figuring out which path to take. I will not have hours and hours to dedicate to school but I am willing to work hard. I have heard Hygienist school is incredibly time consuming but the salary is obviously better. I want to make a better life for me and my child, does anyone have any experience in this (especially in the Nashville area? I could use all the suggestions I can get.

I am a Hygienist in South Eastern Michigan. Yes the schooling is difficult and time consuming. You will need a lot of support from friends and family, especially if your child is young.I spent many nights studying while children slept and did not go to bed my self. Be prepared for this. Also, it is extremely difficult to hold a job while in the program. You have to follow the school's schedule, there will be no choice of class times. Ask the Dental Hygiene Dept. to see what the schedule has been for the past 2 years and see if you would be able to follow that schedule. Second, check local newspapers and internet ads for Dental Hygienists. In this area, many women who have graduated 3 years ago still have not obtained a full time or permanent part time position. I love the work I just would hate for you to put in so much effort and miss time with your child to end up without a job. Other fields to consider: Surgical Tech, Radiology Tech. Physical Therapy, Nursing. Nursing is good because of the wide range of opportunities, specialties etc. Dental is very narrow. Also, you could talk to your personal dentist to see what he has to say. Good Luck!!!

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sarah in Trenton, Michigan

28 months ago

Anonymous in Elizabethtown, Kentucky said: DENTAL HYGIENE SUCKS!!!! Don't do it! I graduated 20 years ago from Dental Hygiene school. I have been EXTREMELY BURNED OUT for the last 12 years of my career. Even in DH school, the teachers told us that the average career-span for a dental hygienist is 5 YEARS! That's because it is SOOOO repetitive. You do the same things over and over and OVER... all day/everyday! You get asked the SAME questions over and over and OVER AGAIN... all day/everyday! It is also VERY STRESSFUL running on a schedule day after day; hour after hour. I am here to tell you that DENTISTS ARE AN ODD BREED of people!!! It's one thing to be their patient, but to work for them, you will see! They are as money-focused as can be, and mostly care only about how much insurance money they can squeeze out of every patient!! Don't believe me??? Then I guess you'll have to find out the hard way.... LIKE I DID! :(

I agree with your comments about Dentists being an odd breed. They are so nice to the patient but behind their backs all they see is $$$$. They are also usually control freaks. in the 17+ years I have been a hygienist, I have only found 1 dentist that was actually a normal human being, truly nice to the patients, did not squeeze their wallets or their insurance. He was also nice to the staff and very generous.

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stephanie in Shepherdsville, Kentucky

28 months ago

Anonymous in Elizabethtown, Kentucky said: I'm a hygienist...
DON'T DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think you should look for another dentist to work for, alot of people actually like the ones they work for, although I have spoken to those who dont but I'm sure you just have to find the right office for you. I'm just wondering if I can find a dental assistant job BEFORE i am EDDA certified or if I need to be EDDA certified in order to find a job.

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Brian A. in Seattle, Washington

26 months ago

In case anyone wants to check out the differences between what dental assistants and dental hygienists do, here's a chart with side-by-side comparisons: www.allalliedhealthschools.com/health-careers/career-comparison/dental-assistant-vs-dental-hygienist

Hope that helps.

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MelMoo34 in new bedford, Massachusetts

26 months ago

I will be honest with you, there are a lot more dental assistant jobs out there.
The job market is over saturated with dental hygienists. Every interview I have been on the private dentist is commenting on the economy and that they received more resumes in recent years.
Honestly, I would get a dental assistant certificate and work in that field for a year or two. Have a job where you can work the weekend and go to school during the week.
That way, if you go to dental hygiene school, graduate, and can't find a job, you can still be a dental assistant which is in more demand.

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MelMoo34 in new bedford, Massachusetts

26 months ago

Dental assistants make 1/2 the money but they can find a job in a second in my area.
All the dental hygienists I know who were dental assistants are still working as dental assistants as they try to find permanent RDH work

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RDHCJ in Connecticut

26 months ago

I completely agree with MELMOO. Become a dental assistant or dentist. Don't become a RDH because there are no jobs. And those RDHs who started off as DAs are either still working DAs or are more likely to get a RDH than those who have no "dental experience" like myself before I became a RDH

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vik

21 months ago

Hygiene is very stressful and repetitive. I've done this for 12 years and wish I went into nursing instead. Nursing has far more avenues than Dental Hygiene. Additionally, it's very rare to find anything full time.

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Beth Seda in Franklin, Tennessee

18 months ago

vik said: Hygiene is very stressful and repetitive. I've done this for 12 years and wish I went into nursing instead. Nursing has far more avenues than Dental Hygiene. Additionally, it's very rare to find anything full time .

