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19 YR Old Male Wanting to become a Dental Hygiensist

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by ruizl45, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. ruizl45

    ruizl45 Junior Member

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    * If this is not the right forum please move *

    Im 19 and was thinking of becoming an RN but did some more research on it and decided that I dont think it would be for me. My mother is a dental hygienist and loves her job and makes great money with at times flexible hours.

    I am thinking of taking the Dental career path and becoming a Dental Hygiensist. I have some questions and would appreciate any opinions/answers from other Dental people besides my mother.

    1) Being a male Dental Hygienist - would that be a problem?
    2) Is getting an Assoc. Degree at a CC (Community College) fine to become a Dental Hygienist or would getting a 4 yr Degree Bachelors?
    3) Does it matter what CC you attend to get your associates? For instance are there certain schools that jobs look at or any CC that offers a degree in Dental Hygiene fine?
    4) Would it be best to try and get on as an assistant part time at a Dentist Office while going to school for my Dental Hygiene Degree?
    5) Is there certain schools (like pure Dental Schools) that would be better than a CC to get your degree from? If so where can I find info on that?

    Also if anyone could provide me some current info/status on this profession. Like the current starting pay, the need of Dental Hygienists, hours, etc.

    ** Also I live in MO and here my mom told that they were trying to pass a law to allow dental assistants clean teeth... any heard of that passing and if its going on in other states as well?
     
  2. I'mFillingFine

    I'mFillingFine Pulptastic
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    Firstly, being a dental hygienist is a wonderful choice!! You get great pay (Usually from $25-40 an hour), have tons of choices for where you work and what kind of office environment you like, it's low-stress work, and you get a lot of autonomy! Also, it's only 2 years of schooling, and you get all that! I try to sell the profession, but most people just don't know a lot about it.

    1. Not at all. Dentists would be thrilled to have a male hygienist, since I imagine some patients might prefer them and there are so few. Also, if you're a good hygienist, dentists will want you....3 heads, 9 arms, whatever ;) (9 arms would be helpful!)

    2,3. Not many 4-year schools that I know of offer the degree anyway; all the hygienists I know got theirs from a CC. The most important thing is to check if the school has a good internship or shadowing program and what their hire rate is after graduation.

    4. Any experience is helpful! Assistants tend to make good money, also...the ones I've heard of are around $15-20/hr

    5. I'm not sure of names, but like I said, shadowing and hire rate. (ANd price!!!) Why don't you call a few dentists in your area and see if they find that some schools produce better-prepared hygienists than others?

    Also, some states allow hygienists to inject local anesthetic and run their own business (not necessarily with a dentist). So you have tons of options!!

    Good luck! :) :thumbup:
     
  3. ruizl45

    ruizl45 Junior Member

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    Thanks for the help. Any more responses would be greatly apprecaited as well.

    Have you heard anything about a law passing that allows assistants to clean teeth? Because that would hurth the hygiene field in pay, right?

    Also is there a shortage in the hygiene field still?

    Is there anyway besides asking if they have a good shadowing/internship program?
     
  4. TimR

    TimR Senior Member
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    the only real downside of being a hygienist would be like the jokes on "meet the parents" about fokker being a male nurse.

    but seriously, being a male hygienist would be good because i think a lot of dentists go crazy working with all girls. so you would be in demand.
     
  5. JMoney

    JMoney Senior Member
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    I've seen where a lot of dentist's wives work in the office, taking care of the management aspect.

    I'm sure they would be more than happy to hire a male dental hygienist seeing how there are tons of stories of the dentist running off with his young hot hygienist... I kid my wife about this all the time.

    I know I'm a meanie :smuggrin:
     
  6. Sprgrover

    Sprgrover Pulped out Moderator
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    There really isn't a forum for your interests, so yo are more than welcome to make yourself comfortable here in amongst the pre/dental students. With that said, I wouldn't have a problem hiring a male hygienist. Hygienists do make good money (I don't have any exact figures) - but something to think about is that you would be working for someone else (i.e. their schedule, their rules, their demands - and for what it is worth I do have a couple of friends that used to by hygienists but went back to dental school for these same reasons) and hygiene programs are becoming very competive. If you are really serious about entering dentistry then I think you should also take a look at going for all-star: a dentist. Just a thought. Either way, I'm sure you'll be happy. Best of luck! :thumbup:
     
  7. VegasBabyVegas

    VegasBabyVegas Senior Member
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    ...I've been in some dental offices where there was so much estrogen flowing around that I actually grew breasts. I think having a male hygenist would be great. TimR, can I borrow your bra? The chain-mail one?
     
