Where are all the dental hygiene jobs?

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exp in Exeter, New Hampshire

55 months ago

Holly in Peoria, Illinois said: I'm not sure what you're talking about. When I talk about people getting good full-time jobs with benefits I mean all Americans who are wanting and willing and able to work, not just DH. When we ship our good jobs overseas and when all the money a company makes goes to a few people at the top, that leaves a lot of people without the ability to go to the dentist. My only point is if people could afford to go to the dentist there wouldn't be an over saturation of DH, but because so many people are unemployed and underemployed, a lot of people can't go.

Hi, I don't get your statement" my only point is if people could afford to go to the dentist there wouldn't be and over saturation of DH....YES, THERE STILL WOULD BE TOO MANY IN AND TRAINING TO BE RDH'S....it's not the recession affecting our profession, it's the greed of the schools and the Dr.'s, etc. who are funding these programs...Many going into this field now may not have the employment they were sold on or read about, because so many the pay has decreased, you can be easily replaced and there aren't enough offices to go around....also, many when they graduate, IMO, want to use their clinical skills, not go for further ed, ie-MA program...so thus, not enough work for all so many have shelled out big bucks, just read the many threads on here...DH field in today market? at best is a PT job with pay that is not negotiable anymore.....are you an RDH? I know other fields are hurting too, but it seems that DH has been HIT VERY HARD...and no recovery if any for years.

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Holly in Peoria, Illinois

55 months ago

I think it's a misconception that the economy was "good" before the recession. Wages have been stagnant for years. We had 30 million people without health insurance. Jobs have been going overseas for decades. We produce very little as a nation. Our economy was and is basest largely on the service industry, which is mainly low-paying Wal-mart type jobs. Lots of people are losing their teeth and getting dentures because they couldn't afford dentists. Even more now. People are supposed to go to the dentist every 6 months. Since you know so much why don't you tell me how many people do that their whole life? Not very many. Even less now. If every person went to the dentist every 6 months I think that would create thousands of jobs and hygienists would no longer have trouble getting work. But when you have a country that is sliding downhill and becoming more like a third world country where most people don't get health care, then no, there is no demand. We need to start producing something as a country and not pay CEOs tens of millions while regular workers get minimum wage. I know the trailer park republicans will disagree with me but sorry, that's the way it works.

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exp in Exeter, New Hampshire

55 months ago

Holly in Peoria, Illinois said: I think it's a misconception that the economy was "good" before the recession. Wages have been stagnant for years. We had 30 million people without health insurance. Jobs have been going overseas for decades. We produce very little as a nation. Our economy was and is basest largely on the service industry, which is mainly low-paying Wal-mart type jobs. Lots of people are losing their teeth and getting dentures because they couldn't afford dentists. Even more now. People are supposed to go to the dentist every 6 months. Since you know so much why don't you tell me how many people do that their whole life? Not very many. Even less now. If every person went to the dentist every 6 months I think that would create thousands of jobs and hygienists would no longer have trouble getting work. But when you have a country that is sliding downhill and becoming more like a third world country where most people don't get health care, then no, there is no demand. We need to start producing something as a country and not pay CEOs tens of millions while regular workers get minimum wage. I know the trailer park republicans will disagree with me but sorry, that's the way it works.

Holly, Whether or not we every come out of this depression/recession, there are still TOO many RDH's and not enough work...these use the people they have...as far as people going for a prophy (cleaning), if they are in cities/towns that have DH schools...the fee is NOMINAl for x-rays, prophy, fluoride...etc...even some dental students can give them tx, if they choose to seek it out....I KNOW that alot of jobs are W.mart, but, still even if the job situation gets better...these offices, etc....give work to those they already employ. If the do hire new,....the pay and hours are scattered and not consistent...thus oversaturation not being absorbed; many still not listening....not to keep work for myself...I don't even work what I'd like too...

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exp in Exeter, New Hampshire

55 months ago

Holly, Are you an RDH? If so, what's your work sit?

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Disappointed in Dental in Victoria, British Columbia

55 months ago

Holly in Peoria, Illinois said: I think it's a misconception... sorry, that's the way it works.

Holly... you appear to be coming from a political point of view rather than a dental professional point of view. While I do respect what you are saying, and theoretically your comments could have validity; however, you are speaking anecdotally... "Since you know so much why don't you tell me how many people do that their whole life? Not very many." and "Lots of people are losing their teeth and getting dentures because they couldn't afford dentists. Even more now." If you have sources for this information, you should provide them. With all due respect, since you do not appear to be in the dental profession, it would be hard for you to understand the complexity of the issue we speak of here. It is not as simple as more insurance = more patients at the dental office. I have been in the profession a long time and it is common for people with insurance to rarely use it due to fear, time constraints, etc. In addition, I have also seen many people who make their dental health a priority (some every 3 mos)regardless of their current financial situation. If it were a problem of patient population, then it would affect our profession as a whole... equally. Currently, when I speak with my colleagues and browse the job advertisements, it appears to be far easier to find a job as a dental assistant or receptionist. Here in Canada, many private dental hygiene schools have cropped up over the last few years and this is a cause for concern. In the province of Ontario alone, over 1100 RDHs graduate per year. The rate of supply is far outweighing the rate of demand. This is the issue. Not only does it affect our career situations, but (since the reason for these private dental hygiene schools is purely for profit for the owner of the school) it affects the quality of skill and knowledge of the graduates and therefore the quality of care provided to the patients.

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flossboss1@msn.com in Oceanside, California

55 months ago

Holly is obviously a (probably paid union hack) being paid to stir up public forum debate. I love her comment "trailer part republicans" as she denounces CEO's for making more money than their employees. Her remark that the USA is becoming a 3rd world country where most people don't have access to health care shows where she is coming from. The last poll over Obamacare showed over 80% of Americans have health insurance. I wonder if she knows how much the top brass in the big unions are making compared to the workers?

I do agree (as I've said before) that the new private schools are spitting out way too many graduates. Here in California they shut down the one public college (UC San Francisco) that offered a 4 year degree in dental hygiene. There are only 4 private colleges left now. All the others are 2 year programs in either public junior colleges or for profit private schools. Some only 16 months in duration!

It is up to all hygienists to educate each and every one of our patients to the value of a professional prophylaxis, soft tissue/cancer screening, caries and periodontal disease assessment, new home care products and the many other things we do in the hygiene visit. Encourage them to get their loved ones, friends and neighbors in for a cleaning if needed. Marketing yourself is something that often isn't taught in hygiene schools but it is something that all hygienists should think about.

The economy is preventing new dental offices from springing up, dental schools are being closed down, so of course the demand for dental hygienists is diminishing. It is no secret why dentists want more hygienists looking for jobs. I used to encourage young people to look into hygiene as a career but I no longer do this.