Agreed, Vik! I am searching for a dental hygiene postion and find it very restrictive. Plus, there are virtually no positions in a "real" dental office. The only thing available is in the corporate offices where I do not want to treat people like a number...get 'em, fill 'em, bill 'em. There are so many more opportunities with a nursing degree. That degree could easily be expanded into many, many different realms of healthcare. Dental hygiene is a dead end.

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Ashleigh in Las Vegas, Nevada

18 months ago

I am very interested in going to school for dental hygiene. Does anyone know of a dental school in Las Vegas? Or is it even good to go to like a dental academy and do that or go to an actual college and do pre reqs? (Which i have started) but I feel like it is kind of a waste.
Thanks!

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exp in Massachusetts

18 months ago

Ashleigh....go for DA NOT....NOT RDH....oversaturated, pay going backwards, to train....it's easily 30,000 now as oppossed to DA ....you can train in an office, but most Dentists prefer a trained , CDA with credentials....pay may be less , but not by much and you tend to "receive the coveted BENEFITS" that the majority of RDH's DON'T....don't waste your money , time or nrg in the DH field...if you read further on hear more than not, are having a hard time finding SET days/hours and fair pay. VET

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khwaaa in Riverton, Utah

18 months ago

I'm a dental hygienist and it has been far less than I imagined. The market all over the country is extremely saturated, and reading forums really makes my career in the future seem dismal. I graduated 4 months ago with 50k in debt and have a 2.5 days/week job that underpays me for being a "new graduate". Most of my classmates are dissatisfied with the hours they are working. You may be able to find something part time. But full time with benefits is nearly impossible. I'm lucky my husband has a steady career with benefits and I don't have to depend on hygiene wages to live.

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waterbug100 in Duncan, British Columbia

15 months ago

Aika..oh give it a rest will you!!

If I read one more extremely young, completely inexperienced person "dreaming" about becoming a DH and having the gall to tell the rest of us with some experience that it's our "bad attitude" that is corrupting the "profession" of DH, I'm gonna scream!!!

Seriously..if you want facts..go to the nearest temp. agencies and talk to them and see how many actual consistent DH jobs there are. Go to MANY DH personally, face to face and ask them, especially DH that have seen their world crumble around them. And young new ones, that have thousands of $ of debt and no job opportunities.

Find some DH teachers that will be honest with you and not want to grab your money, torture you in a program and kick you out the other side with no job opportunities. These may be extremely difficult to find!

Do you not think that we as 'newly graduated DH' did not have that positive thinking that you think so vital? Have you read what's happened in DH? There is a year's worth of reading in these threads, and it might do you a world of good to read them carefully.

You know nothing, that is clear. And we find people like you extrememly galling..you have NO idea, yet feel it's ok to call us annoying and negative. Have you ever thought that it might be considered just plain realistic?

Please get your head out of the clouds and educate yourself about the reality of DH today. And stop calling us names.

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Superfluous RDH in Ottawa, Ontario

15 months ago

I'd listen to Waterbug; this person speaks the truth.
Dental Hygiene is in a terrible state. There are too many hygienists for too few jobs. Job security does not exist. There are many who'd gladly replace you at a fraction of what you were paid. There are few to no benefits. It's a really hard way to make a living. If anyone had any hopes to get into DH, I'd say to be a DA first. This will give you a chance to get a feel for dentistry with minimal financial investment.
Routine and repetition are different. A routine gives you the chance to vary that routine, but repetition is the very same thing over and over and over again.
Repetition wears you out, both physically and mentally. Mentally, because you know that, before you go to work, absolutely nothing will change, no matter what. It drains you. Patients will present themselves exactly the same way as when you saw them last, whether it was 3, 6, 9 or 12 months ago. They will be adamant that they did NOT receive OHI from you. Patient amnesia is amazing! Your days will be the same, day to day, week to week, month to month, and year to year. You may use only a fraction of what you learned in school. Why, then, did you put all of your efforts (also $$) into those courses?
Repetition wears you out physically because of RSI. Hygiene injures many dental hygienists physically. Neck, back, wrist, and hip injuries are common. Sure, you can take meds, and you can go to the massage therapist in an attempt to keep yourself working, but the truth is that dental hygiene is extremely hard on the body. Why venture into a job that damages you both mentally and physically?
The majority of hygienists I've met got into hygiene NOT for the money, but for patient health promotion. We wanted to help people. But many of us became disillusioned with the dental field because we learned, very quickly, that dentistry is a business, whose goal is to make money. Sad, but true. It's not the job that it once was.