  8. ruizl45

    ruizl45 Junior Member

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    Thanks...

    Is this forum more of a forum for people persuing a Dentist degree rather than any other fields in dentistry such as a hygienist?

    Also does anyone know if there are states that allow assistants to clean teeth? Because if there are I would assume those states would pay less for hygienists?

    Does the hygienist field seem safe for some time? And is this a field that you are able to move and always have a job?

    thanks again
     
  9. HuyetKiem

    HuyetKiem Senior Member
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    None of I know of. Some states allow assistants to polish teeth. Why not go for RN ? Many of my male friends are nurses in ER, dialysis center, OR, anesthesiology field making tons of money. Nurse practicioner is also a lucrative field. I believe dental hygiene is a dead end job.
     
  10. ruizl45

    ruizl45 Junior Member

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    When I look at the salray between an RN and dental hygienists the hygienists make a good 5-10 K more a year. And RN's are dealing with constanly circumstances that I dont know if I would be comfortable working in.

    ALso why do you say Dental Hygienist is a dead end job?
     
  11. HuyetKiem

    HuyetKiem Senior Member
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    Your job description and duty would never change from day one till your retirement in the same environment. ;) ;) ;)
     
  12. HuyetKiem

    HuyetKiem Senior Member
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    It is a myth. Don't forget about pension plan, 401k match, 4wks vacation (for newbie), health insurance, sick days .... ect... ect. Job market and benefits of dental hygienist have no match with RN.
     
  13. I'mFillingFine

    I'mFillingFine Pulptastic
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    The RNs I know are always frustrated about some aspect of their hospital or clinic; union grievances, lay-offs, poor nurse managers, etc. etc. And they tend to have to stay in the position longer to get a raise, whereas dentists can decide for themselves what to pay the assistants.

    But there IS a difference between a new RN at a huge hospital and a PA or NP at their own clinic. Nursing in general has a lot of potential for upward mobility, but it takes a while to get there.

    And all the hygienists I know love their job and don't get burnt out since they get to know their patients so well....
     
  14. LABIAL LOVER

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    Thats easy..... You will clean teeth, over and over, for the rest of your life. Whereas a dentist can learn new procedures and have diversity. Also, you will always take orders from the dentist for the rest of your life and you will never be in charge of ANYONE. Furthermore, you can never get promoted or advance your career, that in unless you live close to a dental hygiene school and you can get a position as a professor. In that case, you will work more hours, have more politics, and make less money.

    Dental hygiene is clearly a dead in job anyway you look at it.

    Cleaning teeth, over and over. One of the dentists I shadowed didn't even have a hygenist. He believes that they are not qualified and he cleans his patients teeth. I am sure he makes less money, but that shows you how one dentist feels about the hygiene profession....
     
  15. LABIAL LOVER

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    True but not true. In the beginning a dental hygenist makes more money, that is however assuming that they can gain a full-time job. Many dentists hire several part-time hygenists so they can avoid paying health insurance.

    After 3-5 years a nurse makes substantially more than a hygenist because they can be promoted and take on clinical management positions.

    Downside, nurses have to work crazy shifts and late hours where hygenists rarely work after 5.
     
  16. SMC2UCLA2_

    SMC2UCLA2_ Senior Member
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    What these people call a dead end is a warm welcome to me. You have to realize at some point that repitition in the work place is NOT a bad thing. Put it into perspective. If your job sucks, and its repetitive, and time consuming then yes...you will hate everything you do and you will do it all your life.

    But as a dental hygenist, working between 30-40 hours a week, and having the rest of your time to relax (no work to take home) etc, you can still focus on other ways of producing income or you can sit back and relax. Just depends on who you are.
    Id rather be a hygenist...work 40 hrs a week, and then use another 15-20 hrs a week doing some other form of business or investment than be a nurse and work 40+ hours a week.

