Too old For DH school??

Get new comments by email
You can cancel email alerts at anytime.
Comments (40)

iceprincess3333 in Niagara Falls, Ontario

91 months ago

I am 38, do you think its too old to take DH? I originally took DA and graduated in 90. My daughter is in school full time now and I want a career!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (20) / No (5) Reply - Report abuse

FutureDentalHygienist in Memphis, Tennessee

91 months ago

NOOO WAYYY, are you too old! I would say go for it. I'm a current, 36 yo, DH student and I also waited until my daughter was at an age where I could go to school and focus on my goals. If you want a career go for it I'm sure you DESERVE IT!! Good Luck

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (7) / No (4) Reply - Report abuse

DH in Toronto, Ontario

91 months ago

iceprincess3333 in Niagara Falls, Ontario said: I am 38, do you think its too old to take DH? I originally took DA and graduated in 90. My daughter is in school full time now and I want a career!

It is never to late to go back to school.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (5) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

rdh in Aurora, Ontario

91 months ago

I graduated the year I had my 25th wedding anniversary and I was 45. One benefit is that when you start practicing none of your patients think you are brand new - they all think you have years of experience!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (12) / No Reply - Report abuse

BM in Newmarket, New Hampshire

91 months ago

iceprincess3333 in Niagara Falls, Ontario said: I am 38, do you think its too old to take DH? I originally took DA and graduated in 90. My daughter is in school full time now and I want a career!

I think that if you want benefits and longevity (if you are a single parent) AND want a CAREER! the MEDICAL field is a better choice. DENTAL HYGIENE IS OVERCROWDED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
?tionable salary due to the OVERCROWDING= drop in PAY!!!!!!
ALSO....... alot of COMPETITION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (12) / No (11) Reply - Report abuse

Debbie in Brick, New Jersey

91 months ago

I think you should go for it also. I graduated when I was young but I stopped to raise a family and went back into it in my 40's. I was so nervous thinking I was too old and would look out of place, but it couldn't have been further from the truth. I actually found that a lot of hygienists were my age and older. So if you like something do not let age stop you. Good luck!!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No Reply - Report abuse

cassieenc in Barre, Vermont

90 months ago

iceprincess3333 in Niagara Falls, Ontario said: I am 38, do you think its too old to take DH? I originally took DA and graduated in 90. My daughter is in school full time now and I want a career!

You're never too old! I graduated in '07 with a woman who was 48. We were actually roommates while in school. There was another woman in our class (of 18 students) who was 45. Do it!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

rdh0504

90 months ago

I dont think you are too old to go back to school but I don't know if hygiene is the right choice. I am a 29 year old hygienist. I have been practicing for 5 yrs and I am 3 mths from completing my bachelors degree. Then I plan to get my Graduate degree. I absolutely love doing hygiene but I can't see myself doing it until I retire. Therefore I am planning for my future. It is ultimately your decision but its something to think about.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

RDh FL in Hollywood, Florida

90 months ago

iceprincess3333 in Niagara Falls, Ontario said: I am 38, do you think its too old to take DH? I originally took DA and graduated in 90. My daughter is in school full time now and I want a career!

You can do anything you set your mind to, but this is not the time for dental hygiene. The market is saturated, experienced hyggienist cant find jobs, it is physically demanding, and no upoward mobility. consider nursing, respiratory therapy or something else.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (6) / No Reply - Report abuse

Debbie in Brick, New Jersey

90 months ago

I don't know where you live but I don't think that the market is saturated. I live in New Jersey and there are plenty of jobs available. I think it's a great career and very rewarding. Plus you can work part-time and make a lot of money. Give it a try!!! Nursing is good but they are two different types of careers. You would know which is best for you.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

Highdeserticypony in Spring Creek, Nevada

90 months ago

I went back to school and graduated at 48. There are too many hygienists and the young ones are mostly primadonna's. There is always a need for nurses. The small nursing school here has each graduate has over 40 job offers at graduation. I would really suggest that route. Good Luck.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Susan- in Modesto, California

90 months ago

When your old- your back hurts- you don't get breaks- you can get carpel tunnel- and dentists are "jerks" -
it's a "young" field- after when your older- your back hurts- neck, and it's not worth the money- or your "health"- and the cost of hygiene school-
especially privates schools- is a "outradge"! * plus a lot of doctors don't offer health insurace- and or a 40/1k- they are CHEAP! yet, live in million dollar homes!