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exp in Massachusetts

15 months ago

Aika....negative? more so the reality of the field since 2008 at least. Many on here are from all backgrounds, AGES and experiences. If you have an "IN" in an office for 2-4yrs. out ie-family...go for it, if not, it's alot of money to put forth without a payback = of loans, etc. or your own bank account...for at least 5 yrs...do you REALLY want to do that? We are speaking to experiences here, the facts that you need are right here...if this field were one of opportunity for the many in the field and those wanting to go into DH....don't you think you'd see alot more "come join us, wonderful opps, etc"? If you choose to pursue this field , GL, don't say you didn't hear, even from those with a great office, etc. on here saying that the opps and pay are not there....the pay in fact is only 10 or so above a DA in many states now and the DA's get regular days, hours, pay, vaca/sick, scrub and CEU's....DH's? You are on your own....think forward on where you want to be in 20+ yrs....DH's are on their own in many cases for their own retirement...are you good at saving and investing? NOW? If so, don't use it all on DH training...get your feet wet in the field as a DA, then evaluate the situation where you ultimately want to live and work? Will you have decent pay, not large but fair and be able to payback loans, your monthly bills, have a life? Think about it before you pursue any field. VET

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Nahla in Clovis, New Mexico

15 months ago

You could take out student loans to go to school and pay the bills each month. I know it isn't ideal, but this too shall pass. By going to school, you will be able to provide a financially secure future. Dental hygienists make soooo much more than dental assistants...most offices hire them part time....$30,000 part time. Some work 2 jobs to make $60,000. Dental assistants may make $28,000-$30,000 full time. And of course it depends on what you want to do. A dental hygienist has appointment after appointment all day long, grasping the tools and sitting in a chair all day. Can you physically do this? As opposed to a dental assistant job running around in the back, doing x-rays, and helping the receptionists. Another field would be medical assisting or LPN. Both jobs allow you to work in small offices taking blood pressure, filling out paperwork. And there are more job opportunities for this.

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exp in Massachusetts

15 months ago

Nahla...this will NOT pass....seriously, RDH's too many and not enough work ever again. RDH's are working PT if at all now, the pay is getting closer (to a DA's) & = going back to that of th 1990's in many states, no set days or hours, or cutback or if your pt's doesn't show you may be asked to time out...really, RDH's get squat...and the DA's recieve the benefits. As for a good practice and employer...needle in a haystack. This IS the reality for many in the field now. Passion and dreams of wanting to become an RDH...don't afford a living anymore or ever will again....many resumes on hand on the computer in a file for the Dr. and OM out of sight of the RDH's...and then there are those who have a different RDH weekly so no benefits or taxes....really...retirement accounts you can count on? Not given to the majority.....think forward to when reality sets in and you have what saved in an IRA on your own....after paying back all the college loans, etc?.....RDH's also help out at the front desk, etc...and assist at times....RDH's a career ......not anymore. I am a VET and well trained at a top school.....if you read the numerous threads on here , you will see newbies not finding any set days? Is that a way to live or work? No it is not....DA is the way to go if you are looking for employment and benefits of any kind....in 2013 and the future...the income is PT to less than that...the graph's in each state as to the salary you can obtain ARE NOT CORRECT....written by those not in our field or one of the very few with a good office giving INDEED what they receive....it's more of $20,000-25,000...PART-TIME ....no full time ....VET

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Superfluous RDH in Ottawa, Ontario

15 months ago

The current dental hygiene situation is not going to improve or pass; in fact, it's worsening. Schools are still graduating too many for the job market to bear. DH skills are, for the most part, non-transferable. If you need a student loan for your education, get it for ANYTHING else--medicine, nursing, etc., but NOT for DH. You won't get a return on your investment, in fact, you'll initiate a debt that you'll never be able to pay off with your DH wages. Think about of the quality of life you want in the future--NOW! Think of your credit rating if you can't pay off your debts! Think NOW about your retirement--believe me, it comes sooner than you think. Good luck.

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Marvelous in Harrison, New York

8 months ago

I have heard a lot of the same back and forth on this topic. I used to work for a clinical psychologist who specializes in helping her patients with career placement, etc. Anyway, I can tell you that it just so happens a number of clients were at one time DHs. Most of them burn out in a short time period and then they can not find other work because their skills are not transferable and in some states the salary is not so good regardless. For example, in some states a lot of dentists have their own private practice and they do their own cleaning, etc. themselves. Then when it comes to do something in particular like a route canal they will refer out to an endontist. Sometimes, the clients would often consider going back to school to become a dentist, orthodontist, or something similar. The field is really saturated at this point with DHs and with the economy, etc. is difficult to find work. If you are going to put the time, money, and whatever else into it become a dentist.

