Word of Mouth
October 14, 2005
Dental Hygienists in great demand

Although they are few here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, dental hygienists are in great demand as they provide dental preventative care to patients. In addition to dental prophylaxis (cleanings), they educate patients on maintaining good oral hygiene, apply fissure sealants and fluoride, take and develop x-rays and take impressions; playing an invaluable role on the dental team.{{more}}

Dental Schools and some community and technical colleges offer the dental hygienist program. Five CXCs, including sciences and mathematics are usually the minimum requirements to qualify. The course is often 2-3 years with graduates receiving an associate degree. Graduates can then work with a dental practitioner, dental specialist, hospital clinic, nursing home or public health clinic. Other career options are teaching hygiene to students, research, education programs, sales representative of dental products or dental office business manager.

A career in dental hygiene offers challenges and rewards, the most significant being the personal satisfaction from working with people and developing trusting relationships. Maintaining creativity and variety in interpersonal and clinical skills can be a challenge but are important to meet the needs of the patients.

A Dental Hygienist takes on significant responsibilities in the delivery of oral health care, and is a valuable member of the dental team. With increased dental awareness, there will be a demand for preventative care. This, along with the shortage of dental hygienists here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, makes the job outlook excellent.