RDA/RDH

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (9) / No Reply - Report abuse

BM in Raymond, New Hampshire

90 months ago

iceprincess3333 in Niagara Falls, Ontario said: I am 38, do you think its too old to take DH? I originally took DA and graduated in 90. My daughter is in school full time now and I want a career!

Again, I recommend that NURSING is a better choice for BENEFITS, repeat.............BENEFITS and more likely BEING ABLE TO FIND A JOB WHEN YOU HAVE COMPLETED YOUR DEGREE, SO..... Your $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ is BETTER spent on a degree where there will be a JOB,JOB, REPEAT J O B, when your finish your schooling WHICH is VERY, VERY, EXPENSIVE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (5) / No (10) Reply - Report abuse

mom in South Dennis, Massachusetts

90 months ago

I graduated from Hygiene school in the 80's. I am 49, and recently went back to work as a hygienist. I am thankful that I have a way to make a good income, especially due to the fact that my husband lost his job. Benefits are offered at both of the offices I work at. However, I am not full time. A dental hygiene career, allowed me to stay home with the kids when they were young, and temp. when we really needed money. Now, that we are hurting financially, I'm thankful I have this profession, I make $40.00/hour at one office, and $35.00/hour at another. I make more then most other Moms I know. A work of advice though, I broke my fulcrum finger and pulled the ligaments about 4 years ago. Get your hands insured!!!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Debbie in Brick, New Jersey

90 months ago

To Mom in South Dennis: I totally agree with you. I raised my family and then went back to work years later. I only work 3 days a week and the money came in very handy at a time in our lives when we were in some debt! It's the kind of job that can have very flexible hours. If I need more money and don't want to work more days permanently, then I just sub. I only went to County College for 2 years (back in the 70's) and received scholarships for my schooling, which at the time was not that expensive anyway. I got the most return for my time and money than any other career. And we are still in demand, just like the school told us!!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

trsrdh in Wichita, Kansas

90 months ago

I've been a hygienist for 13 years (I'm 34) and the job market is awful here. The dentists all know it and treat hygienists poorly. I make the same $ I did 2 years out of school and don't get the benefits or respect nurses get. My wrist and back hurt daily and I'm considering nursing school.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (5) / No Reply - Report abuse

Debbie in Brick, New Jersey

90 months ago

I guess I don't understand why everyone is deciding between nursing and dental hygiene. It's 2 entirely different careers! You should choose a career based on what you enjoy doing. It's one thing to have an interest in dental health and provide a service to a variety of patients. IT's an entire different thing to work in nursing where you are dealing with illness, accidents, etc. and you have to know what type of person you are and then you will know which career fits you the best! Even though where I live (NJ), I have had good luck with pay and demand in dental hygiene, I guess not every area has the same opportunities. I still say to stick with the career that you would enjoy the most.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (6) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

Lauren in Calgary, Alberta

90 months ago

Definitely DO IT!! The next two years are going to pass by no matter what, when you look back it'll be no time at all and you'll be a dental hygienist!! Good luck in your careers! Remember, ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, and you can do pretty much anything!!!!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (6) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

LINDA in Modesto, California

90 months ago

I HAVE 2 GIRLFRIENDS THAT HAVE "HUNCH" BACK FROM D.H. CARPAL TUNNEL, AND THEY NEVER GET A "BREAK" IF THAT-BEARLY LUNCH-
DENTISTS DRIVE THEM TO THE GROUND- AND MAKE THEM "EARN" EVERY PENNY. SURE IT'S GOOD MONEY, BUT, THE D.HYGIENTS HAS TO BREAK DOWN A ROOM IN 10 MIN-SPRAY- AND CLEAN- AND SET-UP-AND STERALIZE YOUR "OWN" INSTRUMENTS!

W/ NO HELP-PLUS TRY TO RUN TO THE BATHROOM.

NO WONDER SO MANY UNKNOWN CASES OF "HERPES" ARE SPREAD-THE INSTRUMENTS ALONE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE SOAKED FOR "10 MIN"-LET ALONE-SPRAYED, AND WHIPED IMMEDIATELY, JUST SO SHE CAN GET READY- AND OH, THAT DOES NOT INCLUDE X-RAYS- AND DENTAL EXAMS! LOL

TRUST ME-YOU MAKE MONEY-BUT,ARE A "DENTAL SLAVE"!!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

dh2 in Toronto, Ontario

89 months ago

LINDA in Modesto, California said: I HAVE 2 GIRLFRIENDS THAT HAVE "HUNCH" BACK FROM D.H. CARPAL TUNNEL, AND THEY NEVER GET A "BREAK" IF THAT-BEARLY LUNCH-
DENTISTS DRIVE THEM TO THE GROUND- AND MAKE THEM "EARN" EVERY PENNY. SURE IT'S GOOD MONEY, BUT, THE D.HYGIENTS HAS TO BREAK DOWN A ROOM IN 10 MIN-SPRAY- AND CLEAN- AND SET-UP-AND STERALIZE YOUR "OWN" INSTRUMENTS!