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30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta

55 months ago

Flossboss,
As always....our comments are similar. This is not simply about the economy...it is about the excess of DH schools and the gross amount of DH grads coming out. I do not encourage anyone now to go into dental hygiene---due to the excessive numbers of DH, but also due to the complete HIJACKING OF OUR EDUCATION and resultant diminishing of our profession. The fact that there are so many 'different levels of education standards and varied actual 'student's GPAs' to GET INTO A PROGRAM...is disgusting. We have people with minimal qualifications now getting into DH programs and those with high 3.9 or 4.0 GPAs getting into DH programs. This is completely unacceptable and diminishes the 'profession to a trade'....."almost ANYONE can get in to a DH program right now---just bring the tuition money'.
So regrettable.

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flossboss1@msn.com in Oceanside, California

55 months ago

Some new grads (not all!) mostly simply "scrape teeth" and collect a paycheck. They do not view hygiene as a profession, just a way to make money until they have babies and stay at home. This is how benefits disappeared. Dentists used to appreciate full time hygienists. At least way back when I started out. Too make part timers with husbands didn't want or need benefits so gradually they all but disappeared for hygienists.

I am happy and satisfied where I work but can see where the future is going for dental hygiene and it is very disheartening to watch the deterioration of a once wonderful profession. The 30 minute "prophy" appointment will be the norm with assisted and maximized hygiene cutting down the number of hygiene jobs even more. One hygienists can do the work of two with assisted hygiene and the dentist makes more profit. The hygienist will not make twice the money but will do twice the physical work.

Just as an overview, when I first started working in 1969, I worked on a 50% commission and the dentists were happy to do so. You didn't get paid when patients were a no show. Believe me, you marketed yourself to the patients in order to keep your chair full.
As more duties were put onto the hygienist, the hour appointment became the standard. The pano machine and the intraoral camera chenged the protocol as well. Nitrous and anesthesia also added to our duties. Then came hygiene and caries treatment planning and selling products. Now we make our own appointments as well. Yes, I have seen some big changes but they have all been for the good for the most part. But can all this be done in 30 minutes? We all know the answer is no.

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Holly in Peoria, Illinois

55 months ago

As I said, if anyone here thinks they're smart, then tell us how much of population sees a dentist regularly and how many don't because of money. I know how things are in my area regarding dental care but that doesn't matter because I'm only one person in one area, just like you are one person in one area. How things are in Oceanside, CA is different than they are in a dying manufacturing town like Peoria, IL. I'm not looking at things on a micro-level but on a national level. If you people can't put together that when America loses millions of good paying jobs and gains only low-paying service jobs and that that affects access to dental care then I don't know what to say. If you don't acknowledge that there are millions of people, including children, who go without dental care except in emergency situations because they lack money/insurance then you're going through life with blinders on and who am I to try to educate you? Yes, I do know there are people who don't like the dentist. I'm not talking about those people. I never said anything about those people. Don't change the subject. And I'm going to say it again. If everyone who wanted to go to the dentist could, there wouldn't be a saturation in DH field.

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nojobs in Mississauga, Ontario

55 months ago

Holly in Peoria, Illinois said: As I said, if anyone here thinks they're smart, then tell us how much of population sees a dentist regularly and how many don't because of money. I know how things are in my area regarding dental care but that doesn't matter because I'm only one person in one area, just like you are one person in one area. How things are in Oceanside, CA is different than they are in a dying manufacturing town like Peoria, IL. I'm not looking at things on a micro-level but on a national level. If you people can't put together that when America loses millions of good paying jobs and gains only low-paying service jobs and that that affects access to dental care then I don't know what to say. If you don't acknowledge that there are millions of people, including children, who go without dental care except in emergency situations because they lack money/insurance then you're going through life with blinders on and who am I to try to educate you? Yes, I do know there are people who don't like the dentist. I'm not talking about those people. I never said anything about those people. Don't change the subject. And I'm going to say it again. If everyone who wanted to go to the dentist could, there wouldn't be a saturation in DH field.

Well, I think I am smart. But are you? No one is interested in changing the subject, however, if you paid attention to where some of the posters are from and
exactly what the situation is here in Canada, specifically in Ontario then you would see that we are talking about the overabundance of private hygiene schools
here and how it affects the country of Canada.

With that said, yes the American economy is in a dire slump. But if you are smart you would research each state and how many more hygiene schools have opened in the last 10 years, and then ask yourself...Why? PS, please dont change the subject.

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Jessica love in Los Angeles, California

55 months ago

Dear, Flossboss. I know you are in CA and I think I did speak with you once a long time ago...How is the market in SD area? Is it any better? Are you still seeing that it is flooded from too many DH being in the field? I was hoping DH would turn around and one day I could consider doing it. I choose to do nursing b/c I wanted opportunities and benefits. But as I go thru nursing school I sometimes wish i choose to go to DH school...I have a passion for DH and sometimes wonder if being poor and not having enough days/ hours as a DH is more worth it and being just "satisfied" with a nursing career... I hope I choose the right career, it could be all the stressors from school that are making me question my choice right now...any input you have would be great!

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hudsonp in Charleston, South Carolina

55 months ago

Jessica love in Los Angeles, California said: Dear, Flossboss. I know you are in CA and I think I did speak with you once a long time ago...How is the market in SD area? Is it any better? Are you still seeing that it is flooded from too many DH being in the field? I was hoping DH would turn around and one day I could consider doing it. I choose to do nursing b/c I wanted opportunities and benefits. But as I go thru nursing school I sometimes wish i choose to go to DH school...I have a passion for DH and sometimes wonder if being poor and not having enough days/ hours as a DH is more worth it and being just "satisfied" with a nursing career... I hope I choose the right career, it could be all the stressors from school that are making me question my choice right now...any input you have would be great!

You've made the right choice going into nursing. I'm sure you are just stressed from being in school but in the long run it will be worth it. DH is not a good career to get into. My friend that's a former DH went back for nursing & said it's the best thing she's ever done. I'm going back to school for medical coding because I'm tired of being abused as a DH. It's not what people think it is. It's the hardest job ever & I've never been mistreated so much on a job as I've been as a DH. Hang in there with nursing, you won't regret it! These posts from other DH's are on here for a reason so believe me, you've made the right choice!

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Jessica love in Los Angeles, California

55 months ago

hudsonp in Charleston, South Carolina said: You've made the right choice going into nursing. I'm sure you are just stressed from being in school but in the long run it will be worth it. DH is not a good career to get into. My friend that's a former DH went back for nursing & said it's the best thing she's ever done. I'm going back to school for medical coding because I'm tired of being abused as a DH. It's not what people think it is. It's the hardest job ever & I've never been mistreated so much on a job as I've been as a DH. Hang in there with nursing, you won't regret it! These posts from other DH's are on here for a reason so believe me, you've made the right choice!

I hope soo! the back aching is starting to come from standing for 8 hours straight! What drove you to become a DH, if I may ask...I was pretty passionate about DH up until I researched it and people told me it was flooded. I thought that one that I could maybe go and pursue a career in DH later on especially since it is much more expensive than nursing (15k versus maybe 2-3k or 5k max for nursing?) I was just really excited about DH and still kind of dream about cleaning teeth rather than helping sick people. Do you know anything about the CA job market at all? At first I thought that other states were more affected by the poor DH market and CA seemed to be a little better off. Not sure about how it is now.

