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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Hygienists in Wilmington, Delaware

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for dental hygienists in the Wilmington, Delaware area. 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 national trend for dental hygienists, which sees this job pool growing by about 36.1% over the next eight years. Dental hygienists generally clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease.

Dental hygienists earn approximately $34 per hour or $71,680 annually on average in Delaware. Nationally they average about $32 hourly or $66,570 annually. 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, dental nurse, and hygienist.

The Wilmington area is home to 109 schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Wilmington where you can get a degree 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.

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 Wilmington include:

  • Dentist. Diagnose and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums and related oral structures. May treat diseases of nerve, pulp, and other dental tissues affecting vitality of teeth.
  • 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.
  • Orthodontist. Examine, diagnose, and treat dental malocclusions and oral cavity anomalies. Design and fabricate appliances to realign teeth and jaws to produce and maintain normal function and to improve appearance.
  • 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

Community College of Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA

Community College of Philadelphia, 1700 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA 19130-3991. Community College of Philadelphia is a large college located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,293 students. Community College of Philadelphia has an associate's degree program in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist which graduated twenty-four students in 2008.

Delaware Technical and Community College-Stanton-Wilmington - Newark, DE

Delaware Technical and Community College-Stanton-Wilmington, 400 Stanton-Christiana Rd, Newark, DE 19702. Delaware Technical and Community College-Stanton-Wilmington is a medium sized college located in Newark, Delaware. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,460 students. Delaware Technical and Community College-Stanton-Wilmington has an associate's degree program in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist which graduated twenty-four students in 2008.

Harcum College - Bryn Mawr, PA

Harcum College, 750 Montgomery Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-3470. Harcum College is a small college located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 913 students and an admission rate of 29%. Harcum College has an associate's degree program in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist which graduated twenty-four students in 2008.

Manor College - Jenkintown, PA

Manor College, 700 Fox Chase Rd, Jenkintown, PA 19046-3399. Manor College is a small college located in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 958 students and an admission rate of 44%. Manor College has an associate's degree program in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Montgomery County Community College-Central Campus - Blue Bell, PA

Montgomery County Community College-Central Campus, 340 Dekalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422-0796. Montgomery County Community College-Central Campus is a medium sized college located in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,641 students. Montgomery County Community College-Central Campus has an associate's degree program in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist which graduated nineteen students 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: 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

LOCATION INFORMATION: Wilmington, Delaware

Wilmington, Delaware
Wilmington, Delaware photo by Malepheasant

Wilmington is located in New Castle County, Delaware. It has a population of over 72,592, which has shrunk by 0.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Wilmington, 102, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Wilmington are valued at $58,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, twenty-eight new homes were built in Wilmington, down from forty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Wilmington are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is finance and insurance, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.4% of Wilmington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Wilmington is 13.3%, which is greater than Delaware's average of 8.5%.

The percentage of Wilmington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Saint Andrews Church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Beth Shalom Congregation are among the churches located in Wilmington. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Wilmington is home to the Interchange 3 and the The Rocks as well as Rodney Square and Cool Spring Park. Visitors to Wilmington can choose from Howard Johnson Restaurants, Riverview Motel and Hotel Du Pont for temporary stays in the area.