future job outlook for Dental Hygienists in Canada

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BM in Fremont, New Hampshire

73 months ago

student in Surrey, British Columbia said: I realize the problem with private schools in Ontario with overflowing numbers of new graduates. Will that effect the job market in BC or Alberta a few years from now?

Im a senior in high school right now. I am hoping to enroll in a 4 year dental hygiene program in the fall. However I am a little concerned about how the job market will be like 4 years from now. Will it be worse? Will I have a hard time finding a job?

It'd be great if some people in this field can give me some advice. Thank you.

Choose a different profession. The DENTAL HYGIENE FIELD IS SATURATED, OVERCROWDED AND IT LOOKS THAT WAY FOR THE NEXT 10 YEARS, DUE TO THE SCHOOLS ACCEPTING TOO MANY APPLICANTS. DUE TO THE RECESSION , THOSE OF US PRESENTLY IN THE FIELD WILL HAVE TO STAY IN IT LONGER AND THE NEW GRADUATES WILL ALSO BE IN FOR AN AWAKENING AFTER SPENDING HARD EARNED MONEY AND TIME ON A PROGRAM THAT = 100 APPICANTS EASILY FOR 1 JOB LISTING ONLINE AND IN ANY DAILY PAPER. PLEASE, FOR A CAREER CHOOSE THE NURSING FIELD OR GO TO DENTAL, NOT HYGIENE SCHOOL.

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sally in Pickering, Ontario

69 months ago

awgosh darn i was going to be a dental hygenist but not anymore.. :(

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30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta

69 months ago

abscess in barrie, Ontario said: she knows what she is talking about.

Thank you in Barrie....We really DO need to discuss these issues with our colleagues and start getting people ON BOARD with WHY this DOES AFFECT them....some of my colleagues who have full time work and job security say why worry about it....but I DO concern myself with a watering down of the profession....I do worry about passing on my perio patients to someone who had to write the Board Exams FOUR times to pass....I am concerned about the CONFLICTS of interest with the parties involved. More than you know, I UNDERSTAND those conflicts and the basis of them. We do need to educate to our patients and to the public what is going on with 'fast track schools' and lowered requirements for entry.

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Dentist in Burnaby, British Columbia

69 months ago

30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta said: It's unacceptable to allow 'the potential employer to be in charge of the education of a potential employee'. There is too much opportunity of the 'abuse of power' situation. The 'owner of the school' gets the tuition money (at times in excess of $42,000) , as well as creating a surplus of a 'subordinate professional' who may rely on them for the opportunity of a job. This surplus translates into a pile of resumes in the employer's drawer, where they can set the pay as they want, due to the huge supply of DH. Who is really benefiting in the long run....? MOSTLY, it's the owner of the quickie DH school....it's NOT the quality and standard of care that benefits.....it's certainly NOT the RDHs who worked their tails off to compete for a position in a public school with competitive entry and a preprofessional year..... etc etc....
Who benefits....? the owner.....the dentist who employs the dh.....alas, the conflict of interest..... Beyond crazy and unfair.....it's unethical and inappropriate....and rather sickening as it affects the standard of care the public receives.

Lastly, yes I would discourage RDHs from teaching in these schools....but I've heard that some of the instructors in these schools have only recently graduated from a fast track school themselves.


Yes, dentists funded opening of private clinics, but what else is there to do? Pay higher than 40$ for manual labor? People also want benefits with this. This is nonsense.

Frankly, dental hygiene is not that important of a care in view of both public and government, so there is not going to be any drastic changes to the way things are being run, dentistry will always be in control of what is happening with dental hygiene, a simple truth that just needs to be accepted.

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Dentist in Burnaby, British Columbia

69 months ago

Peter in Toronto, Ontario said: I think the ability for dental hygienists to work independently will be a big factor in the job futures for this industry. In Ontario, this option has only been available for a few months, but hundreds of hygienists are in the process of becoming 'self-initiating'.

I foresee a system developing where dental hygiene graduates are going to have to work for 2-3 years for a dentist, and then open their own business. I think very few jobs for younger hygienists will exist in urban locations like Toronto or Vancouver, but they will exist in rural locations. You might want to think of it as doing an apprenticeship away from home. After you get enough experience, then you settle where you want, and start up your own service.

Their downsides to this - many people would prefer working for someone else and taking a wage rather than take the risk and extra work of running their own business. Also, I think you will have to be prepared to move around a lot, especially in your first few years of your profession. It would be unrealistic to believe you can graduate and go out and get work in Toronto. The goals of government and the dental hygiene community in the idea of self practicing is to bring oral health care to communities that are underserved.

I'm looking forward to seeing how successful these clinics will be once advertisements from dental association hit air. There is more than one way to put these clinics out of business, it is hardly a victory. There is a reason why there are so few of them across Canada.

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melissa in Hamilton, Ontario

69 months ago

here's what i think about private colleges, with my own personal experience. i live in hamilton,ontario and yes i did dh program a a private college nearby the program was 18months i struggled in the beginning since i just came out of highschool and now 21. i graduated dh program jan 08, and now where in aug 09 still not working yet. i written my board exam 3times and unable to be successful i was a good student worked hard graduated with extra clients passed all my courses but cannot pass the board exam, im pissed i workd so hard 18months in hell but i still went thru with the whole program. private colleges i dont recommend to anyone. theres too much information not enough time to study i had to work and study at the same time to pay for my living. i thought writting the board exam the second time i would pass i felt confident but obviously didnt help. im pissed i worked hard i studied my ass off, i wish i went to a regular college when things arent so crammed together not so pushy and not so stressful. ppl 35,000 dollars in a private college not worth it go to a regular college ull get more experience and more hands on work. out of my class of 08' 13 girls 6 passed, 7failed. 1 passed the secnd time and 1 passed the third time so there are 4 us still sitting at home wondering what do with our careers and if writting for the fourth time could change our lives.

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Jessica in Toronto, Ontario

68 months ago

I think dentists should stop rammbling and really think about how vital a dental hygienist is to their practice. Dentists would never be able to cater to patients' needs without a hygienist. and most patients prefere to see the hygienist over the dentist anyway.
I'm going to be quite forward, but I think some dentists (I wont say all!) are very greedy and are taking advantage of the hygiene profession, more specifically in accordance to what's happening with the job market and hygienists. Do you think that the dentist knowing hygienists are becoming desperate for work makes it right for them to then say, well, ok now, I can finally start paying them less and they'll take the job anyhow because they're desperate is okay? If dentists were true to the profession they wouldn't change a hygienists fees from $40 to $30 - they of course are not charging the patient less - thats for sure!