W/ NO HELP-PLUS TRY TO RUN TO THE BATHROOM.

NO WONDER SO MANY UNKNOWN CASES OF "HERPES" ARE SPREAD-THE INSTRUMENTS ALONE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE SOAKED FOR "10 MIN"-LET ALONE-SPRAYED, AND WHIPED IMMEDIATELY, JUST SO SHE CAN GET READY- AND OH, THAT DOES NOT INCLUDE X-RAYS- AND DENTAL EXAMS! LOL

TRUST ME-YOU MAKE MONEY-BUT,ARE A "DENTAL SLAVE"!!

Linda,

You are so dead on!! I've been doing this for over ten years, and "dental slave" is exactly right! So many other people I know who work in companies actually get to go to the bathroom in peace or talk for a few minutes about how their weekend was and they make around the same amount of money or a little less but get benefits! Do I ever have to earn every penny...if there's ever a cancelllation, which barely happens, the dentist will have me clean his teeth or another staff members! This career is not worth it! I am almost 40 and I want to have another career!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

J. V.Z in Redlands, California

89 months ago

Was is hard to return back to work?? I plan on stayting home for a while to raise my daughter, but am afraid that i will lose my skills....

Debbie in Brick, New Jersey said: I think you should go for it also. I graduated when I was young but I stopped to raise a family and went back into it in my 40's. I was so nervous thinking I was too old and would look out of place, but it couldn't have been further from the truth. I actually found that a lot of hygienists were my age and older. So if you like something do not let age stop you. Good luck!!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Debbie in Brick, New Jersey

89 months ago

To J.V.Z. It was only hard because I felt like I did lose my skills, so I signed up for a refresher course thinking that everything must have changed so much. But, once I was back in a clinic at a school and using the instruments, everything came flooding back. I even had a lot of reading for the course, and I was overwhelmed by all the info. but in actuality you only use a portion of what you actually read on a daily basis. So you do have to know it, but not to the point of memorization. Just familiarize yourself with it and when things come up in practice, you will recall reading about it. I felt more comfortable because other women (my age and older) were also in the same boat as I was. I had 2 jobs entering back into the field and I didn't like them. So I thought maybe I didn't want to do it anymore. But then I tried one more office and it fit like a glove. Nice girls, easy-going dentists and I love it. So you may have to try a few places til you get your niche. I am glad i took the time off to raise my kids, though. One reason because they needed me and you never get that time back. Another reason is that I'm not as burned out as some hygienists who work 30 years straight!! So Don't worry about taking the time for you and your family, you will get right back on the horse, as they say!! Good Luck to you!!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

LINDA in Modesto, California

89 months ago

HOW DID ALL YOU LADIES- WHO WENT BACK TO SCHOOL- GET IN W/ YOUR OLD "PREREQUISITES"?
THEY CAN'T BE OLDER THEN 10 YRS. OLD?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

LINDA in Modesto, California

89 months ago

DON'T YOUR "PRE-REQUITES" HAVE TO BE LESS THEN 10 YRS. OLD?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

Debbie in Brick, New Jersey

89 months ago

Yes, that's true about the pre-requisites. I was not over the 10 years though and I subbed during the years I raised my kids (sometimes). I went back and took a refresher course first for my own self confidence. It really helped me get the feel back. But I do recommend checking with the dental board in your area before going back and they'll tell you what's required. If you are going to take time off, check with them ahead of time so you don't go over the limit. Then you may have to be tested again if it's too long.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

daldh in Halifax, Nova Scotia

89 months ago

I am 42 and I am graduating this May from a university DH diploma program. You are NEVER too old; there will be many who will tell you that you are however. Being amongst my 20-year-old classmates has been a blast and if I can do it, anybody can do it! Good luck!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

GW in Albuquerque, New Mexico

61 months ago

I have not practiced DH for 25 years and am interested in reentering the field. I let my license lapse so I need to retake exams, etc. Does anyone have any experience with refresher courses? Any recommendations for taking the WREB? Thanks

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts

61 months ago

DH in Toronto, Ontario said: It is never to late to go back to school.

