Why I love being a dental hygienist

As dental hygienists and oral health therapists we face a whole variety of situations every day. Most of these will be routine and unsurprising – that’s the nature of what we do – but just occasionally we will be faced with an out-of-the-box challenge.

These challenges may take the form of a previously untried procedure or a piece of equipment new to the market. It could be a tricky situation at work or a patient encounter that has tested your patience or, conversely, warmed your heart and renewed your faith in humanity.

No matter what the subject these are the tales that will inspire us to discover new techniques and empower us to experiment with new solutions to solve old problems. Sometimes it may just be the opportunity to share a scenario with like-minded professionals to find support or comfort in knowing you are not alone. The DHAA are a powerful force in the industry and as a member you can share in that power to help you grow your career.

One such story comes from Tracey Herman (DHAA SA Chair) who renewed a patient’s faith in the dental practice and opened their eyes to the benefits of regular oral examination.

“I am a dental hygienist. I work in private practice in an affluent suburb and one day a middle-aged male patient came to our practice in distress with a ‘broken tooth'” Tracey explains.

This patient had not had a dental examination in well over 10 years and, after inspection, it was discovered that a large piece of mature calculus had broken away from the tongue side of his lower front teeth. Intraoral photographs were taken and the process of plaque and calculus formation, as well as gingivitis and periodontal disease, were explained to the patient.

“Wow, I am definitely coming back every six months from now on!”

After full mouth ultrasonic debridement was carried out and a second appointment was scheduled to assess the periodontal tissues (gum and bone) and remove the remaining calculus deposits.

“When the post-op intraoral photos were shown to the patient they proclaimed: ‘Wow, I am definitely coming back every six months from now on!’

“A wonderful success story and why I love being a dental hygienist!”

This is a perfect example of the kinds of events that happen in practices around Australia – and the world – every day. The DHAA are asking you, the members, to share your experiences with us so that we, in turn, can share them with the wider community to develop our skills and improve the industry in which we work.

Please contact us in confidence via email ([email protected]) or private message the main DHAA Facebook page and share your story.