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Michaels2 in Hamilton, Ontario

67 months ago

There is a lot of anger in your comment and if you had read my first posting (as the one you read was a reponse to someone else) you would have read that I started questioned our governing body four years ago about the number of dental hygienists being graduated. No one was keeping track and there is no one to hold accountable. Did I say that I teach at a "private college"? Every province is regulated in a different way. The fact that our program was a university degree program and then put into the 2 year community college program was a decision that was made many years ago. You should come down off your pedistal. To think that you are a superior dental hygienist because you have a degree is nonsense. If you do continue your education you become stale and outdated. In Ontario we have a portfolio that we have to keep yearly and shows how we are improving our dental hygiene practice on a regular basis. B.C. just collect points and I had one hygienist tell me that she got points by attending a psycic reading at the conference. Good con-ed that is. CDAC is in the process of creating a national standard that we make all dental hygiensts equal across the province. Maybe in your eyes, Ontario dental hygienists will never be equal. That would be sad.

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smile in Calgary, Alberta

67 months ago

skrrr in Victoria, British Columbia said: I have never seen a practice make 250K profit off of the production of 1 hygienist. That is crazy, and amazing if true. The average dentist only earns well under 180K TOTAL from the entire practice in Canada, and many associates under 100K. But they all have debt and enough years spent at the U to make you weak in the knees. In BC, a doc is lucky to net 20K/yr off of one hygienist's production, and in many cases none at all.

How can an office not make money off hygiene unless hygiene is not booked. It sounds like you are trying to say that hygiene production is less than $11/hr net. That really doesn't make sense unless there is a higher than average social service population. I have friends that are dentists & they certainly make more than 180k a year. You do have to remember that it is easy to bring down your income with proper investments for tax purposes such as rsp's etc. Alot of dentists do this therefore reducing their income. If an office isn't making money on hygiene then the person responsible for recalls & possibly the hygienist should be fired. If you bill out 1 unit of scaling, 1 unit of prophy & a fluoride treatment in 1 hour that is NOT productive & could be split into 1/2 hour appointments. 1 hour is 3 units (45 minutes) of scaling. In the office I am in 1 unit scale: $56.85, 1 unit prophy: $56.85 & a fluoride tx: $28.44 =$142.14. (I generally bill out 3 units & 4 BWs). Subtract the hygienist's wage, a bib, couple peices of gauze, a saliva ejector, 2 gloves, a mask, a piece of floss, rent/lease on a 10x10 closet, power & water/hr & there still is alot left over. What's crazy is making less than 20k net in hygiene production.

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timetoliveinreality in North of Edmonton, Alberta

67 months ago

Calgary RDH in Kelowna, British Columbia said: I can't believe you're crying poor dentist...AB hasn't had a fee guide in over 10 years so I have no doubt your fees more than compensate for paying your staff while paying yourselves well too. And as far as paying an assistant with the scaling module the same as a hygienist that would be your own fault. Your hygiene dept is that busy that you need an assistant with the scaling module but you're complaining about the cost of staffing?????
And what responsibility are your referring to? ...

"Poor Dentist" never crossed my lips. My, my aren't you negative. Typical. You can choose to either listen to a different perspective and maybe learn something or choose to ignore what's really happening out there. I'll say it again the Hygienist's were pricing themselves too high because they thought they would be in demand indefinitely. Dentists are supporting alternatives to control and save costs like any business person would do. Does it really decrease quality? I can only speak from my experiences and say it hasn't in our office. My husband trains his staff to very high standards because his patients are important to him.

If you are in business for yourself like you have said, then I'm sure you know you can't set your fees as high as you want just because you can. The market will dictate what it will accept. This is a very basic concept. Your patients will know what's fair.

I suggest you read my previous post again. I said the Dental Assistant's with the PDM module were asking for new grad Hygienist wages and think they deserve it. I didn't say we actually paid that. What they think they should get paid and what they actually get are two very different things. Again the Dentist's said NO and the majority are not getting what they are asking for. Again, there is a limit to what can be paid is staff wages.

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timetoliveinreality in North of Edmonton, Alberta

67 months ago

jody in Calgary, Alberta said: as someone who works in Alberta, you know that there is no fee guide so you can charge what you want. I did a rough calculation using: $60/hr 39hr/wk (a lot of experienced RDHs wages I make $55/hr) who bills out $175/hr average (on average I bill out $250-$275) & 50 wks/yr: This comes out to production on average is $341250, wage: $11700 for a profit of $224250 a year on dental hygiene alone!! Do you not think almost a 1/4 million dollars a year profit is enough!!! What kind of car do you drive, I've seen dentists' wives jewellery. The way I see it, the way we are not pricing ourselves out of the market, we are just not buying you another ring or trip. DO NOT think about overhead....I buy my own instruments, ultrasonic, I use the dentist's sundries. Also you have to remember I am self-regulated so since I bear my own responisbility I "need to be compensated for that". I agree new grads & PDM DAs shouldn't be paid the same as experienced RHDs but honestly, look what a RDH does contribute to your practice & your standard of living.

"Charge what you want" ya right....... "What kind of car do you drive, I've seen dentists' wives jewellery.........we are just not buying you another ring or trip." Now who do you think is setting your profession backwards? It's this type of thinking that does. And by the way, providing your own instruments and ultrasonic are not the only things you need for a Hygiene practice. Patient Chair, Operator's stools, handpiece(s), overhead light, space ie operatory, radiography equipment, compressor, vacuum system, electicity, water, heat, sterilization equipment, telephone, staff that schedule you, computer system, should I go on or do you get it? Do you want to be treated like an employee or an independant. Choose. Provide or pay for all of it, but don't pretend you are what you're not.