Except you have to compete with 'just out of school' twenty somethings that employers are tripping over themselves to hire (at least here in the USA) while HR people 'red flag' you because they assume you are hiding something or you get asked patronizing & condescending questions like 'Why did you go back to school'?? Why didn't you continue to work full time?? I would not go back to school unless someone else (not a loan) is helping to foot the bill like an employers tuition reimbursement program. The job market is too precarious and HR & Recruiters have their narrow minding way of way of hiring that isn't hiring the best qualified person.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts

61 months ago

daldh in Halifax, Nova Scotia said: I am 42 and I am graduating this May from a university DH diploma program. You are NEVER too old; there will be many who will tell you that you are however. Being amongst my 20-year-old classmates has been a blast and if I can do it, anybody can do it! Good luck!

Really?? must be a completely different culture and outlook on life up in Canada. Here in the USA (particularly the Massachusetts area) someone age 42 would be in very bad state again having to compete with all the 20 somethings that employers are tripping over themselves to hire.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

Linda in Davis, California

57 months ago

Hi fellow Hygienists,
I've been out of the profession for 8+ years and would like to go back to work. Are there refresher courses in California? I feel totally out of the loop!
Any advice would be helpful!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

exp in Exeter, New Hampshire

57 months ago

Linda in Davis, California said: Hi fellow Hygienists,
I've been out of the profession for 8+ years and would like to go back to work. Are there refresher courses in California? I feel totally out of the loop!
Any advice would be helpful!

I would start with the Calif. Board to see what you need to be active again...it will probably cost alot and you will need to take exams of sorts again and /or maybe some courses and relicensing tests...again , start with your RDH Board in Calif. Do you work in the dental field in any capacity now? or...feel a past Dr. you worked for is interested in rehiring you? Would like to find if you will truely want to get back in the field with all that is happening. Also, being from CA, your state Fla and Hawaii, seem to be the toughest, also Northeast states for actually finding and keeping a position because of the many in those states now. GL

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

Superfluous RDH in Ottawa, Ontario

57 months ago

Linda:
For the first time in my life, I've experienced "ageism". A dentist said to me recently, "I can't ask you how old you are, but..." I knew what she was thinking, that she wouldn't consider me because of my age. She didn't hire me. It didn't come as a surprise. She mightn't have hired me for other reasons, too, but the fact that she mentioned my age indicated to me that it was a hiring issue.
This may be something that you could encounter when you go for interviews.
Friends of mine who are embarking upon their second (and third) careers are also hearing the same thing.
Choose your next career carefully.
GL

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No Reply - Report abuse

young gal in Barrie, Ontario

57 months ago

iceprincess3333 in Niagara Falls, Ontario said: I am 38, do you think its too old to take DH? I originally took DA and graduated in 90. My daughter is in school full time now and I want a career!

Never too old. I am turning 55 soon & I'm in the restorative program. :)

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

exp in Exeter, New Hampshire

57 months ago

What is the restorative program? In regard to DH field:
Why encourage and say that this field is great, no ageism...follow your "passion"...not information those who want DH as a 'career'...not anymore people....pay IS going down, there are many resume's for practices to pick from, benefits ????really in 2011 and beyond VERY RARE, great practice that give you paid holida/sick days, pay raise...not happening. Wouldn't you like to have a career and financial stability in a field you will be working in for 20-30 yrs? Nursing: more likely you will find this...DH NOT!!! Repeat NOT!....it's a waste of time, energy, money (lots of money) for some...in regard to having to take numerous tests over...quota people; I and I believe many others will say they have a "passing quota"...or just are mean in the first place, this is in regard to passing your board patient. I did pass all my exams the first time years ago. I do feel for those that they basically haze...YES, this does happen. Think forward before you enter a program and ask yourself the schools and MANY in the field you choose to pursue, not just a couple but MANY PT and FT...their experiences and advice. GL on your choice, we hope it is the right one for you and you have a retirement you can live on fairly/comfortablely. Research beyond the internet, many writing info and articles on here are NOT in our field. Look beyond the surface "show" of school's....*

