Dental Hygienist 

(Female, Age 23) from Matthews, NC

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 23 who works as a Dental Hygienist in Matthews, NC. We have removed all names and personal information in order to protect privacy. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete one of our job profile surveys so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job Title Dental Hygienist
Salary $48,000
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week 32
Company Size (not answered)
Location Matthews, NC
Years Experience 4 months

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career 0
Education (not answered)
Income Rating 0 / 10
Interest Rating 0 / 10
Work-Life Rating 0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating 0 / 10

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
It is a small business with seven employees. It is a general family dental practice.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
I provide patient centered care from x-rays,cleanings,fluoride applications,periodontal recordings,and most importantly patient education. In between patients my responsibilities are setting and cleaning up my room, running the autoclave, wrapping instruments, sharpening instruments, restocking rooms and answering phone calls.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
401k, 3 weeks paid vacation

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
Yes I have six other coworkers and a different patient each hour. I love interacting with different types of people because it is never boring!

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
It is a small dental office in a three story building with other medical offices. I like working there because the location is very close to my house, but we don’t get good cell phone reception and there is no vending machine in the building.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 1
Benefits: 6
Hours: 4
Co-Workers: 3
Supervisors: 2
Job Title: 5
Level of Responsibility: 7
The Actual Work: 8

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8am Wake up get dressed and go to work. 15 minute drive. Get into the office go to my room and first bring the chair down to patient reach. Turn on X-ray machine and computer. Get bag to cover patient chair and set up tray with cleaning instruments, paste and floss. Get water bottle filled and hook it onto unit.
8am to 9am First patient arrives. He is a 43 year old man and he is due for X-rays. I first converse about the rainy weather with him then put an X-ray barrier on him. The X-rays are digital so we take our 4 bite wings so we can see if there are any areas of decay on the screen. After X-rays I sanitize the X-ray sensor with a wipe and put the patient back so I can look at his oral condition. For every patient use an explorer to detect cavities, a mirror to see, a 13/14 scaler for cleaning the back molars and premolars and a 6/7 scaler for anterior teeth. He had good home care so it didn’t take but about fifteen minutes to scale each tooth surface. I then polished with mint paste and flossed his teeth. Once we are done, I sit him up and I call the dentist through an intercom system. I just press dr 1 and press enter and he comes in as soon as he can. Once he comes in he talks to him and sits him back for the exam. The patient opens and closes a couple of times and then is finished and is sat up. He has no cavities. I give him his goody bag ( toothbrush, floss and toothpaste) and walk him up to the front to check out. I then put his chart in the dentists office. I go back to my room and remove and dispose of the barriers and then spray and wipe down all contaminated areas with cavi wipes. I then reset up for my next patient
9am to 10am This patient was a 52 year old woman and she was not due for X-rays. She had some plaque in between her back teeth, but other than that her cleaning was relatively easy. The dentist came in to do his exam and she had no cavities.same check out clean up and set up process for every patient.
10am to 11am Next patient was a 26 year old boy who was attractive and flirty. He had good home care and we took four bite wing X-rays and completed his exam quickly. The dentist and him talked football and after is exam he had no cavities.
11am to 12pm Next patient was a 75 year old woman who was due or X-rays, but she declined them. She has vertigo so I couldn’t set her back far, so I had to stand up and do her cleaning. She had heavy plaque buildup everywhere which is fairly common for elderly people due to dexterity issues. She takes lots of medications so she had dry mouth. I recommended biotene mouthwash and gave her a sample.

12pm to 1pm Next patient was a 45 year old woman who was 10 minutes late due to traffic. We took a panoramic X-ray first which ones around our head and shows the anatomy of your teeth and jaw. We then proceeded with the cleaning and she had heavy tartar ( hardened plaque) on the lower backs of her front teeth. She complained about her tooth appearance and discussed whitening options with the dentist. She scheduled up front to come back in and have custom whitening trays made
1pm to 2pm Lunch
2pm to 3pm A 55 year old man was my next patient. We took bite wing X-rays and he was what we call a periodontal maintenance patient. He comes in every 3 months instead of every 6 months. I was excited to see him because this was the first patient that I had seen more than once, so I knew more about him. After X-rays I measured his gum pocket depths and he had some deep areas 6+ Mm. You want your pocket depths to be 1-3mm. I had to use a cavitron which is an electric machine that vibrates and uses water to flush out the bacteria in the pockets and then proceeded with regular cleaning procedure. 3 month recalls get a dentist check every other time, so he wasn’t due for an exam.
3pm to 4pm My patient cancelled due to sickness. I restocked my room and made up goody bags for patients.
4pm to 5pm My last patient was 19 years old. He wasn’t due for X-rays. He had a bar on the lower backs of his teeth and it was covered in tartar o I used the cavitron on him too. He had one cavity on a lower right molar and he had to be rescheduled to come back for a filling. After my last patient leaves I lose down shop. I clean up, turn everything off and make sure everything is in place for the next day.
5pm to 6pm Car ride home 20 mins n 5 o clock traffic. Get home and go for a run in the neighborhood.
6pm to 7pm Prepare for dinner- meatloaf, peas and mashed potatoes
7pm to 8pm Watch jeopardy and wheel of fortune
8pm to 9pm Shower, wash and dry hair
9pm to 10pm Lay in bed watching Nick at nite
10pm to 11pm Sleep
11pm to 12am Sleep

Table of Contents

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
I brought in my r??sum?? to their office

What was the application process?
Submitted resume

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
I had one formal interview with the dentist and it was about 30 minutes. He asked me questions about school and patient care. He then asked me to do a working interview for a week, but after the first day was completed he offered me the job.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
He asked me how I handled difficult patients in school, what were my best and worst qualities ect…my boss really I’d more of the talking and I just listened. He likes to talk.

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
Not at first, but it really wasn’t hard to adjust because school prepared me so well.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
No. I basically could ask questions, but I was kind of thrown to the sharks.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes! We had a clinic at school we worked in 3 days a week where we worked on patients without insurance. Our teachers were so hard on us, but it made me stronger and more prepared or my career.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?
I didn’t have one.

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
Do their research. Look on the Internet for the average salary in that field. Don’t give up and go out everyday with resumes in hand and make a good impression. When you actually get a dental hygiene job be a team player, keep a watch on your time, make your patients as comfortable as possible, take every criticism your boss says as constructive criticism and grow, don’t take patient comments such as I hate being here personally because its just their anxiety and have fun!

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
A dental hygienist needs to be able to communicate with all kinds of different people. They need to be personable, pay attention to detail and time, know which tool is designed to clean what tooth, know how to take diagnostic X-rays, know how to find decay and be able to educate the patient on their oral health status.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
Yes. You need to take prerequisites such as anatomy and physiology and do the two year program with the written and clinical exam

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Be patient. You will have a lot of growing to do so just soak it all in and keep striving to improve. Make sure you are always aware of time and be helpful to your coworkers without having to be asked.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
Yes because I love what I do. My job is a Monday through Thursday job and hen I have a family of my own it can work out well.

What are your current career goals?
I really want to stay a hygienist for a while. My job is never boring.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
I love it! I went through a lot of blood,sweat and tears through shoo., but now it was all worth it!

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

Title Length Salary Description
Prior Job 1 Dental hygienist July to current 48000 Dental hygienist –
Prior Job 2 Server 1 year 10000 Served food to customers. Back and front work daily.

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:3.5

GPA School Degree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
3 CPCC Dental Hygiene
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)

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