    You can work 25 hours a week, take home around 40k a year and then spend the rest of your time buying real estate or whatever. Im just saying, while the profession may be a "dead end" it definately gives you the opportunity and the privelage to be able to step into other niches.
     
  17. LABIAL LOVER

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    NOW THAT IS FUNNY. I am sorry to sink your ship pal, but if you think you can live in the real world and not under mommy and daddy's roof and make $40,000 a year and pay for living expenses and still have enough money to purchase real estate you are crazy.

    40k is $2400 a month. If you dont have a car payment and mortgage and dont need clothing and food, 40k is alot.

    if not, good luck.....................................

    Dentists buy real estate. Dental hygenists do NOT.

    But dont take my word for it, you'll see!
     
  18. HuyetKiem

    HuyetKiem Senior Member
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    It's true. Only in California, NYC and couple more states where hygienist makes that kind of salary. Have you checked the real estate condition in those areas lately ?
     
  19. aphistis

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    What's with all the trash-talking against hygienists? More power to you guys if you want to spend half your days scaling & giving OHI, but that's not a very efficient (or lucrative) way to leverage a $200,000 education. Hygienists spend two years of perio exposure, which is a whole lot more than any of us will get in dental school; it's what they're trained to do, and it frees up dentists in the office to perform more demanding (and profitable) procedures.
     
  20. ruizl45

    ruizl45 Junior Member

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    so an RN in 3-4 years would make more than Dental Hygienist? I am not talking about a RN who moves up to a NP I mean stirclty an RN.

    Also an RN though does have to work filthy jobs at times too correct and sometimes may not be able to choose their floor of choice.
     
  21. SMC2UCLA2_

    SMC2UCLA2_ Senior Member
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    I dont think ill be seeing anything your talking about. Im personally going to dental school. Im here to help this guy for his situation and frankly, your generalizations are quite useless.

    Ill start with a real life example: My dad makes 250K+ a year and one of the operators at a power plant he managed started at 40k straight out of high school and topped out at 75k in like 8 years or so. One day, he tells my dad in slurred english." You think your smart, with your PHD. Look at this. Im smarter. I make more money and drive a nicer car." He goes on to show my dad his excel document with all his properties and the monthly income they generate. Here is a man making 1/4th of what my dad makes and living 30 times richer- Sure he made some more sacrifices than my dad, but today, at age 50, he is way richer. Now im not saying anyone can do this. Im just saying if you work hard anything is possible.

    To ruizl45: Hygiene may be what you are looking for. Correct me if im wrong, but i beleive you can get a degree in hygiene in 2 years and all you need is a high school diploma to get into a program. So you can be making around 70k a year if you work full time at a very young age. You have the potential to make around 100k and you have the flexibility to work ~25 hours and use your time in other ways. In life, your job does not need to be your only source of income and as a hygenist if your job is your only source of income, you are still going to make a decent living.

    I promise you there are hygenist out there that are richer than dentists. Not every dentist makes that much money and not every dentist spends their money wisely.
     
  22. SMC2UCLA2_

    SMC2UCLA2_ Senior Member
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    When i did a hospital internship I got to talk to alot of RN and their attitudes were quite varied. First of all, they all worked 12 hour shifts and some of them hated this. Also, alot of them said this department (OR) sucked and they wanted to be in LD (labor and delivery) because they wouldn't have to work as hard, but they said since everyone wants the easy jobs its hard to get them. While i was in LD i found out that one RN switched from OR to here and she said she had to wait 1.5 years to get in here. It seems the job market for RNs is much less promising than hygiene.
     
  23. Hardbody

    Hardbody Senior Member
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  24. LABIAL LOVER

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    Have you guys read this mods old posts? Wow. How did he get to be one with such smart aZZ comments?

    Any ole how, I like how he says, why the trash talking, then proceeds with his own.

    Thats ok in my book!
     
  25. LABIAL LOVER

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    :laugh: I dont give a rats ASZ what your dad does. You make him sound like a real tool.
    A hygenist wont ever make 80k and to spell this out in something you may understand.......

