The profession of Dental Hygiene from beginning to end is an evolving into an overall health care profession not just oral health care. The history of how hygiene evolved and moving forward to where the profession is today. Each state across the United States has different scope of practice and regulations in which a hygienist is permitted to practice.
Dental Hygiene is a profession that has always been umbrellaed under a dentist. Moving through time this is evolving to not always be the case. Some states are even allowing dental hygienist to open their own practices.
Colleges and Universities offering the dental hygiene degree across the United States all follow the same accreditation standards. One state in the United States has laws where that hygienist can only practice in that state, in this state the colleges and universities are not accredited programs. Unfortunately, dental hygiene is not a profession that you can move anywhere you want and practice, you must take more exams in each different state.
Dental Hygiene is a profession that is rapidly on the progression with new career paths for graduates. Dental Hygiene Therapist and Public Health Hygienist are terms that are becoming popular across the United States. Offering more career paths for graduates that is different than just a hygienist
Dental hygiene is now more than oral health care, it is a integrate component of overall health care. Not only is the profession changing, but the technology and the education are evolving to meet the growth of the profession.
Where will dental hygiene be in the next 5-10 years, practicing in hospitals, nursing homes, long term care facilities, cancer centers, pediatric offices or cardiology offices? The opportunities are endless and now is the time for progression.
Year Manuscript Completed
Senior Project Advisor
George Michael Barton
Bachelor of Integrated Studies Degree
Field of Study
Health Care Administration
Nicely, Beth D., "More than Hygiene" (2019). Integrated Studies. 220.