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timetoliveinreality in North of Edmonton, Alberta

67 months ago

jody in Calgary, Alberta said: How important is hygiene in your practise? It sure can't be that important! How much income is generated by hygienists? Dental hygienists are more like hookers to dentists. We do the work & dentists take the money. How much money do you loose if the hygienist is sick. Are you legally responsible for your hygienists? If legal action was taken up against them would you have their backs? In most provinces we are responsible for ourselves not the dentists. It is our careers on the line. I take it you pay your hygienists malpractice insurance?? We have a role in health care & although sometimes not as big as some nurses, it is important. Really hygiene can take a step away from dentistry since flossing & fluoride tx really is the only things we do for dental health, removal of the biofilm has more to do with overall health. Have a productive day without a hygienist:)

That's the perks one gets when you own the place - people making money for you... It is what it is.

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jody in Calgary, Alberta

67 months ago

timetoliveinreality in North of Edmonton, Alberta said: "Charge what you want" ya right....... "What kind of car do you drive, I've seen dentists' wives jewellery.........we are just not buying you another ring or trip." Now who do you think is setting your profession backwards? It's this type of thinking that does. And by the way, providing your own instruments and ultrasonic are not the only things you need for a Hygiene practice. Patient Chair, Operator's stools, handpiece(s), overhead light, space ie operatory, radiography equipment, compressor, vacuum system, electicity, water, heat, sterilization equipment, telephone, staff that schedule you, computer system, should I go on or do you get it? Do you want to be treated like an employee or an independant. Choose. Provide or pay for all of it, but don't pretend you are what you're not.

I understand all the equipment necessary for hygiene but what you mentioned is also necessary for the dental practice that houses the hygiene department. Don't pretend that this is brought in specially for hygiene. This is shared on the most part & would be there whether a hygienist is there or not. By the way, I also supply my own operators stool, handpieces, do my own recalls, my patients are booked by me before they leave the office, billings. Some hygienists will actually supply their own chairs. Supplying/leasing our own equipment can benefit us at the end of the year as well & we get what is proper for our ergonomics. As for your comment about the perks...you just blew your credibility. Don't you understand that comments like that is what angers hygienist & why they ask for more money. They KNOW that it is there. I am an independent contractor. My terms were negotiated with my present position. The dentist does not pay any of my employee deductions, holiday pay etc. This does work for both parties involved.

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skrrr in Victoria, British Columbia

67 months ago

smile in Calgary, Alberta said: How can an office not make money off hygiene unless hygiene is not booked. It sounds like you are trying to say that hygiene production is less than $11/hr net. That really doesn't make sense unless there is a higher than average social service population. ... In the office I am in 1 unit scale: $56.85, 1 unit prophy: $56.85 & a fluoride tx: $28.44 =$142.14. (I generally bill out 3 units & 4 BWs). Subtract the hygienist's wage, a bib, couple peices of gauze, a saliva ejector, 2 gloves, a mask, a piece of floss, rent/lease on a 10x10 closet, power & water/hr & there still is alot left over. What's crazy is making less than 20k net in hygiene production.

You are seriously underestimating the overhead involved in having a hygiene department in the office - rental space, equipment, payroll taxation, holidays, no-shows, recruiting, training, collections and dealing with insurance, CE costs, uniform allowances, entertainment, etc etc. In BC a hygienist cannot easily net over $100/hr average - nearly impossible without going to assisted hygiene. The hygienists I've employed get 40-43/hr, and the office overhead is typically 70% overall (average in BC). With flucuations, some days we make money in hyg, some days we lose money - the hygienist is basically the only one making money off of hygiene, and the doc benefits by havng her patients' perio cared for, and not having to do the hyg herself.
The key is this: scaling and root planing is billed at ~$30/hr - approx half what it is in AB. Many appts are scaling/root planing only - so a 4 month perio maint appt may only bill $75 while typically booked for an hour. In 9 years owning a C&B heavy practice here, my wife only made over 180K two years (not last year!) We hear a lot about the big busy practices, but the majority are smaller, lower-grossing practices out there than my wife's.

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skrrr in Victoria, British Columbia

67 months ago

Though now we also have a new, larger, busy practice recently opened - she worked basically for free for the first year. No income for the dentist at all despite servicing 900 patients, working 6 days a week solid, and taking on eyeball-scorching debt. That is changing to the black, but considering the risk the dentist takes on, it is not unreasonable to expect substantial income down the road and be justified in having little patience for the whining of a few unambitious hygienists who still pocket $80k/yr.

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skrrr in Victoria, British Columbia

67 months ago

Also, we have never accepted social services folks as patients as per their plan. Every minute you book with them is working at a loss, if they show up at all (half the time they no show). That means we only see about 5 of such social services patients per year - the few that will pay our full fee and not expect assignment. We'd be happy to see more if the government would change to full coverage and have a compensation for no-shows policy - fat chance.

Back to Alberta, though. I've heard things are not all so rosy there either. A couple dentists I know there are lamenting the flood of doctors and new practices making it hard to achieve profitability in Alberta. They are considering BC instead, though I warn them about our cheap fee guide.

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nojobs in Toronto, Ontario

67 months ago

skrrr in Victoria, British Columbia said: Also, we have never accepted social services folks as patients as per their plan. Every minute you book with them is working at a loss, if they show up at all (half the time they no show). That means we only see about 5 of such social services patients per year - the few that will pay our full fee and not expect assignment. We'd be happy to see more if the government would change to full coverage and have a compensation for no-shows policy - fat chance.

Back to Alberta, though. I've heard things are not all so rosy there either. A couple dentists I know there are lamenting the flood of doctors and new practices making it hard to achieve profitability in Alberta. They are considering BC instead, though I warn them about our cheap fee guide.

It is too bad that you and wife dont have a practice in another
province that has a higher fee guide. Ever consider re-locating?
Nevertheless, when your hygienists are phased out, you will probably be able to get one cheaper at the rate Ontario is graduating RDH's. Ontario RDH's can only wish that they have
a higher percentage like the BC/RDH fee gude.

