5 Dental Hygienist Characteristics
- Detail Oriented
- Excellent Communicator
- People Person
Thinking about pursuing a rewarding career that is hands-on and interactive? Working in the dental field is stable work with positive feedback from those who stay in it for the long term. These are five characteristics of dental hygienist which are necessary for anyone considering entering the field.
1. Detailed Oriented
A dental hygienist must be comfortable working with precision as i is essential to be successful in this role. The inside of someone’s mouth is very small, so a small mistake could harm them. A person who is good at working with their hands and can manipulate the dental instruments with accuracy will excel in this position. He or she needs to successfully remove plaque from all areas of the client’s mouth. The dentist who hires their hygienist will be emphasizing this skill as one of the most important attributes.
It’s not a secret that many clients who make their visit to the dental chair are nervous. It’s important to recognize that some patients will be more difficult than others. A patient person is required to meet the needs of everyone they will serve. With a calm demeanor, it’s more likely that feeling will be spread to the client. Patience is one of the characteristics of a dental hygienist that is necessary to have for a successful and long career.
3. Excellent Communicator
A dental hygienist wants to stress the importance of good oral hygiene, yet they don’t want it to sound like a lecture. Instead, they are helping their patients take a proactive role in keeping their teeth and gums healthy. Good communication skills also require the hygienist to be a good listener. They need to listen to the concerns of the patients they see and make necessary recommendations moving forward. It’s a good idea to clearly explain to the client what work needs to be completed before starting.
4. People Person
A dental hygienist has to enjoy working with people. In a typical day, they will encounter people of all different ages and genders. This isn’t a job sitting behind a desk without communicating with anyone. Most of a hygienist’s time will be spent on their feet engaging with clients and staff. Many dental hygienists work in multiple locations, so they must be a team player who works to make the practice better. An extrovert type of personality will serve someone well in this position.
The work of a dental hygienist is physical. An individual needs to be able to be up on their feet all day while performing the highly skilled task of cleaning teeth. A constant, repetitive movement with your hands can drain an individual after an entire day. The good dental hygienist has the stamina to endure long days and weeks while delivering superior client satisfaction. This career rewards demanding work handsomely. According to Forbes, the median salary for a dental hygienist was $70,000 last year.
These are the characteristics of a dental hygienist should possess for a successful career. A day in the life of a hygienist isn’t easy, but it is a rewarding career.