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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Hygienists in Dover, Delaware

For those living in the Dover, Delaware area, there are many career and education opportunities for dental hygienists. Currently, 560 people work as dental hygienists in Delaware. This is expected to grow by 25% to 700 people by 2016. 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 about $34 per hour or $71,680 yearly on average in Delaware and about $32 per hour or $66,570 annually on average nationally. Dental hygienists earn less than people working in the category of Dental generally in Delaware and less than people in the Dental category nationally. Jobs in this field include: oral hygienist, hygienist, and dental nurse.

There are seven schools of higher education in the Dover area, including one within twenty-five miles of Dover where you can get a degree to start your career as a dental hygienist. The most common level of education for dental hygienists is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. You can expect to spend about two years training to become a dental hygienist if you already have a high school diploma.


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 Dover 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.
  • 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.


Delaware Technical and Community College-Terry - Dover, DE

Delaware Technical and Community College-Terry, 100 Campus Drive, Dover, DE 19901. Delaware Technical and Community College-Terry is a small college located in Dover, Delaware. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,319 students. Delaware Technical and Community College-Terry has an associate's degree program in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist.


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.


Dental Hygienist

Licensing agency: Board of Dental Examiners
Address: Division of Professional Regulation, Cannon Building, 861 Silver Lake Blvd., STE. 203, Dover, DE 19904-2467

Phone: (302) 744-4533
Website: Board of Dental Examiners Division of Professional Regulation


Dover, Delaware
Dover, Delaware photo by Malepheasant

Dover is situated in Kent County, Delaware. It has a population of over 36,107, which has grown by 12.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Dover, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Dover are priced at $116,700 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, one hundred twenty-nine new homes were built in Dover, down from one hundred eighty-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Dover are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is public administration, educational services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 19 minutes. More than 28.8% of Dover residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Dover is 9.4%, which is greater than Delaware's average of 8.5%. About 13.8% of Dover's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Dover residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 32.1%, is less than both the national and state average. Saint Andrews Lutheran Church, Beth Shalom Congregation and Bethuel Seventh Day Adventist Church are among the churches located in Dover. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Dover is home to the Kent Swim Club and the Transportation Administration Center as well as Eden Hill and Richardson Park. Shopping malls in the area include Blue Hen Mall and Dover Mall. Visitors to Dover can choose from Inn at Meeting House Square, Little Creek Inn and Ramada Inn for temporary stays in the area.