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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Hygienists in Bridgeport, Connecticut

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for dental hygienists in the Bridgeport, Connecticut area. About 3,160 people are currently employed as dental hygienists in Connecticut. By 2016, this is expected to grow 20% to about 3,790 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for dental hygienists are expected to grow by about 36.1%. In general, dental hygienists clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease.

Dental hygienists earn approximately $35 per hour or $74,680 yearly on average in Connecticut. Nationally they average about $32 hourly or $66,570 per year. Incomes for dental hygienists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Dental in Connecticut, and not quite as good as the overall Dental category nationally. Dental hygienists work in a variety of jobs, including: dental nurse, hygienist, and registered dental hygienist .

The Bridgeport area is home to seventy-five schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Bridgeport where you can get a degree as a dental hygienist. Given that the most common education level for dental hygienists is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, you can expect to spend about two years studying to be a dental hygienist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Dental Hygienist

Dental Hygienist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, dental hygienists clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. They also may educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop X-rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.

Dental hygienists furnish clinical services and health education to further optimize and maintain the oral health of patients and the general public. They also clean calcareous deposits and stains from teeth and beneath margins of gums, using dental instruments. Equally important, dental hygienists have to feel and visually examine gums for sores and signs of disease. They are often called upon to record and review patient medical histories. They are expected to examine gums, using probes, to identify periodontal recessed gums and signs of gum disease. Finally, dental hygienists remove excess cement from coronal surfaces of teeth.

Every day, dental hygienists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for dental hygienists to feel lymph nodes under patient's chin to uncover swelling or tenderness that could indicate presence of oral cancer. They are often called upon to maintain patient recall system. They also expose and develop x-ray film. They are sometimes expected to chart conditions of decay and disease for diagnosis and treatment by dentist. Somewhat less frequently, dental hygienists are also expected to conduct dental health clinics for community groups to augment services of dentist.

Dental hygienists sometimes are asked to apply fluorides and other cavity preventing agents to arrest dental decay. They also have to be able to administer local anesthetic agents and make impressions for study casts. And finally, they sometimes have to place and remove rubber dams and temporary restorations.

Like many other jobs, dental hygienists must be reliable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Bridgeport include:

  • Licensed Practical Nurse. Care for ill, injured, or disabled persons in hospitals, nursing homes, and similar institutions. May work under the supervision of a registered nurse. Licensing required.
  • Nuclear Medical Technologist. Prepare, administer, and measure radioactive isotopes in therapeutic, diagnostic, and tracer studies utilizing a variety of radioisotope equipment. Prepare stock solutions of radioactive materials and calculate doses to be administered by radiologists. Subject patients to radiation. Execute blood volume, red cell survival, and fat absorption studies following standard laboratory techniques.
  • Radiation Therapist. Provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards. Duties may include reviewing prescription and diagnosis; acting as liaison with physician and supportive care personnel; preparing equipment, such as immobilization, treatment, and protection devices; and maintaining records, reports, and files. May assist in dosimetry procedures and tumor localization.
  • Radiological Technician. Maintain and use equipment and supplies necessary to demonstrate portions of the human body on x-ray film or fluoroscopic screen for diagnostic purposes.
  • Radiology Technologist. Take x-rays and Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT or CT) scans or administer nonradioactive materials into patient's blood stream for diagnostic purposes. Includes technologists who specialize in other modalities, such as computed tomography, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance.
  • Respiratory Therapist. Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, and operate equipment.
  • Surgical Technician. Assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel. May help set up operating room, prepare and transport patients for surgery, adjust lights and equipment, pass instruments and other supplies to surgeons and surgeon's assistants, hold retractors, and help count sponges, needles, and instruments.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Dental Hygienist Training

University of Bridgeport - Bridgeport, CT

University of Bridgeport, 126 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06604-5620. University of Bridgeport is a medium sized university located in Bridgeport, Connecticut. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,323 students and an admission rate of 62%. University of Bridgeport has associate's degree, bachelor's degree, and master's degree programs in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist which graduated thirty-three, thirty-four, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Briarwood College - Southington, CT

Briarwood College, 2279 Mount Vernon Rd, Southington, CT 06489-1057. Briarwood College is a small college located in Southington, Connecticut. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 715 students. Briarwood College has an associate's degree program in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist.

University of New Haven - West Haven, CT

University of New Haven, 300 Boston Post Road, West Haven, CT 06516. University of New Haven is a medium sized university located in West Haven, Connecticut. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,739 students and an admission rate of 68%. University of New Haven has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist which graduated thirty-four and ten students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Associate Fellow: Your Associate Fellow certificate lets your patients know that you are an experienced, credentialed implant professional.

For more information, see the American Academy of Implant Dentistry website.

Certified Dental Technician: Certification is the process of assessing a dental technician's knowledge and applied skill level necessary to perform the tasks required of a dental technician.

For more information, see the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology website.

LICENSES

Dental Hygienist

Licensing agency: Department of Public Health
Address: Health Care Systems Branch, Practitioner Licensing & Investigations Section, 410 Capitol Avenue, P.O.Box 340308, Hartford, CT 06134-0308

Phone: (860) 509-7603
Website: Department of Public Health Health Care Systems Branch Practitioner Licensing & Investigations Section

School Dental Hygienist-Teacher

Licensing agency: State Department of Education
Address: Division of Teaching & Learning, Bureau of Educator Prep, Cert, Support & Assess, 165 Capitol Avenue, Room 243, P.O. Box 150471, Hartford, CT 06115-0471

Phone: (860) 713-6969
Website: State Department of Education Division of Teaching & Learning Bureau of Educator Prep, Cert, Support & Assess

LOCATION INFORMATION: Bridgeport, Connecticut

Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport, Connecticut photo by Xtremeyanksfan22

Bridgeport is located in Fairfield County, Connecticut. It has a population of over 136,405, which has shrunk by 2.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Bridgeport, 151, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Bridgeport are valued at $110,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, twenty-six new homes were built in Bridgeport, down from forty-one the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Bridgeport are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 12.2% of Bridgeport residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Bridgeport is 12.1%, which is greater than Connecticut's average of 8.3%.

The percentage of Bridgeport residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 70.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Calvary Episcopal Church, Golden Hill United Methodist Church and Good Shepherd Christian Church are among the churches located in Bridgeport. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ.

Bridgeport is home to the North Branch Bridgeport Public Library and the Challenger Learning Center as well as Went Field and Johnson Oak Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lafayette Shopping Plaza Shopping Center, Baldwin Plaza Shopping Center and Bayview Shopping Center.