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1RDH in Airdrie, Alberta

67 months ago

timetoliveinreality in North of Edmonton, Alberta said:

Practice management courses I have attended recommend that a hygiene wage should be a third of their production; for example if a hygienist bills out 3U sc, pro, F2 ($255.84 based on an earlier post) daily production is $1535.04 (6 hour day) so they should be making $511.68/day which breaks down to $82.28 an hour. There are no xrays included in those numbers. No hygienist I know makes that high an hourly wage (maybe doing commission?)
Another guideline I've heard used is one unit of scale=hourly wage for hygienist. So again based on the numbers above the hygienist should be making $56/hour. Skrr your $30/unit sc compared to $40/hr wage seems very fair to me. It's unfortunate that BC has such a low fee guide.
We have our own practice and will agree with skrrr...it took a good year before we could pay ourselves. But I will disagree with timetoliveinreality; we pay our hygienists above average wages because we value the best and have no problem paying it. By paying them more they remain happy and productive, which keeps our patients happy, who refer more people, etc etc. And we always thank them for a job well done (which is everyday with them!).
I don't personally feel that hygiene wages are too high; esp in a dental office setting where their job is to produce and to sell. Take away hygiene and think what a loss that would be to your production. Any good business also takes into account staffing; and your staff should be a representation of your office. Pay for the best and you get it.
It will be interesting when your daughter graduates from hygiene to see her perspective. Will you pay her less than the going rate? Doubtful.
It's interesting that both skrrr and timetoliveinreality both share OM positions for their spouses but I find that skrrr's posts have more credibility as he is a hygienist.

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so sad in Coquitlam, British Columbia

67 months ago

30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta said: Independent Practice is NOT the end all or B all for our profession. It was a distraction, in a sense, to get us off track of "watching our other interests in our profession" being manipulated by the powers that be. Focusing on 'our right to independent practice' took our attention OFF the fact that TOO MANY PRIVATE SCHOOLS of Dental Hygiene were being opened across the country. NOT PAYING ENOUGH ATTENTION to this VERY significant issue put us AT RISK of allowing our profession to be saturated with graduates from not necessarily the most REGULATED Educational institutions. Conflicts of interests by parties involved set this situation in motion. Over saturation of graduates across the country is diminishing our demand, squashing our job security, and decreasing our hourly rates.
It's time ALL DENTAL HYGIENISTS get involved in this discussion and voice their concerns to the CDHA and to our Provincial Dental Hygiene Associations.

Hey i totally stand with you on this..
i graduated 5 years ago from 4 year degree program and im watching this profession that had so much secrurity and certainty go plummeting down to the ground..its really kinda sad actually...i almost feel like im being robbed.
however, i did talk to my association and of course they recognize the issue and that its a very big problem right now..but i really don't think they have very much power over this at this point.
they said that it pretty much has to do with the government..i think we need to make awareness to the fact the the job market is completely over saturated..on top of that some of these schools are not properly regulated and currently there really is no quality control and they need to put a stop to allowing these schools to be opened..if not shutting some down (not to be cruel)

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so sad in Coquitlam, British Columbia

67 months ago

Michaels2 in Hamilton, Ontario said: As a dental hygiene educator I started inquiring about the number of dental hygiene schools 4 years ago. No one could give me any answers on "who" was keeping track of the number of graduates. This is most unfortunate in that we do have too many graduates for the number of jobs. I would like to say that CDAC is in the process of implimenting greater standards that alot of the schools will not be able to meet, therefore those schools will have to close. I have been in the field long enough to say, that, there is always a turn over with this profession and that if you are dedicated and patient you will find employment eventually. As far as the Ontario graduate's and B.C. and Alberta goes, there is still a huge need in the west and it is a free market. It is too bad that the B.C. dental association saw fit to try and close down independent practice through fee guide manipulation. Dental Hygiene is going through it's biggest challenges in it's entire history and I believe that if we are true to what we do and want to do and stick together that dental hygiene can be what it should be.

hey dental hygiene teacher..if i were listening to you in a lecture back when i was in school i would have been encouraged and motivated..but living in reality..
i have to say..it just sounds like airy fairy stuff to me now...
i wish i could say i believed you..i really do..
but i think it might be time to move onto a new career..
(such as nursing..since its so important) :P

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30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta

66 months ago

so sad in Coquitlam, British Columbia said: Hey i totally stand with you on this..
i graduated 5 years ago from 4 year degree program and im watching this profession that had so much secrurity and certainty go plummeting down to the ground..its really kinda sad actually...i almost feel like im being robbed.
however, i did talk to my association and of course they recognize the issue and that its a very big problem right now..but i really don't think they have very much power over this at this point.
they said that it pretty much has to do with the government..i think we need to make awareness to the fact the the job market is completely over saturated..on top of that some of these schools are not properly regulated and currently there really is no quality control and they need to put a stop to allowing these schools to be opened..if not shutting some down (not to be cruel)

It is sad....very sad. It is not just the government involved in this. Investigations need to be made as to WHO are owners in all these private dental hygiene schools---both the ones in Ontario and the ones opening up in British Columbia. If conflicts of interest exist, they also need to be investigated---education standards can't be compromised due the the owners interest in the school's revenue and the subsequent excessive graduates. There are many issues involved here....sadly...it may be too late.

Contact your provincial association, contact the CDHA, contact your Minister of Education/Colleges/Technology (as appropriate) , contact your DH school with regards to lack of employment opportunities and some school's insistence on suggesting that "there is a 97% employment after graduation"....

While some schools are going to be shut down....others are ''transferring students to another private school as they can"'....so the numbers will still be excessive....

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happytooth in Mississauga, Ontario

66 months ago

Hello
I am wondering if anyone knows about any temp agencies in regina or saskatoon. Thanks......

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hygienist in Calgary, Alberta

66 months ago

jody in Calgary, Alberta said: as someone who works in Alberta, you know that there is no fee guide so you can charge what you want. I did a rough calculation using: $60/hr 39hr/wk (a lot of experienced RDHs wages I make $55/hr) who bills out $175/hr average (on average I bill out $250-$275) & 50 wks/yr: This comes out to production on average is $341250, wage: $11700 for a profit of $224250 a year on dental hygiene alone!! Do you not think almost a 1/4 million dollars a year profit is enough!!! What kind of car do you drive, I've seen dentists' wives jewellery. The way I see it, the way we are not pricing ourselves out of the market, we are just not buying you another ring or trip. DO NOT think about overhead....I buy my own instruments, ultrasonic, I use the dentist's sundries. Also you have to remember I am self-regulated so since I bear my own responisbility I "need to be compensated for that". I agree new grads & PDM DAs shouldn't be paid the same as experienced RHDs but honestly, look what a RDH does contribute to your practice & your standard of living.

Amen to that. Most of a dentist's work comes from what he/she discovers during the recall AFTER the hygienist has done her job. Most people go to the dentist to have their teeth cleaned and will generally "wait" for a problem to see the dentist. Thankfully some dentists know this and value what a hygienist brings to the practice.