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Suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana

55 months ago

flossboss1@msn.com in Oceanside, California said: Some new grads (not all!) mostly simply "scrape teeth" and collect a paycheck. They do not view hygiene as a profession, just a way to make money until they have babies and stay at home. This is how benefits disappeared. Dentists used to appreciate full time hygienists. At least way back when I started out. Too make part timers with husbands didn't want or need benefits so gradually they all but disappeared for hygienists.

I am happy and satisfied where I work but can see where the future is going for dental hygiene and it is very disheartening to watch the deterioration of a once wonderful profession. The 30 minute "prophy" appointment will be the norm with assisted and maximized hygiene cutting down the number of hygiene jobs even more. One hygienists can do the work of two with assisted hygiene and the dentist makes more profit. The hygienist will not make twice the money but will do twice the physical work.

Just as an overview, when I first started working in 1969, I worked on a 50% commission and the dentists were happy to do so. You didn't get paid when patients were a no show. Believe me, you marketed yourself to the patients in order to keep your chair full.
As more duties were put onto the hygienist, the hour appointment became the standard. The pano machine and the intraoral camera chenged the protocol as well. Nitrous and anesthesia also added to our duties. Then came hygiene and caries treatment planning and selling products. Now we make our own appointments as well. Yes, I have seen some big changes but they have all been for the good for the most part. But can all this be done in 30 minutes? We all know the answer is no.


You are so RIGHT! But, my last 5 or 6 positions over the past 4 years have included all the details you mention and I have been expected to complete them in 30 min. Ridiculous! Talk about stress and burn-out... I have been laid off from all of them.

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flossboss1@msn.com in Oceanside, California

55 months ago

Jessica love in Los Angeles, California said: Dear, Flossboss. I know you are in CA and I think I did speak with you once a long time ago...How is the market in SD area? Is it any better? Are you still seeing that it is flooded from too many DH being in the field? I was hoping DH would turn around and one day I could consider doing it.

No, the situation in southern California has not changed and the dental hygiene profession is oversaturated with recent graduates.

The things that I love best about being a dental hygienist have nothing to do with the "scraping of teeth". I love educating patients one on one and seeing the beneficial changes that happen through my efforts. Helping people is what both hygienists and nurses do on a regular basis. I feel that I could easily be happy with nursing or teaching if I hadn't become a hygienist.

You have made the correct choice. Make sure that you get your batchelor's degree in nursing and work first hand with patients in a private practice setting before getting into supervisory positions in a hospital. It sounds as if you would like direct patient care better than hospital care. Find out whether you like working with children and/or seniors. Maybe you will find your passion in hospice care or burn care units. Go where your heart takes you. Those benefits and retirement packages will provide for you after your working years have ended and you will not end up like a lot of hygienists with no way to retire until social security and Medicare kick in at age 65 plus.

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Suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana

55 months ago

con't
You spend the first 20 min of the appt taking x-rays, selling, working so fast your hands are shaking, running in and out of the room to do 15 different things, taking pics with intraoral and not even having time to show the patient, using diagnodent, charting on computer, then spend 5 min using a Cavitron, polish in a couple of min and run out to go to another op, clean it from the last person and do it all over again for 15/16 times in a day plus laundry, sterilization, order your supplies, work on recall, call pt's after STM, how much more? Oh and don't forget the many times a day an asst asks for help or you "work in" another pt. This is not a career, this is slave labor. People holler we make too much money and only have a 2 year degree? Those who make those comments have no clue what we do or what we put up with. Pt's leave practices like this. They are not totally ignorant. This contributes to less need for us. Too many dr's don't care about the long term growth of the practice, they want the fast money.

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flossboss1@msn.com in Oceanside, California

55 months ago

Jessica love in Los Angeles, California said: I was just really excited about DH and still kind of dream about cleaning teeth rather than helping sick people.

Jessica, you do realize that over 80% of the population has peridontal disease and that makes them unhealthy? I cannot imagine that anyone could "dream" about cleaning teeth! It is not as easy as it seems. Especially when a lot of dentists do not give their hygienists enough time to do a professional and complete job. You not only have to "clean" their teeth, but you have to do a complete health history to be sure that you can actually touch them that day, you have to assess their current periodontal health (probe) as well as tell them your findings in a way that won't judge them, you have to look for oral cancer and other areas of concern, you have to take intraoral photos of suspect areas of decay and other dental concerns as well as tell (and show)the patient, you have to motivate them to take better care of their teeth as well as show them how to do it, and of course get every bit of tartar and plaque off their teeth in the time remaining. If they need periodontal treatment, you have to educate them to accept this treatment in your office or manage to get your employer to refer them to a periodonist. Working a full five days a week would probably burn out most hygienists physically and emotionally fairly quickly. It is almost impossible to find these days. Dentists hire hygienists part time so that they will not have to pay for any benefits or retirement.
You will need to pay for your own malpractice insurance because the insurance that the dentist has for his practice will turn around and sue you if they think they can blame you for what went wrong.

By the way, you will be dealing with "sick" people all the time in dental hygiene. Most older patients are on heart, diabetes, blood pressue and other medications and have health issues you will need to know about.

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flossboss1@msn.com in Oceanside, California

55 months ago

Holly in Peoria, Illinois said: As I said, if anyone here thinks they're smart, then tell us how much of population sees a dentist regularly and how many don't because of money.

The American Dental Association/Oral B/Crest did a national survey in October of 2008.
This survey is online on the ADA website where I found it within a few minutes.
Remember these survey results were published in 2008.

54% of Americans went to the dentist at least 2 times in the last 12 months.
20% saw a dentist at least one time in the last 12 months.
25% did not see a dentist at all in the last 12 months.
52% of lower income Americans saw a dentist in the last 12 months.

60% of those who didn't visit a dentist said that cost was a factor.
However, 13% of those WITH DENTAL INSURANCE still didn't go to the dentist.
Of those who didn't see a dentist, 19% said that it wasn't a priority.
33% had other, more important health issues to deal with.

37% of Americans surveyed DID NOT know that poor oral health is associated with
stroke, diabetes and heart disease.

These statistics can be improved with BETTER EDUCATION of patients by dental hygienists.

I had a patient recently who asked about getting free dental care for her illegal alien caregiver's 6 year old daughter. I googled free dental (as well as medical) care and within a few minutes printed up a 2 page list of free dental and medical care clinics for free or low cost care. These are all within 20 miles of my office here in Carlsbad, California. I give out the list to people who request it. These clinics are either State or Federally funded at taxpayer expense. There ARE options available (including dental and dental hygiene schools who need patients) for people who use cost as an excuse to not going to the dentist. I've found that a lot of people are just plain embarassed at waiting so long and also that fear (of various things) is a major factor in people not getting the care that they need.

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waterbug100 in Courtenay, British Columbia

55 months ago

To Holly...I absolutely agree! Thank you for your post - I've believed this to be true for a very long time.