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No Reply - Report abuse

Superfluous RDH in Ottawa, Ontario

57 months ago

Hi Exp:
The restorative program was offered at our school. I think that we did up to three surface fillings, both comp and amalgam. (It was a while ago so I'm not absolutely sure of the number of surfaces.) Guess that dates me. I only heard of one person in our class of 40 who ever used that skill set; she was working in a rural area. I never used those skills. We graduated during a recession and dentists did not give ANY of their restorative work to the hygienists. It was included in our program because at one time, if a dentist had a busy practice, they'd delegate the simpler fillings to the hygienist while they did the more lucrative things. There are other reasons too, I'm sure. Someone will tell me...
I've read some of those articles that predict a rosy outlook for hygienists. Sadly, one of those articles I read came from a Government of Canada web site. I have no idea where they get their input, stating that things had been slow (true) but that things have picked up again (not so). The stark reality is that there is very little work out there. And with a plethora of new grads saddled with a huge debt load looking for work, I don't see this situation improving.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No Reply - Report abuse

exp in Exeter, New Hampshire

57 months ago

HiSuperfluous, We were never allowed to do this in the USA...but, nowadays, DH's can do so much more...but the sad thing is , MANY , are not able to utilize their skills and payback for all their training...they don't believe us unfortunately, so they learn the hard way that, what we say is the reality of the field: pay going down, no raises, dent/med. coverage (if it is offered that we can afford to co-pay), treatment by DA's, OM's, etc...staff, alot of condesending attitude instead of coehisive...etc. I don't understand their logic in believing articles, schools, etc. over ACTUAL RDH's in many states and Canada, who are telling them what's happening because we are experiencing it NOW...??? I think we've reached some, but others don't choose to see...If the situation were different and we were in demand and there were jobs, where you could count on your weekly paycheck, I would be there speaking of the positive choice of career, sadly, it's a bad choice now if you want a career, pay and respect. I fortunately, have 2 great Dr.'s I work for, but the pay is going down and not considered even PT...it's more PPT and fill-in...no one is leaving and I don't dare leave for another office as FT, as they seem to be trying us all out til they get EVERYTHING they want in 1 RDH, paying him/her...what they choose too...sad, very sad state of DH field now and it's future, if it lasts another 20 years. What do you think will happen with the DH field? VET

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

Superfluous RDH in Ottawa, Ontario

57 months ago

I'm not optimistic about hygiene's future. We've discussed (at great length and for a very long time) the problem of too many hygienists, both from public and private schools, looking for too few jobs. We've questioned why private schools were allowed to become establishe in the first place and haven't come up with an answer. We're seeing our wages stay the same or even decrease, and many of us don't get benefits. We don't have job protection; we're at the whim of the dentist or of the powers that be in the office. We lose hours and are told to leave early without pay. Hygienists can now work independently, but from what I've seen, it's proving to be a really tough go because of fee guide limitations and restrictions placed on certain procedures (LA). (Maybe we could get some input from an independent DH on that.) In other words, we're not in control. I've read about unionization, but it won't work. We're dealing with many, many, private dental businesses. Unionization won't fly.
I see the trade becoming more of a hybrid between assisting and hygiene, with the hourly wage continuing to decrease. Hygienists with assisting skills are now sought after as a way for dentists to economize. I honestly believe we've painted ourselves into a corner by becoming "specialists" in dental hygiene. This specialty has worked against us. Except for periodontic offices, I think we're outta luck.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No Reply - Report abuse

Superfluous RDH in Ottawa, Ontario

57 months ago

Whoops, I meant "established"

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Cindy in Rocklin, California

57 months ago

Linda in Davis, California said: Hi fellow Hygienists,
I've been out of the profession for 8+ years and would like to go back to work. Are there refresher courses in California? I feel totally out of the loop!
Any advice would be helpful!

Hi Linda, Just curious if you found any "refresher" courses or resources?
I am an RDH that has not worked in nearly 3 years. I understand your situation. I actually think my clincal skills will return, but a lot has changed with digital xrays & computer software programs like Dentrix. Thanks & the Very best of Luck to You! PS I do know an Ind. Dentrix instructor who will do one-on-one #$40/hr-she can do it in 4 hrs# or group training. I'm meeting with her in 2 weeks.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Linda in Los Angeles, California

57 months ago

Hi Cindy,
Thanks for your message!I haven't found any "refresher" courses, but have been taking CE courses as I let my license go Inactive. Thanks for the Dentrix #. I will keep that on the back burner! I'm almost completed all my units. Will do my last units through corresponce.
Thanks Again,
Linda

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

» Sign in or create an account to comment on this topic.