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Msmontambo in Hayden, Idaho

6 months ago

Regina in Toccoa, Georgia said: Go for hygiene if you can. The pay is much better and you will have much more flexibility as far as days and hours are concerned. Look into financial aid, student loans, grants, etc to help you will school and living expenses. The financial aid office at the college campus where you are accepted can be your best friend! You will not be able to work full-time hours with the demands of school, but you can work part-time. I filed for divorce from my husband during my second semester but worked part time, lived in a tiny studio apartment and got as much student aid/loan money as possible and I made it! I was an assistant for about 6 years. It was ok, but you get more $, flexibility and respect as a hygienist. If you go for assisting - try to get into an oral surgery office - it's a fun mix of medical and dental , you see fewer patients and I earned more money in surgical assisting than in general dental assisting. YOU CAN DO IT!

Were you a certified dental assistant? I am looking for a job as a dental assistant while going to school for RDH. I am not certified and find a few dental offices hire without certification. I am having trouble getting hired at any of these places. Do you have any tips? TIA!

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exp in Massachusetts

6 months ago

DA training YES...RDH training NO! WHY? Because the field is oversaturated, more programs are opening for a field that doesn't need more, we need less programs throughout the US and Canada, the cost is ridiculous now, it's very cut throat , that great office's staff stays, the older RDH's in good offices are not retiring, it doesn't matter if you have LA, STM , Nitrous...training, it's about how much will you do for the least amount of pay...you understand what I am saying? Young to older RDH's are TELLING you from being in the field now that there are not enough jobs to go around. If you train as a DA you are more likely to find set work, reg. paycheck and some benefits, which elude the RDH....

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Msmontambo in Hayden, Idaho

5 months ago

exp in Massachusetts said: DA training YES...RDH training NO! WHY? Because the field is oversaturated, more programs are opening for a field that doesn't need more, we need less programs throughout the US and Canada, the cost is ridiculous now, it's very cut throat , that great office's staff stays, the older RDH's in good offices are not retiring, it doesn't matter if you have LA, STM , Nitrous...training, it's about how much will you do for the least amount of pay...you understand what I am saying? Young to older RDH's are TELLING you from being in the field now that there are not enough jobs to go around. If you train as a DA you are more likely to find set work, reg. paycheck and some benefits, which elude the RDH....

How should I go about getting a DA job? I have zero training and no experience. Dentist offices that say they train non certified people say I don't meet their qualifications. This is something I really really want to do. Do you have any tips about how to go about getting job? What kinds of things to put in my resume and application? Anything helps! I'm a single mother and I'm dead set on going to college this fall. But the DH career path unplanned on doesn't look as promising as I would like. I'm going to look into something else. Thank you!

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exp in Massachusetts

5 months ago

Hi Msmontambo, I would look at DA programs to see what is offered where you are....accredited though and legitimate. If you want to go the dental Route this would be a lot less in cost and training time. I would also maybe ask dental temp. agencies what they would suggest in regard to finding work in this field. Also, look online and even youtube to see what it is like...sometimes it gives you insight to the field....also, check with your local library, they may know of sources to look for information. GL to you.

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gooanj in Torrance, California

1 day ago

RDHCJ in Boston, Massachusetts said: I highly suggest you work as a dental assistant because you can start working right now and do NOT need to be trained in a school! Apply to orthodontist offices and other dental offices that say they will train the right person for the job! You get a decent hourly wage and usually full benefits as a DA. There are more jobs for DAs than hygienists and once you become a hygienist it is hard to get anyone to hire you for a lower level job like DA because the dentists all assume you will quit after a short time.

is it possible to work for an orthodontist if youre a dh? and what other jobs can a dh go for?

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gooanj in Torrance, California

1 day ago

Anonymous in Elizabethtown, Kentucky said: DENTAL HYGIENE SUCKS!!!! Don't do it! I graduated 20 years ago from Dental Hygiene school. I have been EXTREMELY BURNED OUT for the last 12 years of my career. Even in DH school, the teachers told us that the average career-span for a dental hygienist is 5 YEARS! That's because it is SOOOO repetitive. You do the same things over and over and OVER... all day/everyday! You get asked the SAME questions over and over and OVER AGAIN... all day/everyday! It is also VERY STRESSFUL running on a schedule day after day; hour after hour. I am here to tell you that DENTISTS ARE AN ODD BREED of people!!! It's one thing to be their patient, but to work for them, you will see! They are as money-focused as can be, and mostly care only about how much insurance money they can squeeze out of every patient!! Don't believe me??? Then I guess you'll have to find out the hard way.... LIKE I DID! :(

so what do you do for a living or study? im a highschool senior and still undecided whether i should go for dh or film/media prod. please help

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