Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Hygienists in Boston, Massachusetts
Many educational and employment opportunities exist for dental hygienists in the Boston, Massachusetts area. There are currently 5,530 jobs for dental hygienists in Massachusetts and this is projected to grow by 21% to 6,680 jobs 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 about $36 hourly or $75,800 annually on average in Massachusetts and about $32 per hour or $66,570 annually on average nationally. Incomes for dental hygienists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Dental in Massachusetts, and not quite as good as the overall Dental category nationally. Jobs in this field include: hygienist, dental nurse, and oral hygienist.
There are five schools within twenty-five miles of Boston where you can study to be a dental hygienist, among 151 schools of higher education total in the Boston area. Dental hygienists usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so 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
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 Boston 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
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences - Boston, MA
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, 179 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115-5896. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is a small college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,903 students and an admission rate of 79%. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has a bachelor's degree and a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist which graduated fifty-one and sixteen students respectively in 2008.
Mount Ida College - Newton, MA
Mount Ida College, 777 Dedham Street, Newton, MA 02459. Mount Ida College is a small college located in Newton, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,460 students and an admission rate of 70%. Mount Ida College has an associate's degree program in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist which graduated eighteen students in 2008.
Quinsigamond Community College - Worcester, MA
Quinsigamond Community College, 670 West Boylston Street, Worcester, MA 01606-2092. Quinsigamond Community College is a medium sized college located in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,227 students. Quinsigamond Community College has an associate's degree program in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.
Northeastern University - Boston, MA
Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115-5000. Northeastern University is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,368 students and an admission rate of 35%. Northeastern University has a bachelor's degree program in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist.
Middlesex Community College - Bedford, MA
Middlesex Community College, Springs Rd, Bedford, MA 01730-9124. Middlesex Community College is a medium sized college located in Bedford, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,511 students. Middlesex Community College has an associate's degree program in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist which graduated thirty-seven students in 2008.
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.
Licensing agency: Board of Registration in Dentistry
Address: 239 Causeway Street, Boston, MA 02114
Phone: (617) 727-9928
Website: Board of Registration in Dentistry
LOCATION INFORMATION: Boston, Massachusetts
Boston is situated in Suffolk County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 609,023, which has grown by 3.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Boston, 136, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Boston are valued at $216,200 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were constructed in Boston, down from forty-eight the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Boston are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 29 minutes. More than 35.6% of Boston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.3%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Boston is 8.2%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.
The percentage of Boston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Brighton Congregational Church, Leslie Lindsay Chapel and Universalist Meeting House are some of the churches located in Boston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Episcopal Church.
Boston is home to the Metropolitan Water Works Pumping Stations and the Mystic Pier 1 as well as Schoolboy Stadium and Liberty Square. Shopping centers in the area include Legion Shopping Center, Longwood Galleria Shopping Center and Neponset Circle Shopping Center. Visitors to Boston can choose from Federalist Restaurant, Eco-Logical Solutions and Omni Parker Hotel for temporary stays in the area.