Do you want to become a Dental Hygienist after completing 12th standard? If yes, this article will be of help to you. In this article, I’ve provided details about Diploma in Dental Hygienist course. After completing this course, one may practice as Dental Hygienist in India. The article covers topics like course details, duration, eligibility criteria, admission process, career prospects and salary details.
Who is a Dental Hygienist? What are his/her tasks? What is it like to become a Dental Hygienist? You will find answers to these questions in the coming paragraphs.
Dental Hygienists are oral healthcare practitioners. They are ancillary dental workers (licensed) capable of performing tasks like prevention and treatment of oral diseases, patient education, scaling, polishing and whitening of teeth.
They are capable of working under the guidance and instructions of a licensed and qualified Dentist. Depending upon the country, they may also work independently.
Here are some common tasks performed by licensed Dental Hygienists –
- Perform patient examination
- Make diagnosis
- Take dental radiographs
- Patient education (providing oral healthcare advice and instructions)
- Scaling and root planing
- Cleaning, Polishing and whitening teeth
- Administer local anaesthesia (usually under supervision of a qualified Dentist)
- Remove plaque
- Apply dental sealants, coatings, fluorides and antibacterial drugs
- Assist Dentists during surgery and patient examination
In short, dental hygienists are capable of making diagnosis, operating dental equipment, assisting dentists, doing tasks like scaling, polishing, whitening and plaque removal, preparing dental ceramics etc. In India, dental hygienists work alongside dentists and dental assistants. In some other countries, they are also capable of carrying out independent practice.
Here are some skills and traits required to thrive in this field –
- Caring attitude towards patients
- Patience (especially while dealing with kids)
- Good communication skills
- Eye for detail
- Stamina and will to work for long hours (depends on schedule)
- Clinical know-how
Let us check out the course details now –
Diploma in Dental Hygienist: Basic Course Details
Course format: It is a Diploma certificate course. On course completion, successful candidates will be awarded a Diploma certificate. Using this qualification, they may practice as Dental Hygienists in India.
Course duration: 2 years.
Eligibility criteria: 10+2 Science stream passed with Physics, Chemistry and Biology subjects (preferred) from a recognized board is the minimum educational qualification required. If minimum aggregate marks criteria exists, it could be between 45-55% aggregate marks in board examination.
Admission process: Depending upon the institute, it could be direct admission process or merit based admission process. When it comes to merit based admission process, marks scored by students in board examination and/or relevant entrance test are taken into consideration. Seats are allotted to deserving candidates on the basis of merit marks scored by them.
Career prospects and job opportunities
These days, people are giving more attention towards oral healthcare. Thanks to our changing lifestyle and food habits, dental problems have been increasing among Indians!
Thanks to this trend, the number of patients approaching dentists have increased. Since dental hygienists directly assist dentists, their demand too has gone up!
Diverse job opportunities exist in front of Dental Hygienists in India. Both Government and private sector jobs are available in front of them.
Dental Hygienists may find work at Government hospitals (dental wards), Private hospitals (dental wards), Government healthcare missions and schemes, Private dental clinics, CHCs (Community Health Centres), Armed Forces and NGOs offering oral healthcare treatment to people.
Under such work setups, they may assist dentists and carry out the tasks mentioned in the article. In short, they may work alongside orthodontics and periodontists.
Apart from that, dental hygienists may also start sales and marketing of dental products and drugs. It is possible to work as a marketer or salesman independently or under a specific company.
Starting salary depends on factors like job location, profile of the employer and employee skills. Depending upon the above mentioned factors, starting salary could be anywhere between 7-10K Rupees per month.