If EVERYONE could access a dentist, we WOULLD ALL BE WORKING - more than we wanted. There are far more people without dental plans that simply cannot afford to see a DDS, except for emergency treatment only, than there are people with dental plans. Rent, mortgages, food and bills take priority over dental care any day, but especially in this economy.

I think working in private practice allows us to lose touch with the reality of the majority of the population. We forget that we're seeing only a very small, privileged group of people. As you stated, people who have lost high paying jobs and are now working low paying, part time jobs don't have plans. Many people work two or more part time jobs just to make ends meet.

Plus..dental plans are at this point in time, changing to include less coverage for fewer procedures, or are being eliminated entirely.

Most DDS/DH are snobs without realizing they are. (I realize I'm making myself hugely popular by stating that!!)

Dentistry has to change, soon, as dental plans will become a priviledge for even fewer people. Unless a universal dental plan is accepted and I can't see happening anytime soon, (in Canada anyway), I believe we will see even fewer people as plans cover less. DDS are too much invested in the bottom line - $$ to become part of a universal plan. And they also don't see what's happening. Their population base is shrinking, and will continue to do so for a long time to come.

Who knows, this crisis dental, may, in the end benefit more people if it changes with the reality of today's economic situation. But, as it stands now, even fewer people will have acess to dentistry.

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waterbug100 in Courtenay, British Columbia

55 months ago

^FlossBoss...statistics can and are skewed to meet specific needs. You know that.

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waterbug100 in Courtenay, British Columbia

55 months ago

To all who've reacted negatively to Holly...I believe what she's describing is simply capitalism, and it's inevitable progress.

Really, have a long hard think about the larger picture. Capitalism is a pyramid scheme, and in the end only one person wins. Fewer people will have more, and until recently, most of us had it very good - benefits of free enterprise.

Regardless of the economy slowly bettering itself, it will never be what it was. Underneath the obvious, the capitalistic rules are, fewer will have more and more and that continues regardless of our everyday lives. We will see the slow disappearance of middle class and a larger discrepancy between the very rich and very poor.

Dentistry/DH were part of the economic bubble as were all professions/jobs. The trajectory had to change, and it did. Unfortunately for us, as a very privileged high paying profession, we are not going to recover. DH is changed for good. And that is absolutely due to economics. Bottom line - DDS wanted more money for less, and here we are.

And I agree with her in that more people are under serviced by dentistry than we want to believe.

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flossboss1@msn.com in Oceanside, California

55 months ago

We were asked for statistics and I gave out some fairly current ones.
I have worked for 42 years in private practice but do not consider myself to be
out of touch with the majority of the population. There will always be people who do not have insurance or who would rather take a trip to Hawaii than pay for dental services.
Maybe Canada does not have free dental clinics paid for by taxpayers but California has.
How would you like dentistry to change in order to treat more patients who cannot or will not pay for services?

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flossboss1@msn.com in Oceanside, California

55 months ago

waterbug100 in Courtenay, British Columbia said: To all who've reacted negatively to Holly...I believe what she's describing is simply capitalism, and it's inevitable progress."

To waterbug100/Holly

Capitalism creates jobs. Gaining wealth by employing others creates more and more jobs for the middle and lower socio-economic classes. Socialism doesn't work. Too many people will just sit around and collect freebies if they can get them. How many of us will continue to work to support those who'd rather not? I am not talking about those who are truly in need of help either. Almost everyone understands that there will be people who really cannot work and need help.
The United States is not perfect but it works better than most other countries even with its capitalism.

Your "agreement" with her about the underserved gives less credence than the statistics I provided. Where do you get your information from, other than your own belief? By the way, I too, was surprised at some of the statistics.

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rdh4 in Victoria, British Columbia

55 months ago

Hi Waterbug:
You are RIGHT ON! I couldn't agree with you more with regards to DH/DDS being snobs. They are, and it's terrible. People with insurance are treated very differently than those who don't have coverage; eyes roll among the staff when those with BC Dental(minimal insurance) come in. A very bad attitude.
My job is ridiculous. Our patients are over-treated. Many do not need to see the dentist twice a year. Once a year would be sufficient for the vast majority of our clients. We over-scale, over-polish, and over-fluoridate, but, one has to do what one is told. Otherwise, one's job is in jeopardy.
Our skills as hygienists are a valuable resource, but are under-utilized. Just think of what could be done for those who truly need dental care and cannot afford it, if only dental care were publicly funded, not a bunch privately-owned businesses. But dentistry has become a big money-maker over the last 60 years or so, so the thing to do is to jump onto that bandwagon and squeeze as much money out of those insurance companies! (Said with more than just a touch of sarcasm.)
I am truly disappointed with this industry, and at times, ashamed. Care doesn't seem to be the priority here; filling up the schedule and double-booking the DDS seems to be more important than anything else.
I envy your situation, Waterbug, for being able to get out of this grind and to work in the public sector. What we do in private practice is not health promotion, but wealth promotion for the business owner. Right now it's an elitist service. Something has got to change.

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hudsonp in Charleston, South Carolina

55 months ago

Jessica love in Los Angeles, California said: I hope soo! the back aching is starting to come from standing for 8 hours straight! What drove you to become a DH, if I may ask...I was pretty passionate about DH up until I researched it and people told me it was flooded. I thought that one that I could maybe go and pursue a career in DH later on especially since it is much more expensive than nursing (15k versus maybe 2-3k or 5k max for nursing?) I was just really excited about DH and still kind of dream about cleaning teeth rather than helping sick people. Do you know anything about the CA job market at all? At first I thought that other states were more affected by the poor DH market and CA seemed to be a little better off. Not sure about how it is now.

I was a dental assistant for 5 yrs. & liked it & got divorced which prompted me to go to school for dental hygiene against other hygienists telling me to go into something else but I thought I would really like it.Even in hygiene school,I realized I made a mistake but didn't want to quit in the middle since it took me over 4 yrs. to do my prereq classes while working.I've had the worst experiences as a DH that any other job. I know you're tired of standing for 8 hrs. but as a hygienist you will have carpal tunnel, neck & back issues. I thought I'd really like hygiene but I wished I'd listened to what other's were telling me about going into something else. I hate to be negative about it but it's one of those things that you don't know till you try it but I don't know one single hygienist & I know a lot, that likes being a hygienist. Your nursing degree will be far more beneficial & worth while than hygiene ever will. I thought I could educate & motivate people but it's really not like that in reality. I was so disappointed & don't see myself staying in this field,most hygienists I know have gone into other careers. I wished I had gone into nursing. Hang in there, it will be worth it, trust me!

