NEW RESTORATIVE DENTISTRY CURRICULUM GIVES DENTAL HYGIENE STUDENTS SOMETHING TO SMILE ABOUT AT APOLLO COLLEGE.
PORTLAND, Ore. – August 28, 2008 -Restorative Dentistry just became legal for Registered Dental Hygienists in Oregon and Apollo College is sinking its teeth into providing the new curriculum to its students – in fact, the school will be one of the first in the state to offer the expanded program.
“With the restorative dentistry emphasis added to their standard dental hygiene training, our students will have a more competitive edge when applying for employment,” says Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, Apollo’s Dental Hygiene Program Director.
In Oregon, dental hygienists may work for public health entities such as Head Start programs, and Alternative Living homes, as well as in private dental practices. Dental hygienists rank among the fastest growing occupations, and job prospects are expected to remain excellent. Employment of dental hygienists is expected to grow 30 percent through 2016, much faster than the average for all occupations (bls.gov/oco/20016.htm).
The demand for dental services will grow because of population growth, older people increasingly retaining more teeth, and a growing focus on preventative dental care. To meet this demand, facilities that provide dental care, particularly dentists’ offices, will increasingly employ dental hygienists – and more hygienists per office – to perform services that have typically been performed by dentists in the past.
Dental hygienists remove soft and hard deposits from teeth, teach patients how to practice good oral hygiene, and provide other preventive dental care. They examine patients’ teeth and gums, recording the presence of diseases or abnormalities.
Flexible scheduling is a distinctive feature of this job. Full-time, part-time, evening, and weekend schedules are widely available. Dentists frequently hire hygienists to work only 2 or 3 days a week, so hygienists may hold jobs in more than one dental office. More than half of all dental hygienists worked part time—less than 35 hours a week. (http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos097.htm)
The Apollo College Dental Hygiene Program prepares graduates to sit for all the regional boards in the US, as well as the National Dental Hygiene Exam (NBDHE). They also can become certified in local anesthesia, administration of nitrous oxide, denture soft relines and restorative dentistry (fillings – amalgam and composite).