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ourjobisnotwhoweareitswhatwedo in Sherwood Park, Alberta

66 months ago

hygienist in Calgary, Alberta said: Amen to that. Most of a dentist's work comes from what he/she discovers during the recall AFTER the hygienist has done her job. Most people go to the dentist to have their teeth cleaned and will generally "wait" for a problem to see the dentist. Thankfully some dentists know this and value what a hygienist brings to the practice.

Not true in our practice. We don't have a hygienist because most like to stay close to or in the city. (Our office is not in Sherwood Park) Our practice is a very successful practice and has been for many years and we've accomplished this without a hygienist. The patients come in to get their teeth cleaned (scaling done by the dentists and a PDM assistant - within her scope of practice of course) but the majority come in for many other different reasons. Hygienists, as many are suggesting on this forum, aren't the only key to running a successful practice. When you are truly and entirely running your own business you'll understand. The hygienists that are totally on their own will understand the different variables involved. I'm not talking about the ones who cost share with the dentist (independant contractors) or "only use a few of his/her sundries and provide their own instruments and ultrasonic...". I'm talking about the ones who take a risk and totally set up on their own. The hygienist that isn't responsible for everything is an employee like any other company in our free and wonderful land. Employees are supposed to contribute to the success of the business or the business will not be viable. People work for successful people that make money to pay them not unsuccessful people that run a business that goes bankrupt.

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ourjobisnotwhoweareitswhatwedo in Alberta

66 months ago

30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta said: It is sad....very sad. It is not just the government involved in this. Investigations need to be made as to WHO are owners in all these private dental hygiene schools---both the ones in Ontario and the ones opening up in British Columbia. If conflicts of interest exist, they also need to be investigated---education standards can't be compromised due the the owners interest in the school's revenue and the subsequent excessive graduates. There are many issues involved here....sadly...it may be too late.

Contact your provincial association, contact the CDHA, contact your Minister of Education/Colleges/Technology (as appropriate) , contact your DH school with regards to lack of employment opportunities and some school's insistence on suggesting that "there is a 97% employment after graduation"....

While some schools are going to be shut down....others are ''transferring students to another private school as they can"'....so the numbers will still be excessive....

The schools were set up to answer a need. There was a shortage of hygienists for many years, especially in the west. Some people saw a good business opportunity and set up the schools. The numbers of graduates increased then we went into a recession. It's too bad it went to the extreme the other way. Hopefully the profession will survive all of this because hygiene has always been a very good profession.

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hygienist in Calgary, Alberta

66 months ago

ourjobisnotwhoweareitswhatwedo in Sherwood Park, Alberta said: Not true in our practice. We don't have a hygienist because most like to stay close to or in the city. (Our office is not in Sherwood Park) Our practice is a very successful practice and has been for many years and we've accomplished this without a hygienist. The patients come in to get their teeth cleaned (scaling done by the dentists and a PDM assistant - within her scope of practice of course) but the majority come in for many other different reasons. Hygienists, as many are suggesting on this forum, aren't the only key to running a successful practice. When you are truly and entirely running your own business you'll understand. The hygienists that are totally on their own will understand the different variables involved. I'm not talking about the ones who cost share with the dentist (independant contractors) or "only use a few of his/her sundries and provide their own instruments and ultrasonic...". I'm talking about the ones who take a risk and totally set up on their own. The hygienist that isn't responsible for everything is an employee like any other company in our free and wonderful land. Employees are supposed to contribute to the success of the business or the business will not be viable. People work for successful people that make money to pay them not unsuccessful people that run a business that goes bankrupt.

The dentists I work with are too busy with other procedures to do scaling. And they value their patients enough to not want an assistant with less then 3 months training to do the cleanings. The practice you work in is the exception not the rule. Most practices employ hygienists because hygienists contribute to the overall profit of the office. I don't know what you're talking about when you're going on about "unsuccessful" people.

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ourjobisnotwhoweareitswhatwedo in Alberta

66 months ago

hygienist in Calgary, Alberta said: The dentists I work with are too busy with other procedures to do scaling. And they value their patients enough to not want an assistant with less then 3 months training to do the cleanings. The practice you work in is the exception not the rule. Most practices employ hygienists because hygienists contribute to the overall profit of the office. I don't know what you're talking about when you're going on about "unsuccessful" people.

The dentists in the practice I work in are very busy too but if a hygienist doesn't want to come out and work where we are what can you do. There still is a need for hygiene so other options have to be explored. As for your comment on your dentists you work with valuing their patients so much they don't want a PDM assistant doing scaling you're implying that the dentists in our practice or whoever else hires a PDM assistant doesn't value their patients enough. PDM fills a need for the dentists who don't have a hygienist or choose to have one on staff in addition to their hygienst (whether that's because there was a shortage of hygienists or most hygienists don't want to come out too far from a city, etc.). You are also implying that the dentists that employ them aren't supervising and furthering their training once they complete the program like they would do for any other newly graduated dental personnel. If the governing bodies thought people were unsafe they wouldn't of approved the program. There is always negative stuff going around when something is first introduced and it affects someones "territory", this is no exception.
Unsuccessful business owners eventually have to go out of business therefore they do not have any people working with/for them. When employees contribute to the success of their workplace then the business will continue to be viable. If you were employed by an unsuccessful person (dentist in this case)then how long would you have your job?

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smile in Calgary, Alberta

66 months ago

ourjobisnotwhoweareitswhatwedo in Alberta said: The dentists in the practice I work in are very busy too but if a hygienist doesn't want to come out and work where we are what can you do. There still is a need for hygiene so other options have to be explored. As for your comment on your dentists you work with valuing their patients so much they don't want a PDM assistant doing scaling you're implying that the dentists in our practice or whoever else hires a PDM assistant doesn't value their patients enough. PDM fills a need for the dentists who don't have a hygienist or choose to have one on staff in addition to their hygienst (whether that's because there was a shortage of hygienists or most hygienists don't want to come out too far from a city, etc.). You are also implying that the dentists that employ them aren't supervising and furthering their training once they complete the program like they would do for any other newly graduated dental personnel. If the governing bodies thought people were unsafe they wouldn't of approved the program. There is always negative stuff going around when something is first introduced and it affects someones "territory", this is no exception.
Unsuccessful business owners eventually have to go out of business therefore they do not have any people working with/for them. When employees contribute to the success of their workplace then the business will continue to be viable. If you were employed by an unsuccessful person (dentist in this case)then how long would you have your job?