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Jamie in Sacramento, California

55 months ago

hudsonp in Charleston, South Carolina said: I was a dental assistant for 5 yrs. & liked it & got divorced which prompted me to go to school for dental hygiene against other hygienists telling me to go into something else but I thought I would really like it.Even in hygiene school,I realized I made a mistake but didn't want to quit in the middle since it took me over 4 yrs. to do my prereq classes while working.I've had the worst experiences as a DH that any other job. I know you're tired of standing for 8 hrs. but as a hygienist you will have carpal tunnel, neck & back issues. I thought I'd really like hygiene but I wished I'd listened to what other's were telling me about going into something else. I hate to be negative about it but it's one of those things that you don't know till you try it but I don't know one single hygienist & I know a lot, that likes being a hygienist. Your nursing degree will be far more beneficial & worth while than hygiene ever will. I thought I could educate & motivate people but it's really not like that in reality. I was so disappointed & don't see myself staying in this field,most hygienists I know have gone into other careers. I wished I had gone into nursing. Hang in there, it will be worth it, trust me!

WOW! this is really starting to scare me and second guess my career in Hygiene. I have only 2 classes left for my pre-requisites and I can apply to the hygiene program. Now that I've started to see everyones responses, I'm a little nervous. I do know that everyone has different experiences and I can't expect to have the same as most of you. I still have a chance to go into something else when my pre-reqs are finished because I haven't started the hygiene program yet. (obviously) I've considered nursing however, I don't know anything about nursing! Does anyone have any advice???? legit positive advice? please!

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waterbug100 in Courtenay, British Columbia

55 months ago

Hi rdh4,

I agree with you absolutely. Majority of clients in private practice are way over treated. And it's wrong. I know I'm a socialist at heart, and believe that over treating a portion of the population that doesn't need it, and under treating the rest is wrong, but it's more than that. What we do in private practice is corrupt, really. The reason the clients are over treated is because they have dental plans, and business dictates that we milk those dental plans for all they're worth. What many people don't realize, is that indirectly, WE pay for that. Every time we bill for a service a patient doesn't need, insurance companies loose money, and hike up their rates. It's a spiral that will collapse..a kind of a bubble, which will burst. It's a game that has an end.

I am lucky rdh4, really lucky. I work for a population that is grossly under serviced even though there are a huge number of DDS within the area. (I do know that eye rolling that goes on when a member of this population enters a private practice!) And because I work within a specific area, I have the ability to actually practice hygiene and work out in the community, implementing and practicing preventative programs. UNLIKE our gov't public hygienists. I don't know how many people realize that community health hygienists are restricted to TALKING only. They cannot actually do any hygiene. What a colossal waste of public money and hygienists usage.

The present situation is sickening, but I believe it will change because it has to. We can't have our associations (don't get me started) pretending things are the same as they ever were, we can't be restricted by the people who hire us, we need to work with other health providers...and god only knows what else has to change. But it does if we as RDH want to survive.

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30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta

55 months ago

Jamie in Sacramento, California said: WOW! this is really starting to scare me and second guess my career in Hygiene. I have only 2 classes left for my pre-requisites and I can apply to the hygiene program. Now that I've started to see everyones responses, I'm a little nervous. I do know that everyone has different experiences and I can't expect to have the same as most of you. I still have a chance to go into something else when my pre-reqs are finished because I haven't started the hygiene program yet. (obviously) I've considered nursing however, I don't know anything about nursing! Does anyone have any advice???? legit positive advice? please!

Jamie,
If you are able to do some job shadowing within a nursing setting and within a dental hygiene setting, that may be a good place to start. I would also google job opportunities within nursing and within DH in your state to see what the job market is like and what the possible opportunities are for each profession. I would also ask questions within the INDEED.COM site under nursing jobs.....
Ask around with young grads in both programs as to the concerns they each have about their profession. Look at the numerous opportunities within different settings of each job.

Personally, I would consider other health professions with stronger associations, unions, and varied job opportunities. I have loved DH my whole career, have a great job, super DDS that I work with, but am very concerned about all these DH programs that have set up all over the place in the USA and Canada. It's literally changed the market...decreased the standards and in many ways, decreased the security. Look into nursing, nutrition, sonography, lab tech, respiratory tech, xray tech, dentistry, medicine....if you have the marks, search out other professions.

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Jamie in Sacramento, California

55 months ago

oh i forgot to mention, I'm an RDA. I have worked in the field for 2 years as an assistant and wanted to pursue Hygiene. I'm not working as an assistant now. I used to consider x-ray technician but not anymore. Once of my big concerns is finding a job once I graduate! Listen to how silly I sound though :) I haven't even been accepted into the program! These are things to think about. As you mentioned about asking other nurses, I definitely have. The funny thing about that is they say the same thing others have said to me about hygiene. They say NO don't do nursing..I'm in a rough spot because I'm only 23 and I'm still young but I want a good career where I can take care of my self. Am I asking too much?? I have no kids, I'm single, and I'm really smart. I've been told so many times that hygiene is a great career for young women (or any women for that matter) because it's flexible, you can make great money, and your more independent with your patients...Should I stick with it? Is this normal to be so confused?

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waterbug100 in Courtenay, British Columbia

55 months ago

FlossBoss...capitalism works to a certain point, after which only the greedy and ruthless benefit. You HAVE to include some socialism in the equation.

Today, capitalism DOES NOT create jobs. Really, you must know how many jobs are outsourced because of corporation boards that have nothing to do with the peons that actually do the work and are ONLY concerned with profit margins. How many corporations own health care facilities but have no knowledge nor care to have any knowledge of what they 'own', but only are concerned with the bottom line. I've read many posts here about just that. We're starting to see them in Canada - especially in the elder care homes. Corporations (mostly US) buy out almost bankrupt companies, fire all the staff, and rehire them for a significant cut in pay and fewer, if any benefits. Everyone loses BUT the corporation. How is that working for the majority of us? Please enlighten me.

Socialism has a bad connotation, and your's is a stereotypical response. Socialism is a kindness, not an easy ride. I don't think there are very many poor people who want to be poor, and charity cases. We've become a ruthless, uncaring, self centered, selfish world. The only reason we live the lifestyle we do is by exploiting others. How is that ok? Honestly, don't get me started. I could go on for days. It is not a great world out there, we should not be proud of what we've become. I think the 'crash' was good in that we saw what our priorities have become, and the part we all played in it.

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hudsonp in Charleston, South Carolina

55 months ago

Jamie in Sacramento, California said: oh i forgot to mention, I'm an RDA. I have worked in the field for 2 years as an assistant and wanted to pursue Hygiene. I'm not working as an assistant now. I used to consider x-ray technician but not anymore. Once of my big concerns is finding a job once I graduate! Listen to how silly I sound though :) I haven't even been accepted into the program! These are things to think about. As you mentioned about asking other nurses, I definitely have. The funny thing about that is they say the same thing others have said to me about hygiene. They say NO don't do nursing..I'm in a rough spot because I'm only 23 and I'm still young but I want a good career where I can take care of my self. Am I asking too much?? I have no kids, I'm single, and I'm really smart. I've been told so many times that hygiene is a great career for young women (or any women for that matter) because it's flexible, you can make great money, and your more independent with your patients...Should I stick with it? Is this normal to be so confused?

