Very interested in a Dental Hygienist career.

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Cassandra in Sacramento, California

20 months ago

Hi everyone! So my mother worked at children's dental office, I spent a lot of time there when I was younger. I have always deeply wanted to go into the dental field, however I was sure what I was capable of completing. I am now nearly 24, spent five years in the Marine Corps (so I have my GI Bill, only covers 36 months) My husband and I want to start a family in the future so I really want to get in and out of school relatively quickly (So being a dentist is not an option for me). I'm not worried about difficulty, I see my self as being intelligent and dedicated to education. Anyway I am mostly worried because I read very bad reviews on the Hygienist career field. I remember all the Hygienist at my mother's office being so upbeat and happy! I admired them! Has that much really changed in the field? All the job outlook sites I have researched say the field is expected to grow immensely by 2020 and the reviews say the complete opposite! Please give me any advise, I have an appointment with a school on Tuesday so I want some idea before I go in. Thank you!

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exp in Massachusetts

20 months ago

Cassandra in Sacramento, California said: Hi everyone! So my mother worked at children's dental office, I spent a lot of time there when I was younger. I have always deeply wanted to go into the dental field, however I was sure what I was capable of completing. I am now nearly 24, spent five years in the Marine Corps (so I have my GI Bill, only covers 36 months) My husband and I want to start a family in the future so I really want to get in and out of school relatively quickly (So being a dentist is not an option for me). I'm not worried about difficulty, I see my self as being intelligent and dedicated to education. Anyway I am mostly worried because I read very bad reviews on the Hygienist career field. I remember all the Hygienist at my mother's office being so upbeat and happy! I admired them! Has that much really changed in the field? All the job outlook sites I have researched say the field is expected to grow immensely by 2020 and the reviews say the complete opposite! Please give me any advise, I have an appointment with a school on Tuesday so I want some idea before I go in. Thank you!

Don't believe the GOVT/BLS, online articles or schools....too many in the field and not enough work to go around; also those who say the older ones are retiring...we are not or will we be doing this for another 15+ yrs....if you really want dental train as a DA or if you have the grades, go to dental school....the majority as you can see on here "tell you the truth and their experiences". DA training is ALOT less and you are more likely to receive benefits...and even if you don't need them ...vaca/sick days, courses and scrubs...are more likely to be given to you as a DA...many RDH's are struggling to pay back loans, trying to find any set work in decent offices, etc....please rethink what the school will tell you...not the truth for the DH field. VET

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waterbug100 in Duncan, British Columbia

20 months ago

Cassandra..please read and really think about it.

So many new hygienists are stuck with huge student loans and no work.

I know I'm from Canada, but I don't think the situation for hygienists is any different.

The market is supersaturated for many reasons, and it's not a good field to go into. It never will be again.

Listen to EXP..she's absolutely right.

And if you want to go into health as a profession, explore other areas. Hygiene is a dieing field, is not a profession and never will be.

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waterbug100 in Duncan, British Columbia

20 months ago

Hi exp..hope you're well?

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exp in Massachusetts

20 months ago

Hey Waterbug....doing fine...wish I had more hours, still hanging in there....if I were not ....yrs. old, I'd consider going back to school for another field...but what fields REALLY have jobs/set employment...hard to compete with 20 somethings....and I feel bad for many who STILL think that the iternet and the BLS (however they really are) LISTEN TO THEM AND NOT TO THE MANY HERE GIVING THE REALITY OF THE RDH FIELD....online articles a very few here saying "it's wonderful , etc"....the employment is a catch 22...and you can be replaced so easily....just not right...I still don't see INDEED.COM's response to my request to post the ACCURATE income...of RDH's now: in "2013" and beyond...they still list as income what a FT job would give you....it's PART-TIME , hard to find work, not career anymore....why do so many want to learn the hard way....doesn't make sense...your thts?.....hope you are well think of you and Suzanne (who isn't on here anymore...if she is....she just looking...:-( )....+ nrg out to you and all in the field at present...but.......for those considering the lies told by the BLS/Govt/online articles and school's....don't be dupped...they are set in their "careers" we can't say that anymore for the DH field...and I've seen all types in my yrs...go DA route for employment and longevity....*

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kayleighz in Austin, Texas

19 months ago

Cassandra-
I am writing because I have been reading these posts for the last 2 years (inadvertently- I asked google to alert me to hygiene job postings, and these show up too), but your post/all the responses led me to feel like I should comment. I graduated from hygiene school in 2011 (got my bachelor's of science in Bio before) and within 1 month was offered a FT position w/ benefits. This was in Portland OR, which is very saturated w/ hygiene programs. Almost all the people I graduated with found a FT or multiple PT jobs within a few months- not all though. I cannot say for sure why they had a hard time while others didn't, but I can say that most employers I've dealt with SERIOUSLY admire applicants who are smart, well spoken, clean, punctual, and easy to work with. I moved to Austin 1 year ago and was offered 3 full time positions (mon-thurs), again in about a 3-4 wk period (can't put enough emphasis on getting a great resume when you're at that point!).
I chose an office, and on my year review I was given a raise from 60k to 70k , on top of my benefits. I will not say everything was perfect at this office, and I recently left, but immediately found my 3rd job (again, FT with benefits) at an office with more congruent values to my own.

