Champine  defines Dental hygienist as a professional who has been licensed to provide oral health education and clinical services in order to prevent, educate, provide counseling and advice and therapy to support the enhancement of oral health and eliminate oral disease. Attaining this profession entails one attaining a minimum entry requirements, passing a formal education accredited and supervised by the prevailing professional body, pass the examination and assessments, graduate and be issued with a practicing license. Dental hygienists perform functions including dental hygiene care and preventive practices, encouraging oral health, and giving advice on quality health practices, conduct screening and x-rays as well as documentation; all this geared towards minimizing the costly treatment need.
Dental hygiene is the practice and art of discerning, controlling and curing of diseases by specialized hygienists as to enhance individual health. Dental hygiene as a profession focuses on disease prevention and management. Bowen .For prevention, it requires the patient to be active in seeking the health advice form the professional. The dentists and the stakeholders in the entire field are however expected to train or teach their patients in the benefits of checkup every now and then regardless of the fact that they may be sick or not.
Dental Hygienist Career Overview and Requirements
Dental hygiene as a career that not only demands a basic academic qualification and certification but also high standards of professionalism and due care since dentists deal directly on human life and wellbeing, the profession therefore calls for specific requirements to be possessed by those endeavoring to venture in to this field. These qualities include high interest in dental issues and health; clear understanding of the code of ethics, good relation, thinking, and observation and communication skills. Virtues of integrity, patience, physical resilience and empathy are also highly required. Pursuing dental hygiene requires one to have an exhaustive understanding of the medical field and keep a close contact with specialist in the field, practice good hygiene and undertake and conduct extensive research on dental products and devices and remain updated with current trends. It therefore requires an expedient and integrative approach to the profession.
Excellence in the junior schools is also the main quality as consistency and hard work matters most when it comes to human body. It is effective to only allow those students that are bright and intelligent since the disadvantages of doing any medical or dental related courses without higher IQ is its difficulty level. Even so, passion is also required to give one a self-drive to working hard towards graduating and being able to work in future without too much supervision.
Career Motivation and Advantages
Dental career offer a wide range of advantages to those willing to pursue it, some of the driving factors include personal satisfaction where one is able to work for the people and with the people to build a good relationship while fulfilling career goals, for prestige where on attains a high reputation and respect for joining the health care team, universal field of practice where one can work e.g. public hospitals, private organizations and schools. Hygienist has high creativity due to much interaction with specialists. Job flexibility enables dentists to have enough time for heir families and themselves, job security through the ever increasing demand for the services, and the high financial rewards involved (Toit & Jonathan 608). Career motivation majorly includes altruism [need to satisfy the urge of selflessness and to assist the community], for prestige and hefty financial rewards involved in the field. In the current world, dentistry has grown and has been widely embraced due to the advantages it provides enabling a majority of the aging population to still maintain high standards of hygiene and good health, this has been boosted by the regulations which have been put in place to curb rogue dentists and only experienced dentists allowed to practice so as to maintain the goodwill associated with dentistry profession.
Opportunities are also available for practitioners including the high demand for their services which make them universally accepted and sought, and with their wide range of knowledge and experience, they can adapt to different institutions like dental schools, research organizations, and business offices, they also have the opportunity to work with companies dealing with dental related equipments and materials (ADHA, 6)
It is a good way to begin by taking jobs from employers of choice and start working with different people from the same career. Here a freshly graduated individual will be able to gain more knowledge that comes with practicing. Later on the same person can decide to advance and start his own business whether it is a clinic or a dental school or even a hospital to work independently. This are some of the places that a dentist can venture in and still make in life moving through ladder to higher stairs.
Dental profession nevertheless has challenges, including the high financial requirements to join and complete the course, the ever increasing number of dentists which will soon accelerate competition in the sector therefore minimizing the job opportunities available and increasing job insecurity. Dentist-patient conflict existing when patients fail to adhere to the hygiene instructions given makes the dentist feel like the care is not justifiable in the first place. Continued criticism over the quality of care provided by the dentist who prioritize financial gain at the expense of the patients by engaging in misleading advertising and unprofessional code of conduct. Challenges of interpersonal relationship with colleagues whenever they fail in their duties and are called upon to explain them, increasing number of aging population thus changing teeth structure. According to Kettler , the dentist profession is also subject to restrictions which prevent autonomy and personal growth while the government also intensifies its regulations
Dentistry as a profession is a growing field of study which still possesses lots of opportunities to be undertaken. Despite the challenges involved, it proves a profession worth venturing into. With dental health, individuals are exposed to much more related areas of study which improves their skills and competences. Professional code requirements ensure that those going through the system are well verified and accredited to provide quality services. With the ever expanding world population, youth are highly encouraged to pursue dental hygiene profession and attain high standards to guide the increasing aged population. By doing and pursuing this field, it will be easier to master with courses of higher demand like ENT among others. It is therefore the first step in joining the ever rising dental field.