Actually I heard rumor that the dentists involved in this program were not very happy with the quality of the "graduates" but HAD to pass them....politics you know

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hygienist in Calgary, Alberta

66 months ago

ourjobisnotwhoweareitswhatwedo in Alberta said: The dentists in the practice I work in are very busy too but if a hygienist doesn't want to come out and work where we are what can you do. There still is a need for hygiene so other options have to be explored. As for your comment on your dentists you work with valuing their patients so much they don't want a PDM assistant doing scaling you're implying that the dentists in our practice or whoever else hires a PDM assistant doesn't value their patients enough. PDM fills a need for the dentists who don't have a hygienist or choose to have one on staff in addition to their hygienst (whether that's because there was a shortage of hygienists or most hygienists don't want to come out too far from a city, etc.). You are also implying that the dentists that employ them aren't supervising and furthering their training once they complete the program like they would do for any other newly graduated dental personnel. If the governing bodies thought people were unsafe they wouldn't of approved the program. There is always negative stuff going around when something is first introduced and it affects someones "territory", this is no exception.
Unsuccessful business owners eventually have to go out of business therefore they do not have any people working with/for them. When employees contribute to the success of their workplace then the business will continue to be viable. If you were employed by an unsuccessful person (dentist in this case)then how long would you have your job?

I stand by what I say and dental assistants should not be allowed to scale patients teeth after less then 3 months of scaling. I have been in this field for quite a few years and know that hygiene is a skill that takes a long time to learn. I am greatful that I work in practices that recognize this and continues to value their dental hygienists. Feel free to jump to whatever conclusions you want. You won't change my point of view.

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hygienist in Calgary, Alberta

66 months ago

ourjobisnotwhoweareitswhatwedo in Alberta said: The dentists in the practice I work in are very busy too but if a hygienist doesn't want to come out and work where we are what can you do. There still is a need for hygiene so other options have to be explored. As for your comment on your dentists you work with valuing their patients so much they don't want a PDM assistant doing scaling you're implying that the dentists in our practice or whoever else hires a PDM assistant doesn't value their patients enough. PDM fills a need for the dentists who don't have a hygienist or choose to have one on staff in addition to their hygienst (whether that's because there was a shortage of hygienists or most hygienists don't want to come out too far from a city, etc.). You are also implying that the dentists that employ them aren't supervising and furthering their training once they complete the program like they would do for any other newly graduated dental personnel. If the governing bodies thought people were unsafe they wouldn't of approved the program. There is always negative stuff going around when something is first introduced and it affects someones "territory", this is no exception.
Unsuccessful business owners eventually have to go out of business therefore they do not have any people working with/for them. When employees contribute to the success of their workplace then the business will continue to be viable. If you were employed by an unsuccessful person (dentist in this case)then how long would you have your job?

By the way I'm not sure why you keep rambling on about "unsuccessful people"...it has nothing to do with what I'm saying. I have spoken to people who were directly involved with the implementing of the whole PDM scaling module for dental assistants and even they have said it wasn't a good thing. And just because a governing body implements a program doesn't mean the end result is safe. Don't be so naive.

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prospective student in Minneapolis, Minnesota

66 months ago

Does anyone think it is a reasonable idea to become a dental assistant and then become a RDH so that I am able to get a job as a DA if there are no RDH jobs, which there really are not right now in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. I was thinking of getting an associates in dental assisting and working part time and attending an associates of dental hygiene and eventually get my B.S. in Dental hygiene. I am at the University of Minnesota and it is very expensive for a public university. I don't want to give up on my dream of being a RDH because I really love the environment and everything about it, but I do want to be realistic about what is happening in the field. ... or maybe I should just move to the UK it looks like they have a million jobs over there :(

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1RDH in Airdrie, Alberta

66 months ago

smile in Calgary, Alberta said: Actually I heard rumor that the dentists involved in this program were not very happy with the quality of the "graduates" but HAD to pass them....politics you know

Not a rumor, totally true I knew two instructors that recommended the program be discontinued. They have both removed themselves from it as it was graduating such poorly trained DAs and there was no way to monitor them once they finished.

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ourjobisnotwhoweareitswhatwedo in Alberta

66 months ago

hygienist in Calgary, Alberta said: I stand by what I say and dental assistants should not be allowed to scale patients teeth after less then 3 months of scaling. I have been in this field for quite a few years and know that hygiene is a skill that takes a long time to learn. I am greatful that I work in practices that recognize this and continues to value their dental hygienists. Feel free to jump to whatever conclusions you want. You won't change my point of view.

I'm not trying to change your point of view. Just recognize there's different points of view out there and don't get so upset about it.

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hygienist in Calgary, Alberta

66 months ago

ourjobisnotwhoweareitswhatwedo in Alberta said: I'm not trying to change your point of view. Just recognize there's different points of view out there and don't get so upset about it.

Who's upset? I'm stating my point of view based on what I know.

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Milo in Vancouver, British Columbia

66 months ago

It is very depressing what is happening to the job market in Canada. We need to get a petition going to make hygiene a 4 year degree program to stop ppl from entering this field!

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exp in Massachusetts

66 months ago

Milo in Vancouver, British Columbia said: It is very depressing what is happening to the job market in Canada. We need to get a petition going to make hygiene a 4 year degree program to stop ppl from entering this field!

Hi, Do you feel that that would deter many? People will choose their career path no matter what we say.....many are doing it now in spite of what info. "reality of our field" we are giving them. Unfortunately, good advice "falls on deaf ears". Some have a "mindset" and it's the only thing they can think of pursuing....they will learn in their own time...what we have been saying is not negative, but the truth about the employment situation....many don't think of their lives down the road 30+yrs. and retirement...comfort....in their old age....we can only continue to reach maybe a few.....

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hygienist in Calgary, Alberta

66 months ago

exp in Massachusetts said: Hi, Do you feel that that would deter many? People will choose their career path no matter what we say.....many are doing it now in spite of what info. "reality of our field" we are giving them. Unfortunately, good advice "falls on deaf ears". Some have a "mindset" and it's the only thing they can think of pursuing....they will learn in their own time...what we have been saying is not negative, but the truth about the employment situation....many don't think of their lives down the road 30+yrs. and retirement...comfort....in their old age....we can only continue to reach maybe a few.....