Overall I would classify my experience as a hygienist as very positive. In my humble opinion, you should weigh your options and choose a career you can see yourself in for a long time. These threads tend to be filled with only the disgruntled few.

Good luck and be well!

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justnic in North Tazewell, Virginia

19 months ago

kayleighz in Austin, Texas said: Cassandra-
I am writing because I have been reading these posts for the last 2 years (inadvertently- I asked google to alert me to hygiene job postings, and these show up too), but your post/all the responses led me to feel like I should comment. I graduated from hygiene school in 2011 (got my bachelor's of science in Bio before) and within 1 month was offered a FT position w/ benefits. This was in Portland OR, which is very saturated w/ hygiene programs. Almost all the people I graduated with found a FT or multiple PT jobs within a few months- not all though. I cannot say for sure why they had a hard time while others didn't, but I can say that most employers I've dealt with SERIOUSLY admire applicants who are smart, well spoken, clean, punctual, and easy to work with. I moved to Austin 1 year ago and was offered 3 full time positions (mon-thurs), again in about a 3-4 wk period (can't put enough emphasis on getting a great resume when you're at that point!).
I chose an office, and on my year review I was given a raise from 60k to 70k , on top of my benefits. I will not say everything was perfect at this office, and I recently left, but immediately found my 3rd job (again, FT with benefits) at an office with more congruent values to my own.

Overall I would classify my experience as a hygienist as very positive. In my humble opinion, you should weigh your options and choose a career you can see yourself in for a long time. These threads tend to be filled with only the disgruntled few.

Good luck and be well!

I have to say that if it wasn't for this comment above then I would have definitely altered my plans to do dental hygiene in my future. It seems that all I hear on these forums are negatives about dental hygiene and its really refreshing to actually hear that somebody has something positive to say! THANK YOU!

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exp in Massachusetts

19 months ago

j and k....the reality of the DH field is for the majority of "intellingent, punctual, well spoken , etc." that "k" mentions of qualities to posses; there are MANY of us and not enough positions...she was fortunate. There is alot of competition, not healthy competition , but backstabbing. I am a VET and have seen wonderful practices to OSHA should make a visit to this practice, type of offices...we are upset as to how this field is promoted and if you look, there are alot of new and retrains on here telling of their exp's in the DH field and finding that it does not have employment as online articles, schools, Govt/BLS info etc. claim it does. I would strongly recommend , if you do want to be in the dental field, go for DA training to see what it's actually like. Many RDH's don't receive what K is lucky enough to have at the present time. As a DA you will obtain experience in the dental field and maybe think further as to going for DH and also having an income and other training to fall back on should DH training, not give you enough income. BTW, DA's are the ones who tend to have the benefits and set hours/pay/vaca, etc...DH's are pt for the most part and are more easily replaced than K seems to think. REALITY , hard learned lessons by going the DH route? Your choice, but with all that is said, again by young and retrains too, not just the older RDH's I'd think about my time investment and money you pay into a major with a very hard to find job in the end.

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acn1 in Indiana

19 months ago

Don't do it! Save yourself the money and the heartache! The dentists are holding the dental hygiene career hostage...they do not want to pay or respect hygienists but they want them to break their bodies doing all the work. Look into nursing or other healthcare professions that are actually respected by others and have benefits and pto. If I knew what I know now when I was in school there is absolutely no way I would go through with it.

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waterbug100 in Duncan, British Columbia

19 months ago

justnic..one positive comment shouldn't sway your initial decision. The people who seem "negative" to you far outnumber the one who is saying things you WANT to hear.

I am always suspicious when I read the posts that seem just too good to be true. There is always the arguement that maybe this person is an actual dental hygienist that has had PHENOMENAL good luck, but there is also the adage that if something sounds too good to be true, IT USUALLY IS.

The one thing positive I have learned from being a DH is to think critically. You need to talk to other DH in real life, go to temp agencies to see how many postitions are really available, and you need to do extensive research and read a lot of threads..not just this one.

Please don't rely on government or job analysis projections..they honestly have no idea of the reality of any job or profession.