    A POOR PERSON CANNOT BUY REAL ESTATE. DUH, end of discussion.

    You make 40K a year and have a car pmt and house pmt. You wont be able to even buy a house. Much less buy a home and then buy another one to rent.

    My god, think, thats all I ask.
     
  26. LABIAL LOVER

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  27. SMC2UCLA2_

    SMC2UCLA2_ Senior Member
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    At the clinic where I shadowed, the hygienist (if you can spell that thats 1 up) made 70K before bonus. You obviously dont know what you are talking about. Ask some hygienists here what they make. I sure hope a douche bag like you doesn't get into dental school.

    I ask for much less from you. Just READ. Thats all i ask from your ignorant asz. just READ. Do you think you can handle that?

    If you make like 75k a year for 10-20 years and you save up and invest...you may get to a point where you would rather work 25 hours a week and make 40k a year so that you can spend MORE time on your investments. Lots of jobs dont have this flexibility.

    You see...this is a bizzare concept for you, but if your making 40k a year from your salary in only 25 hours, then you have 87 hours a week (168 hrs a week - 25 hrs work-56 hours sleep) to spend on other possibly income generating activities. So you see? You can make 40k from work....and even more on investments.

    Since I know youre going to say it again, let me clarify: For the third time...this would be AFTER...got that...AFTER...you made enough money and youre at a point where you can earn more by working less. I imagine you will never get to this point so don't fret too much about this. Also don't pay attention to anything about compound interest or time value of money. I assure you none of this will ever benefit you.
     
  28. dds2010

    dds2010 Member
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    Is this Mutha F_C_A for realz? Wow! It is amazing how UNeducated some people are!!!!!

    Anyways, I am a dental hygienist making $50/hour working from 8-5. I love doing what I do but one of my goals has always been to become a dentist and I will, therefore, achieve that goal. Dental hygiene is awesome because of the flexible schedule and not having to worry about work when you get home. Even though hygienists do not make as much as dentists, there is always that potential to make more through investments and such. This profession is not very stressful; you see one patient per hour rather than jumping from one room to another to do different procedures on different patients. For people who degrade dental hygienists, please consider other people's priorities. Your priority may be $$$$, but the other person's priority may be less stress :smuggrin:
     
  29. dds2010

    dds2010 Member
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    SMC2UCLA...I like you!!! :D
     
  30. amk2s

    amk2s New Member

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    In Middle Tn. (not the most inflated salary area) a hygienist makes around $60 K a year. That is not terrible. The education takes fron 3-4 years(if you go full-time). 2 of those years are in professional school (like dental school but not as intense). All of this crap about hygienists not being allowed to buy real estate is....... I don't know.......crap. I don't know if you realize it but you do not need to make 6 figures to enjoy the simple pleasures in life like a house or a car. Pay cash for your car, no car payment. Hmmm..... without a car payment, and appropriate money management and budgeting you can still retire on a 5 figure salary.
     
  31. ajeckel

    ajeckel :)
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    I am pre-dental hygiene and 19 also. Many dental schools have dental hygiene divisions that offer a bachelor of science degree. Obviously, community colleges do not offer this.

    Go to http://www.ada.org/prof/ed/programs/search_dahlt_us.asp and find a list of dental hygiene programs in your state.

    Pre-nursing VS Pre-dental hygiene:
    I take almost the same prerequisites as pre-nursing ( RN) ( 64 hrs). So you could very well apply to both dental hygiene and nursing schools, and then decide once you have gotten your acceptance(s). Some schools require interviews, while others do not. Also, you have the option of becoming a professor and teaching at a dental hygiene school, if you have your bachelors.

    I don't know how it is in other states, but I know Kentucky passed a law allowing hygienists to give injections. I hope they don't pass that in Tennessee :eek: ... I'll leave that to dentists ;)
     
  32. ruizl45

    ruizl45 Junior Member

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    Thanks,

    I was palnning on going the CC route b/c it is quicker and cheaper. ALthough now I am reconsidering because CC is about 3 years anways and whats one more year.

    Do you know if you can achieve a higher salary if your bilangual (spanish and english)? For instance in Califronia or some heavy Latino populated area.
     

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