Jamie, it is very normal to be confused. You are planning your future. We've all been there & Iam still confused myself on taking a chance going into medical coding & getting out of dentistry after being in it for 17 yrs. I'm just burned out & disappointed with the profession. You have to remember that as a DH you will be working for a dentist that has a private office so you are not going to have "freedom" & be prepared to work in a stressful environment because it's all about production & job security is not good in the dental field, & he will always have "control". You will have to look at benefits which being single, like myself, will be a big factor in your future, which is rare in dentistry to get full benefits. Also, raises are rare also. You have to think of those things & having to take vaca when the dentists does, no sick leave, no health/medical.You need to research those things. I wish I did.GL

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Jamie in Sacramento, California

55 months ago

hudsonp in Charleston, South Carolina said: Jamie, it is very normal to be confused. You are planning your future. We've all been there & Iam still confused myself on taking a chance going into medical coding & getting out of dentistry after being in it for 17 yrs. I'm just burned out & disappointed with the profession. You have to remember that as a DH you will be working for a dentist that has a private office so you are not going to have "freedom" & be prepared to work in a stressful environment because it's all about production & job security is not good in the dental field, & he will always have "control". You will have to look at benefits which being single, like myself, will be a big factor in your future, which is rare in dentistry to get full benefits. Also, raises are rare also. You have to think of those things & having to take vaca when the dentists does, no sick leave, no health/medical.You need to research those things. I wish I did.GL

I really respect and appreciate your opinion because you've been in the field for so long! I trust what you're saying and that's what makes me so nervous. I'm trying to do my best at being positive and hope I chose the right career. I know there are good dentists out there and of course the bad ones. I would love to think that I can make it in this profession and I hope I enjoy it. The scariest thing is, school is so expensive! The school I go to costs almost 60,000 dollars for the hygiene program. I feel like I've invested so much time into this field. I started out going to school for dental assisting and did that for 2 years. Now, I've been in school for 1 year and almost finished with my pre-reqs. I feel so confused and I just want to be happy. I feel good about this career but after reading these forums I am so jaded. What to do? what is GL? By the way, I was thinking about continuing on to be a dentist after working as a hygienist for a while. Do you earn good money as a hygienist?

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hudsonp in Charleston, South Carolina

55 months ago

Jamie in Sacramento, California said: I really respect and appreciate your opinion because you've been in the field for so long! I trust what you're saying and that's what makes me so nervous. I'm trying to do my best at being positive and hope I chose the right career. I know there are good dentists out there and of course the bad ones. I would love to think that I can make it in this profession and I hope I enjoy it. The scariest thing is, school is so expensive! The school I go to costs almost 60,000 dollars for the hygiene program. I feel like I've invested so much time into this field. I started out going to school for dental assisting and did that for 2 years. Now, I've been in school for 1 year and almost finished with my pre-reqs. I feel so confused and I just want to be happy. I feel good about this career but after reading these forums I am so jaded. What to do? what is GL? By the way, I was thinking about continuing on to be a dentist after working as a hygienist for a while. Do you earn good money as a hygienist?

The GL means good luck. I ran out of space, LOL! You do earn good money as a hygienist but money is not everything. Hygienists here make $27-$32 an hr.in SC but no benefits. I work 3 days a week at $27 an hr. I am not happy at my job. I haven't had good experiences as a dental hygienist as I did as a DA. I can only tell you to research it & if possible see if you can shadow a hygienist for a day or even half a day to get an idea. I know school is expensive but you have to go with what you really want to do. My opinion is to not go into dentistry but only you can decide what you think is best for you.You are young still so you can continue schooling if you want to go back for something else. I am 40 & taking a program online for medical coding to get out of hygiene. It won't be as much money but I've been in dentistry long enough to know that I don't want to be a hygienist for the rest of my working yrs. I wish you the best.

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Jamie in Sacramento, California

55 months ago

I hate to keep bothering you with questions but how long have you been a Hygienist? I've talked to some girls who recently graduated and they are making 35 an hour??? We are from California so maybe it's different from state to state and doctor to doctor :)

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hudsonp in Charleston, South Carolina

55 months ago

Jamie in Sacramento, California said: I hate to keep bothering you with questions but how long have you been a Hygienist? I've talked to some girls who recently graduated and they are making 35 an hour??? We are from California so maybe it's different from state to state and doctor to doctor :)

You're not bothering me. I've been a hygienist for almost 8 yrs. The average here for hygienist's salary in SC is $27-$30. I am sure it's more for CA. It is good money but like I said before, you have to look at the whole picture. I was making $18 an hr. at my last job of 6 yrs. doing research at a dental university with full benefits. My friends told me that wouldn't work for that kind of money because it was not enough but I was able to live off that & had the full benefits. I also didn't clean teeth all the time & still got paid even if there were no pts. I stayed there as long as I could because I didn't want to work in private practice but here I am again & been in this office for almost 2 months & hate it. I'm trying to get out but the job market here is pretty bad & don't think I can get my unemployment back either but trying to. Just think things thru before choosing this career. It's not at all like I thought it would be.

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A in London, Ontario

55 months ago

Sandra in Vancouver, British Columbia said: Was at work today and another hygienist came to hand in a resume. After she left, I caught the receptionist and the DAs laughing and talking about how us DHs are finally getting what we deserve, and how they couldn't wait until our wages drop to 20$/h.

Hi Sandra

Is it really that bad in Vancouver if you have six plus years experience. I started working in Vancouver in 2004 and moved back to Ontario 5 yrs ago. I'm considering moving back because there is nothing in the vicinity of my home town. Just looking for some honest feedback. Thank you A

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rainrain in Inglewood, California

55 months ago

I 've been in this office for 6 1/2 years. My pts and coworkers love me. I take pride in being a good hygienist. My work days had been reduced from full time to one and that one day was changed to another day for another hygienist. I am wodnering if there is ANY THING protecting us from this kind of wrongful employment situsations. Does anyone knw how to apply for unemployment?

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Flossboss1@msn.com in Oceanside, California

55 months ago

You apply for unemployment in California at

eapply4ui.edd.ca.gov/

or go to an actual Employment Development office. (It is no longer called "Unemployment Office") You can look this up online. If you get unemployment benefit money, it will piss him off because his % that he pays will go up.

Did you ask your boss why he gave your days to another hygienist?
Did he fire you? What were his actual words? Or did the office manager
do it for him? You may have a legal case against him. There are
employment attorneys who do nothing but sue employers for "wrongful termination". Often they give a half hour free consultation to see if the case is warranted and then work on commission.
Get all your documentation ready BEFORE you see an attorney. If you know any of your patients personally, you might ask them to call and see who they are scheduled with for their next cleaning. Bring proof of how long you worked for your employer and any cards, letters, notes that he (or any of your patients) have ever written praising you. Write down any pay raises (and dates) that he has given you and anything else that will support your assertion that he was happy with your performance in his office. If your ex-boss cannot show that he documented any failure in your job performance and he let you go solely because he could hire someone cheaper, then he may be in trouble. Employers who lay off workers and then immediately put in new workers who do the exact same job for less pay are at risk for being successfully sued. Your boss would have been better off to come to you and tell you that he needed to reduce your pay in order to keep you in his practice if this was his motivation and he can prove that his business was doing poorly.