DH doesn't resemble what it was when I first started 17 years ago..and it won't again. The oversaturation has changed it permanently to the point where you literally are a salesperson and a technician.

I would hazard a guess that DH is on it's way out..Dental Assistants are in greater demand, are being paid more and have opportunities to increase their scope of practice. DH are being paid less, and their scope of practice is being honed down to, as I said before, selling and cleaning..that's it.

Please continue on with your research, and please do not be swayed by one seemingly positive post..who knows if it's really true? You need to find that out before you decide to invest a lot of time and money..

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Superfluous RDH in Ottawa, Ontario

19 months ago

Waterbug says it like it is.
Here's my input: Hygiene is a short-lived "career". Many burn out, on average, after 7-10 years from stress, physical injury, the repetitive nature of the job, office politics, etc. No bonuses, no benefits for the vast majority of us. There is no advancement in this job; once you're hired, you've "arrived", and that's it. Your working hours are not secure; if your patients cancel, you go home early without pay. The is no job security and no loyalty from your employer; you can be replaced at the drop of a hat. The first few years seem interesting because you're using your newly-acquired skills and you're trying to become more efficient with your time, but after you've figured things out, the job becomes very, very routine and predictable.
Research other job possibilities, especially jobs that will guarantee you benefits. Look for a job that will offer promotions and career-advancement. Above all, don't sell yourself short; these are the best and most productive years of your life. Don't squander them on a job that may leave you under/unemployed, in debt, and looking for another job when you are older and less employable. Don't believe the glitzy advertisements from schools that "guarantee" employment once you've graduated from their expensive programs. It simply isn't true. Like Waterbug said, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Good luck.

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exp in Massachusetts

19 months ago

waterbug100 in Duncan, British Columbia said: justnic..one positive comment shouldn't sway your initial decision. The people who seem "negative" to you far outnumber the one who is saying things you WANT to hear.

I am always suspicious when I read the posts that seem just too good to be true. There is always the arguement that maybe this person is an actual dental hygienist that has had PHENOMENAL good luck, but there is also the adage that if something sounds too good to be true, IT USUALLY IS.

The one thing positive I have learned from being a DH is to think critically. You need to talk to other DH in real life, go to temp agencies to see how many postitions are really available, and you need to do extensive research and read a lot of threads..not just this one.

Please don't rely on government or job analysis projections..they honestly have no idea of the reality of any job or profession.

DH doesn't resemble what it was when I first started 17 years ago..and it won't again. The oversaturation has changed it permanently to the point where you literally are a salesperson and a technician.

I would hazard a guess that DH is on it's way out..Dental Assistants are in greater demand, are being paid more and have opportunities to increase their scope of practice. DH are being paid less, and their scope of practice is being honed down to, as I said before, selling and cleaning..that's it.

Please continue on with your research, and please do not be swayed by one seemingly positive post..who knows if it's really true? You need to find that out before you decide to invest a lot of time and money..

Listen to Waterbug....what she is saying is the TRUTH, not the falsies that a couple of ??? individuals (or school personnel undercover) tell you. It is not a rosey or even a regular "JOB" anymore....think critically, how much are you willing to spend on this field? The reality is DH is a very hard to find and keep job= oversaturated for yrs.

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exp in Massachusetts

19 months ago

Superfluous RDH in Ottawa, Ontario said: Waterbug says it like it is.
Here's my input: Hygiene is a short-lived "career". Many burn out, on average, after 7-10 years from stress, physical injury, the repetitive nature of the job, office politics, etc. No bonuses, no benefits for the vast majority of us. There is no advancement in this job; once you're hired, you've "arrived", and that's it. Your working hours are not secure; if your patients cancel, you go home early without pay. The is no job security and no loyalty from your employer; you can be replaced at the drop of a hat. The first few years seem interesting because you're using your newly-acquired skills and you're trying to become more efficient with your time, but after you've figured things out, the job becomes very, very routine and predictable.
Research other job possibilities, especially jobs that will guarantee you benefits. Look for a job that will offer promotions and career-advancement. Above all, don't sell yourself short; these are the best and most productive years of your life. Don't squander them on a job that may leave you under/unemployed, in debt, and looking for another job when you are older and less employable. Don't believe the glitzy advertisements from schools that "guarantee" employment once you've graduated from their expensive programs. It simply isn't true. Like Waterbug said, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Good luck.