When I was in school many years ago, one of the biggest fears for the students was "will I find a job to pay my bills?" A lot of these private colleges cost a lot of money and its hard to believe that the girls who continue to apply to these hygiene programs are not asking the same question.

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exp in Massachusetts

66 months ago

hygienist in Calgary, Alberta said: When I was in school many years ago, one of the biggest fears for the students was "will I find a job to pay my bills?" A lot of these private colleges cost a lot of money and its hard to believe that the girls who continue to apply to these hygiene programs are not asking the same question.

I hear you...but, they don't....unfortunately our experiences, and there are many from new grads to oldest R.D.H.'s working (if work is available, and they get the job!), that are having a hard time finding employment! If they want to go forward into a questionable future and spend a ridiculous amount of $ that most likely won't recoup...they are taking a chance...maybe they have crystal ball or are psychics (sp?).....or----.

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30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta

66 months ago

1RDH in Airdrie, Alberta said: Not a rumor, totally true I knew two instructors that recommended the program be discontinued. They have both removed themselves from it as it was graduating such poorly trained DAs and there was no way to monitor them once they finished.

Wow....that is really quite sad...if the instructors of these schools even doubt the education and quality of DH coming out of these 'quik" schools....very sad indeed.

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30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta

66 months ago

30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta said: Wow....that is really quite sad...if the instructors of these schools even doubt the education and quality of DH coming out of these 'quik" schools....very sad indeed.

Whopps...sorry poor DA are coming out.....

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30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta

66 months ago

ourjobisnotwhoweareitswhatwedo in Alberta said: The schools were set up to answer a need. There was a shortage of hygienists for many years, especially in the west. Some people saw a good business opportunity and set up the schools. The numbers of graduates increased then we went into a recession. It's too bad it went to the extreme the other way. Hopefully the profession will survive all of this because hygiene has always been a very good profession.

It's interesting how you see this as 'some people saw a good business opportunity' and decided to set up SCHOOLS.....think about that for a minute....A small businessman who decides to set up a 'school' to graduate a DH in 18 months, some in 16 months, accept all the tuition money from them, then graduate them from a 'stripmall type school'....tell them....oh gosh, there are way too many of you DHs out there....so....i guess I'll pay you half what I paid in the past, and cause I have 50 resumes in the drawer, I'm sure SOME BODY will go for it'........

An education-----a QUALITY education should be done within a university setting or an accredited DH school that has QUALIFIED INSTRUCTORS (with degrees/and ed training as well---heck...the same periodontist that taught me perio taught my dentists perio!!!, the oral pathology I took was taught by the Oral Pathologist) , and a QUALIFIED CURRICULUM that covers the whole scope of our practice. For Ontario to go BACKWARDS in its' education of Dental Hygienists, while other provinces are going towards a degree for entry to practice is crazy.

P.S. BTW, this wasn't just the recession hitting the profession....it was the NUMBER OF GRADS coming out of ontario (1100) per year for the last 4 or 5 years that caused the saturation----there are just far too many to 'absorb' in all of Canada---unless they all stay in Ontario and go up north to provide services for these communities as was suggested.

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nojobs in Toronto, Ontario

66 months ago

P.S. BTW, this wasn't just the recession hitting the profession....it was the NUMBER OF GRADS coming out of ontario (1100) per year for the last 4 or 5 years that caused the saturation----there are just far too many to 'absorb' in all of Canada---unless they all stay in Ontario and go up north to provide services for these communities as was suggested.

30 yr vet. I doubt northern Ontario will have enough jobs
available. Most of the Sioux region does a two-week stint, with
bids going to agencies who contract hygienists out for 2 weeks at a time. There is definitely not enough work up north, but you may have a better shot at getting a job.
Just look under NWT dental hygiene on indeed or Nunavit and
you will see the lack of opportunities.

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30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta

66 months ago

nojobs in Toronto, Ontario said: P.S. BTW, this wasn't just the recession hitting the profession....it was the NUMBER OF GRADS coming out of ontario (1100) per year for the last 4 or 5 years that caused the saturation----there are just far too many to 'absorb' in all of Canada---unless they all stay in Ontario and go up north to provide services for these communities as was suggested.

30 yr vet. I doubt northern Ontario will have enough jobs
available. Most of the Sioux region does a two-week stint, with
bids going to agencies who contract hygienists out for 2 weeks at a time. There is definitely not enough work up north, but you may have a better shot at getting a job.
Just look under NWT dental hygiene on indeed or Nunavit and
you will see the lack of opportunities.

Hey No Jobs, I have a great job in Edmonton. My comment is just regarding the fact that Ontario has graduated so many hygienists and they have nowhere to go....If Ontario said that "Oh, we need more hygienists---lets set up more schools and graduate more DHs, then THEY should figure out where to put them all. Suggesting that there are 'all these jobs' and yet the bulk of their grads can't get jobs in their own province is sad. The province SHOULD BE LIMITING the number of DH schools and the number of DH graduating from all these programs because it is IRRESPONSIBLE to graduate so many grads from programs where you don't have the employment opportunities to take them into.

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hygienist in Calgary, Alberta

66 months ago

30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta said: Hey No Jobs, I have a great job in Edmonton. My comment is just regarding the fact that Ontario has graduated so many hygienists and they have nowhere to go....If Ontario said that "Oh, we need more hygienists---lets set up more schools and graduate more DHs, then THEY should figure out where to put them all. Suggesting that there are 'all these jobs' and yet the bulk of their grads can't get jobs in their own province is sad. The province SHOULD BE LIMITING the number of DH schools and the number of DH graduating from all these programs because it is IRRESPONSIBLE to graduate so many grads from programs where you don't have the employment opportunities to take them into.

I totally agree with you. But the problem isn't just that theres too many grads out there. They are also affecting the pay rates and job possibilities of long time dental hygienists in the west. The blame should also go to the girls who, without doing any research, applied to programs that had no job market left.

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30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta

66 months ago

hygienist in Calgary, Alberta said: I totally agree with you. But the problem isn't just that theres too many grads out there. They are also affecting the pay rates and job possibilities of long time dental hygienists in the west. The blame should....