You must remember that dentists talk among themselves and if you do sue your ex-boss, you run the risk of being "blackballed". I suggest that you only sue him only after you get a new position.

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iluvteeth in Manteca, California

55 months ago

Jamie in Sacramento, California said: I feel so confused and I just want to be happy. I feel good about this career but after reading these forums I am so jaded. What to do? what is GL? By the way, I was thinking about continuing on to be a dentist after working as a hygienist for a while. Do you earn good money as a hygienist?

Hi Jamie,
Im from Northern CA as well, Ive actually interviewed at several offices in Sac. I currently work an hour south of sacramento though.
Your right the pay in Sacramento right now is 280-350 a day. But of course you have to keep in mind is thats usually NO benefits, no sick days/ vacay days/ retirement, med. insurance, anything.
Also jobs are SCARCE, employers are telling me that for every craigslist ad they put out they will get 100 responses. And of course with this flooded market, the employers can demand more work from us, less pay, faster prophys.

Also this new possible job creation of an OPA, oral preventitive assistant really worrie me because if that goes thru, Hygiene is going to be in big trouble because any greedy or crooked dentist is going to have the lesser paid OPA'S do all/most of their cleanings and Hygiene jobs will be lost.

Jamie to be honest, I love parts of my job, I love helping people I truely do care about my patients but the future of our profession looks bleak right now. I would definitely reccommend you go to nursing school, my friends a nurse she loves it! Above all get your bachelors, the future of hygiene and nursing is having a bachelors degree. Also what school are you going to thats charging you 60k year for DH? Let me guess western career college, one of the many high priced spit out graudates every 18 months that got our profession into this mess. If I were you I wouldnt pay 60k a year for hygiene school, if you dont listen to any of our advice at least save yourself the money and go to a junior colleg where your whole program start-finish inc books tools might cost 12k.

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iluvteeth in Manteca, California

55 months ago

Jamie in Sacramento, California said: I feel so confused and I just want to be happy. I feel good about this career but after reading these forums I am so jaded. What to do? what is GL? By the way, I was thinking about continuing on to be a dentist after working as a hygienist for a while. Do you earn good money as a hygienist?

Hi Jamie,
Im from Northern CA as well, Ive actually interviewed at several offices in Sac. I currently work an hour south of sacramento though.
Your right the pay in Sacramento right now is 280-350 a day. But of course you have to keep in mind is thats usually NO benefits, no sick days/ vacay days/ retirement, med. insurance, anything.
Also jobs are SCARCE, employers are telling me that for every craigslist ad they put out they will get 100 responses. And of course with this flooded market, the employers can demand more work from us, less pay, faster prophys.

Also this new possible job creation of an OPA, oral preventitive assistant really worrie me because if that goes thru, Hygiene is going to be in big trouble because any greedy or crooked dentist is going to have the lesser paid OPA'S do all/most of their cleanings and Hygiene jobs will be lost.

Jamie to be honest, I love parts of my job, I love helping people I truely do care about my patients but the future of our profession looks bleak right now. I would definitely reccommend you go to nursing school, my friends a nurse she loves it! Above all get your bachelors, the future of hygiene and nursing is having a bachelors degree. Also what school are you going to thats charging you 60k year for DH? Let me guess western career college, one of the many high priced spit out graudates every 18 months that got our profession into this mess. If I were you I wouldnt pay 60k a year for hygiene school, if you dont listen to any of our advice at least save yourself the money and go to a junior colleg where your whole program start-finish inc books tools might cost 12k.

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iluvteeth in Manteca, California

55 months ago

hudsonp in Charleston, South Carolina said: The GL means good luck. I ran out of space, LOL! You do earn good money as a hygienist but money is not everything. Hygienists here make $27-$32 an hr.in SC but no benefits. I work 3 days a week at $27 an hr. I am not happy at my job. I haven't had good experiences as a dental hygienist as I did as a DA. I can only tell you to research it & if possible see if you can shadow a hygienist for a day or even half a day to get an idea. I know school is expensive but you have to go with what you really want to do. My opinion is to not go into dentistry but only you can decide what you think is best for you.You are young still so you can continue schooling if you want to go back for something else. I am 40 & taking a program online for medical coding to get out of hygiene. It won't be as much money but I've been in dentistry long enough to know that I don't want to be a hygienist for the rest of my working yrs. I wish you the best.

Hudson, just curious what is making you so unhappy in your current position?

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Jamie in Sacramento, California

55 months ago

iluvteeth in Manteca, California said: Hi Jamie,
Im from Northern CA as well, Ive actually interviewed at several offices in Sac. I currently work an hour south of sacramento though.
Your right the pay in Sacramento right now is 280-350 a day. But of course you have to keep in mind is thats usually NO benefits, no sick days/ vacay days/ retirement, med. insurance, anything.
Also jobs are SCARCE, employers are telling me that for every craigslist ad they put out they will get 100 responses. And of course with this flooded market, the employers can demand more work from us, less pay, faster prophys.

Also this new possible job creation of an OPA, oral preventitive assistant really worrie me because if that goes thru, Hygiene is going to be in big trouble because any greedy or crooked dentist is going to have the lesser paid OPA'S do all/most of their cleanings and Hygiene jobs will be lost.

Jamie to be honest, I love parts of my job, I love helping people I truely do care about my patients but the future of our profession looks bleak right now. I would definitely reccommend you go to nursing school, my friends a nurse she loves it! Above all get your bachelors, the future of hygiene and nursing is having a bachelors degree. Also what school are you going to thats charging you 60k year for DH? Let me guess western career college, one of the many high priced spit out graudates every 18 months that got our profession into this mess. If I were you I wouldnt pay 60k a year for hygiene school, if you dont listen to any of our advice at least save yourself the money and go to a junior colleg where your whole program start-finish inc books tools might cost 12k.

You are right! Western Career College! They changed the name though so it's no longer Western, It's Carrington College :) But I do understand what you're saying. This is what scares me! I feel like working my butt off and just getting my bachelors and try to get into Dental School.

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30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta

54 months ago

Jamie in Sacramento, California said: You are right! Western Career College! They changed the name though so it's no longer Western, It's Carrington College :) But I do understand what you're saying. This is what scares me! I feel like working my butt off and just getting my bachelors and try to get into Dental School.

Jamie,
If you have the marks, GO INTO DENTAL SCHOOL. Seriously, get your bachelors and pursue further in your career.

The idea that you can graduate from a 'school' named WCC and then a year or two later, it just changes its' name to CC....good grief! It really 'says something' about the place!