Listen to Superfluoss...she is another RDH who has seen and is giving you food for thought in regard to what is really happening in the DH field. Think benefits....you will wish you had them as you get older, sick/vaca/ bonus/ etc....DA's are more likely to receive these....the majority of RDH's are on their own for retirement, etc....are you good at investing or have money set aside now for....later? You need to think about that, because if you don't you'll find that you will struggle. What other majors interest you

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Isabella in Miami, Florida

19 months ago

Hello, I want to know if Quizlet Dental Hygienist review is a trustful site to study, I have been looking this and they have well classified and with a good level, someone has been on it?

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goey246 in Miami, Florida

18 months ago

Hi everyone!
I've been considering DH for quite a few years now, but after reading this I'm not so sure anymore. Any other careers you recommend I can look into? I'm looking for a 2yr program which leaves me with maybe Sonography or even Funerl Director (has always attracted me as well).
Any opinion/advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Fedup in Miami, Florida

18 months ago

Overall I would classify my experience as a hygienist as very positive. In my humble opinion, you should weigh your options and choose a career you can see yourself in for a long time. These threads tend to be filled with only the disgruntled few.

Good luck and be well!

"Disgruntled few"?? I don't think so. I've been a hygienist for over 30 years and I have seen the changes in the profession. It has steadily been going down the tubes. Maybe your particular experience has been good, but I have to agree more with the other hygienists posting here. Part time jobs with no benefits is far more common than full time with benefits. I find your entire post to be very questionable.

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exp in Massachusetts

18 months ago

Fed-up....tell me: with the oversaturation and backstabbing for a coveted job, how can one "see yourself in for a long time", when you can't even obtain set employment? ....let alone payback the loans you've taken out to become an RDH? I think the "disgruntled few" you mention are speaking because of what I've mentioned above...you are fortunate as far as having a decent employer that does not let you go, for a younger or less expensive RDH...disgruntled , I think they are rather trying to inform those contemplating going into this field to really know what may happen now in 2013 and beyond....pay is going backwards, no benefits of any kind...just your hourly pay. Not a good situation for many in the field even now. It's very sad to see all the experiences posted in the past 4-5yrs. because of the oversaturation....wish the Govt. would close down or have a say in cutting back students , so that maybe more could find work. VET

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Fedup in Miami, Florida

18 months ago

exp in Massachusetts said: Fed-up....tell me: with the oversaturation and backstabbing for a coveted job, how can one "see yourself in for a long time", when you can't even obtain set employment? ....let alone payback the loans you've taken out to become an RDH? I think the "disgruntled few" you mention are speaking because of what I've mentioned above...you are fortunate as far as having a decent employer that does not let you go, for a younger or less expensive RDH...disgruntled , I think they are rather trying to inform those contemplating going into this field to really know what may happen now in 2013 and beyond....pay is going backwards, no benefits of any kind...just your hourly pay. Not a good situation for many in the field even now. It's very sad to see all the experiences posted in the past 4-5yrs. because of the oversaturation....wish the Govt. would close down or have a say in cutting back students , so that maybe more could find work. VET

I absolutely agree with you! My post begins with the last paragraph. I was responding to a post by kayleighzin Austin,Texas. She accused the ones here , telling it like it is ,of being disgruntled. For some unknown reason the post did not reflect her quote.:)

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exp in Massachusetts

18 months ago

OK...TY Fedup....I don't get why new and retrains BELIEVE the materials from the schools....passion and always wanted to do this and the PAY they THINK they will receive are all false...so many want to learn the hard way.

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RDHCJ in Boston, Massachusetts

17 months ago

Do not become a RDH! The government and other companies that post that RDH is in demand or will become more in demand is a lie. Or maybe that is true BUT it doesn't mean more job openings for RDH will occur! Many dentists, in this recession, are cleaning teeth themselves so they don't have to hire a RDH or so they can let go of their RDHs! Do not become a RDH or else you will end up unemployed or barely working. Only if your spouse is a dentist or you have a relative who is a dentist and promises you a job, should you become a RDH. Otherwise if no one you know well is a dentist then don't become a RDH!

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VeryDiscouragedRDH_omb in Biloxi, Mississippi

14 months ago

DONT DO IT!
Listen to all the warnings because it is not what it's cracked up to be.
It's extrememly oversaturated, in a lot of areas from my understanding, and theres no room for advancement which can lead to burnout very quickly.
Also, moving to a better area is nearly impossible as there is reciprocity (fees for exams AND/OR years to wait) before you can move over state lines..
I have just graduated in May and officially been an RDH since July and still have 0 job prospects. In fact, I have already decided to go back to school for nursing.
I did not spend all that time, money, energy, emotion, etc just to be spinning my wheels hoping for an opening with the possibility of having to go back to retail for just above minimum wage?! No thank you... I wish I had read this much into it before I joined the program.
Luckily I am still young with no dependents and can still turn things around.
Best of luck to all of you...

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