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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Hygienists in Las Vegas, Nevada

If you want to be a dental hygienist, the Las Vegas, Nevada area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 1,380 jobs for dental hygienists in Nevada and this is projected to grow 50% to about 2,070 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for dental hygienists, which sees this job pool growing by about 36.1% over the next eight years. In general, dental hygienists clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease.

The income of a dental hygienist is about $37 hourly or $78,060 yearly on average in Nevada. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $32 hourly or $66,570 annually on average. Dental hygienists earn less than people working in the category of Dental generally in Nevada and less than people in the Dental category nationally. Jobs in this field include: registered dental hygienist , hygienist, and oral hygienist.

There are nineteen schools of higher education in the Las Vegas area, including one within twenty-five miles of Las Vegas where you can get a degree to start your career as a dental hygienist. Dental hygienists usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so 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 Las Vegas 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

College of Southern Nevada - Las Vegas, NV

College of Southern Nevada, 6375 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89146-1164. College of Southern Nevada is a large college located in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 27,035 students. College of Southern Nevada has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist which graduated twenty-four and nine 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

Phone: (702) 486-7044
Website: Board of Dental Examiners

LOCATION INFORMATION: Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada photo by Lasvegaslover

Las Vegas is located in Clark County, Nevada. It has a population of over 558,383, which has grown by 16.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Las Vegas, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Las Vegas are priced at $111,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,085 new homes were constructed in Las Vegas, down from 2,356 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Las Vegas are accommodation and food services, arts, entertainment, and recreation, and health care. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and arts, entertainment, and recreation. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 18.2% of Las Vegas residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Las Vegas is 13.3%, which is greater than Nevada's average of 12.6%.

The percentage of Las Vegas residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 36.2%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Las Vegas is home to the Tule Springs and the Union Pacific Station as well as Jaycee Park and Dexter Park. Shopping centers in the area include Spanish Oaks Shopping Center, Wonderland East Shopping Center and Shadow Hills Shopping Center. Visitors to Las Vegas can choose from Doubletree Club Las Vegas, The Las Vegas Gambler and MGM Grand Hotel Casino-The City of Entertainment - Human Resources for temporary stays in the area.