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A in London, Ontario

54 months ago

Trying to stay positive! I was offered a job this week and the debate is should I have taken it. I want to make clear I enjoy my profession and believe I am skilled and have alot to offer. I work one day at the moment and love the office I am in. I have been there for 3 yrs and have been valued and treated professionally the whole time. This new position was for a new office, the dentist offered me 30.00 per hour for hygiene, which at the moment he could not predict the number of hours being it is a new office. The rest of the time I would be doing reception or assisting at the rate of 15.00 per hour. I am not an unreasonable person, so I asked if there was room for compromise, he stated it was a mater of principle. I have been in the dental field for 10 yrs and have been working as a hygienist for 6 yrs. I found this insulting and very disheartening. Its a tough market, but how much are you supose to compromise yourself and your worth for a job. At the moment a new assitant can start off at at least 16.00 in London and a hygienist with my experience varies from 33-35. Since I turned down the job, he had me temp for the day at 32.00 and asked if I would be available in the future for temping as I did such a great job. I wonder why he would be willing to pay me as a temp at $32, but not as a loyal dedicated employee? Anythoughts?

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exp in Exeter, New Hampshire

54 months ago

A in London, Ontario said: Trying to stay positive! I was offered a job this week and the debate is should I have taken it. I want to make clear I enjoy my profession and believe I am skilled and have alot to offer. I work one day at the moment and love the office I am in. I have been there for 3 yrs and have been valued and treated professionally the whole time. This new position was for a new office, the dentist offered me 30.00 per hour for hygiene, which at the moment he could not predict the number of hours being it is a new office. The rest of the time I would be doing reception or assisting at the rate of 15.00 per hour. I am not an unreasonable person, so I asked if there was room for compromise, he stated it was a mater of principle. I have been in the dental field for 10 yrs and have been working as a hygienist for 6 yrs. I found this insulting and very disheartening. Its a tough market, but how much are you supose to compromise yourself and your worth for a job. At the moment a new assitant can start off at at least 16.00 in London and a hygienist with my experience varies from 33-35. Since I turned down the job, he had me temp for the day at 32.00 and asked if I would be available in the future for temping as I did such a great job. I wonder why he would be willing to pay me as a temp at $32, but not as a loyal dedicated employee? Anythoughts?

Because he chooses too and also knows the market...as you have stated ....unfortunately, there are SO MANY RDH'S in the field now that I think he's waiting it out to see who might fill the position at the lowest cost to him, after he's tried out a few and sees what they will do in the least amount of time with skill! And so the mess that the field of RDH's are in continues. I bet, most that are going into are field now are looking at the all mighty dollar...not really researching this field beyond "the postive " responses on here, online articles, TV/news and govt. sources: those sources:MINORIT

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30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta

54 months ago

A in London, Ontario said: Trying to stay positive! I was offered a job this week and the debate is should I have taken it. I want to make clear I enjoy my profession and believe I am skilled and have alot to offer. I work one day at the moment and love the office I am in. I have been there for 3 yrs and have been valued and treated professionally the whole time. This new position was for a new office, the dentist offered me 30.00 per hour for hygiene, which at the moment he could not predict the number of hours being it is a new office. The rest of the time I would be doing reception or assisting at the rate of 15.00 per hour. I am not an unreasonable person, so I asked if there was room for compromise, he stated it was a mater of principle. I have been in the dental field for 10 yrs and have been working as a hygienist for 6 yrs. I found this insulting and very disheartening. Its a tough market, but how much are you supose to compromise yourself and your worth for a job. At the moment a new assitant can start off at at least 16.00 in London and a hygienist with my experience varies from 33-35. Since I turned down the job, he had me temp for the day at 32.00 and asked if I would be available in the future for temping as I did such a great job. I wonder why he would be willing to pay me as a temp at $32, but not as a loyal dedicated employee? Anythoughts?

Yes....EXP is right..."because he can"....there are SO MANY RDHs (especially in Ontario), that DDSs can wait it out for cheap labor. Thanks to 34 schools of DH in Ontario, the market is FLOODED with grads....and alas, they are spilling over to all the provinces and the job market is terrible. There are NO JOBS listed in many of the Journals and newspapers etc...and the ones that are available are now about what a Dental Assistant makes---ridiculous given the responsibility/scope of practice etc....

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Christina in Denver, Colorado

54 months ago

Hi! dont feel bad! The DDS. I work for threaten to cut our pay at every office meeting. The funny thing is that a couple of the RDHs will then quit...so they will then have to get temps to cover hours and that will cost him ALOT more! Plus they have a rep of being Rude and inconsiderate and the work they pile on us is crazy! So most temps leave saying they would never work permanently at our office. Its sorta funny...and sad. Jobs are so hard to find.In a perfect world, We could all quit..form a very large temp agencies divided by regions! haha ok! Im desperate!

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Dorothy in Los Angeles, California

54 months ago

maxine in Flagstaff, Arizona said: I see many distressed postings. Many of you have years of DH experience, have you considered teaching positions in dental hygiene programs. I do know Pacific University in Oregon has been looking for faculty, a DH program in Phoenix,AZ is also advertising for a faculty position. I am on faculty in a BS program, we've had two faculty openings for a couple of years. They will be filled by the end of this academic year. My suggestion is look for dental hygiene teaching jobs, dental hygiene public health jobs, etc. many of these jobs may require you to relocate. Check out USA.jobs.gov Consider looking outside the box of private practice!

What do we hygienists do that only have an AA degree?

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gayle48 in Katy, Texas

54 months ago

About the positions in Dental Hygiene Academia and Public Health. I am in Houston, TX area and some of the positions in the Dental Hygiene programs are volunteer. There is an increasing amount of competition for the paid positions and those of us with family are unable to move to where the current opportunities exist.

I work in public health; the pay is not as good and the work is extremely hard. I see mostly debridements and SRP's all day, which is hard on our hands. The staff trys not to schedule us that way but it happens because that is what they need. A member of our staff is always sick, it seems like one of the hygienists is always calling in sick. Sometimes it's just stress. So just keep that in mind when looking at public health. With the changes in the healthcare laws and policies that is likely to get worse.

Teaching is great, I taught in a AA program as well as at the University but my husband got transerred and I had to move away from that job. Personally I believe all Hygienists should have a Bachelors Degree. I had and AA degree and went back for a BS degree later, it can be done fairly easily, otherwise you are stuck in clinical hygiene.

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Dorothy in Los Angeles, California

54 months ago

FlossBoss in Oceanside, California said: Write letters to the your local newspapers. You will have to give the paper your real name but you can ask to be called anonymous in print. We need to start letting the unsuspecting public know what is happening in dental offices all over the country and in Canada as well. People are paying full price for limited substandard care and being "sold" things they often do not need solely to benefit the dentist.

And this is going to get worse when the Obama healthcare bill is signed because then it will happen in medicine to a much larger degree than in dentistry.
If you haven't read the bill that was passed, there is a section on dental hygienists that will grab your attention. Also mentioned is "healthcare workers" being trained in government owned schools (no mention of GPAs, prereq or any other type of restrictions) with government stipends and paid tuition if priority is given to minority or disadvantaged students. Real MDS will be at a premium in the future and healthcare will be delivered mostly by nurses, PAs and nurse practioners.

What would that section be and what does it address?

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