Dental hygienists must be licensed by the State in which they practice. To qualify for licensure in nearly all States, a candidate must graduate from an accredited dental hygiene school and pass both a written and clinical examination. The American Dental Associations Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations administers the written examination, which is accepted by all States and the District of Columbia. State or regional testing agencies administer the clinical examination. In addition, most States require an examination on the legal aspects of dental burs hygiene practice. Alabama allows candidates to take its examinations if they have been trained through a State-regulated on-the-job program in a dentists office.
In 2004, the Commission on Dental Accreditation accredited 266 programs in dental hygiene. Most dental hygiene programs grant an associate degree, although some also offer a certificate, a bachelors degree, or a masters degree. A minimum of an associate degree or certificate in dental hygiene is generally required for practice in a private dental office. A bachelors or masters degree usually is required for research, teaching, or clinical practice in public or school health programs.
A high school diploma and college entrance test scores are usually required for admission to a dental intraoral camera hygiene program. Also, some dental hygiene programs prefer applicants who have completed at least 1 year of college. Requirements vary from one school to another. Schools offer laboratory, clinical, and classroom instruction in subjects such as anatomy, physiology, chemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, nutrition, radiography, histology (the study of tissue structure), periodontology (the study of gum diseases), pathology, dental materials, clinical dental hygiene, and social and behavioral sciences.
Dental hygienists should work well with others and must have good manual dexterity, because they use dental instruments within a patients mouth, with little room for error. High school students interested in becoming a dental hygienist should take courses in biology, chemistry, and mathematics.
A dentist's job is to help the patients to maintain a healthy mouth & teeth. This requires an examination of the mouth & teeth when there is a problem, & the preparation & execution of plans for the treatment & restoration of teeth. The main work of a dentist's involves treatment of diseased mouths & gums; extraction of teeth that cannot be saved, or might spread an infection to the rest of the mouth; fillings in the treatment of cavities; Surgery of the mouth & jaw; replacement of extracted teeth through surgery or other processes; cleaning of the patient's mouth & teeth; corrective work to align or straighten teeth; dentures i.e. the making & fitting of false teeth & preventive work which involves routine check-ups for both adults & children.
Dental Assistants & Hygienists in addition to assisting the dentist during a variety of procedures such as clean & scale teeth, place temporary fillings, does other specific tasks including taking & developing dental radiography (x-rays), sterilizing instruments & equipment & making impressions of patients' teeth etc.
Dentistry, in current times is offering great career opportunities to the professionals in the field. Dental handpiece problem has become a common problem among people of all sections of the society. With the development of science & technology, the treatment measures have also changed greatly. Today dentists can change a patients' personality by using a wide variety of cosmetic dental procedures. The opening of more specialized subjects like Periodontics (care of gums & diseases that might harm them), oral pathology (diagnosis of diseases that affect the mouth) & orthodontics (straightening & aligning teeth & jaws) have enhanced the scope in this field.