HYG IN CALG, yes, there have been far too many grads coming out of Ontario DH schools, and they ARE, IN FACT, coming out west looking for jobs and it is creating a saturated market here in Albert and BC. The sad thing is it almost happened overnight in ONTARIO that all these schools got set up and started pumping out these 1100 grads....it was far easier for applicants to get into these schools than anywhere else in the country. THEY NEEDED people to apply to GET their numbers in their programs----to get their tuition money...... The whole thing was based on I'll scratch your back, if you scratch mine----- students who would not be accepted into other programs could easily get in there, so that's what they did. The schools were there....it met the need of these applicants....and ultimately, it FLOODED the market with far too many grads for the entire country to absorb.

It is unfortunate that they didn't do the research into the job market, but also I blame the advertisements on some of these DH Schools websites suggesting there is 98% employment after. In fact, one of the schools posted that, and I told them they are using data from 2001 for that and they should, in fact, UPDATE that percentage to be MORE ACCURATE and they suggested to me that that was the data they used and that was ok. Do you see how ridiculous this is...? Suggesting on an Ontario website for a DH School that ALL their grads get jobs right after graduation....? THAT IS UNTRUE.

They need to shut down some Ontario DH schools, get the grad numbers regulated better for employment, INCREASE the ed standard NOT DECREASE it

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hygienist in Calgary, Alberta

66 months ago

30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta said:

Oh I hear you and totally agree with you. And yes the schools should change their advertising. But you know what, in the end they don't care whether their hygienists get a job or not because they've already gotten their tuition. What incentive do they have to change their advertising? But I have to be honest here. All it would take is one phone call to temp agencies and a little research on the internet and these girls would have known it was a saturated market. Secondly like you said these schools were accepting students who would fill the quota and not neccesarily personalities who would work well in the dental field. The end result was a lot (not all because some are really good) of poor quality grads. And why am I jumping to this conclusion? Because I have worked in over 100 offices temping and have come across many of these girls. Many were asking for 10-15 dollars above the average rate. Some had weekend rates that were outrageous. They had no experience!! And they got it because of the shortage. It made hygienists look really bad and I could understand why dentists were starting to get angry. Thankfully I am now permanently employed because I foresaw what was happening when these colleges started popping up overnight. But the downfall is going to hit us all as wages fall and jobs become rare.

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jaylo in Markham, Ontario

65 months ago

Hi. I just wanted to say that I am discusted with what is happening to the hygiene professsion. I am a grad of 2004 and I consider myself very experienced and an excellent hygienist. I had a baby in october 2008 and when I returned from my mat leavce my employer did not let go of the girl that was replacing me and my hours were being cut back. I feel very frustrated because I devoted 3 long years into this office, and since Im self employed I have no rights. I dont feel dentists should be allowed to pay us as self employed because we are not. It is just another way for them to keep more money in their pocket and not offer us any work place benefits. They think we are slaves. I often have patients ask me if I like my job or if they should become a hygienst, I tell them THE DENTISTS ARE CHEAP AND UNAPPRECIATIVE. If I knew now what I was getting into I would never have done it...Yeah, I'm sure there are the few that are PROFESSIONAL AND ETHICAL but all those jobs are taken. I have now called the employment standards act to report my previous employer and to dispute that I was infact not self employed... they told me that if we dont book our own patients or provide our own instruments most likely we are not, hopefully they can help me but they also mentioned that they are very back logged with similaer situations. In regards to the dentist in BC that said dentists are businessmen then they should take a course in business becuse they just dont get it. I also was making $42/hr and now dentists are offering $25/hr in ontario... they can dream if they think I will work for that. Hygienists should stand up for themselves, dentists only pay that becuse we are allowing them too, shame on us as professionals.

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frustrated in Portage, Indiana

65 months ago

I agree with so many of the comments on here. I graduated in 2003 and had no problem finding jobs, the problem was that none of them were good working environments. It really sucks to go through school,trained to believe you are a professional, providing a quality service and then find out that most dr.s want slaves. I have been in my office 6 yrs. once again no benefits, no sick days, watched like a hawk lest I am idle for too long while every other employee in the office sits and makes personal calls and chit chat. There isn't any flexiblity in the schedule as I had believed. I am sorry I chose this path when I hear my family and friends who graduated when I did talking about what's new in their jobs and what's next. For me I know what's next is the same dead end I've been facing for years. I'm the breadwinner in my house hold now and hygiene isn't all bad to be able to support myself. It is that most dr.s aren't very nice to their employees and it gets old day after day to be treated like a tooth scraping moron, be denied raises "due to the economy" while dr. buys new cars, toys ect. And why shouldn't they? They feel that they deserve it and we are LUCKY to be able to have any job at all.
There is a poster in the library with dh listed as a "hot job". I'll have to look at the date on it next time, because from where I sit, it is hot like hell.

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K in Thornhill, Ontario

65 months ago

I am in a similar situation. Graduated a couple of years before you. Went on mat leave in 2006 and 2 weeks before I was scheduled to go back to work my employer called me to tell me that he is not that busy on the days I was working during the week and has decided he only needs me on Saturdays, a day that I was never hired to work on. There was no way I was going to work 4 Sat/month when I never did that for him before and not spend time with my family on the weekend. So I didn't fight it because I took slightly longer than 1 year off and I guess that makes what he did legal as he only had to hold my job for 1 year. I then took a little bit more time off (an additional 6 months) and then started to look for work. Boy did I find out how our profession changed. I learned that all these private schools popped out of nowhere and what went from a few hundred if that, new grads every 2 years from the community colleges, to roughly close to 2000 new grads every 18 months, completely saturating the market, and drastically lowering the wages. A lot of dentists don't even look at your resume or phone you back when they see how many years experience you have as they know that they can get a new grad and pay them 1/2. It's a pity. In most jobs or professions you need the experience in order to be hired. Except ours. My neighbour works for the government in charge of hiring for his department, and he laughed and said that no-one gets an interview unless they have quite a bit of experience. Not our field. I remember getting hired in the middle of an interview, obviously years before all these new schools opened up. Anyways I have heard that there are now lots and lots of unemployed hygienists who cannot find any job at all in hygiene or very few hours that they cannot pay back their hefty loans, upwards of 30-40K. Long story short, I did find employment. Like yourself, my dentist doesn't put his hygienists on payroll because he is extremely cheap, but he is paying me well.

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jaylo in Markham, Ontario

65 months ago

How Did you manage to find a job eventually. Ive replied toat least 7-8 on the internet and not even a phone call...

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