Community oral health practice for the dental hygienist

imed22/ November 21, 2019/ Dental/ 0 comments

This article may confuse you with a textbook for dental hygiene students of the same title. Though the books are on their fourth edition, this article tackles more on how dental hygienists help in improving and maintaining good public dental health awareness. Some people who can afford their own dental consultations search for private practitioners and, for instance, visit for more info about their oral health. But let us admit that some of us really need access to public dental health. Let us discover how community oral health practice for the dental hygienist works and what responsibilities do they hold.


Community oral health practice for the dental hygienist: Its importance

Community health care and public health care are two titles with the same meaning and function. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines public and community health as important fields in healthcare that deal with the welfare of the people and their communities. Community health centers are filled with volunteer or commissioned medical and dental professionals who work hand-in-hand in promoting healthcare and awareness and prevention of diseases to improve their quality of life. The CDC aims to include dental health in the list of health services that health professionals should be able to provide the underprivileged. One of these professionals include dentists and dental hygienists who we normally see in private settings.

Why does the community need dental hygienists and vice versa?

community dental hygienistIn the community, public health authorities are focused on two main goals – health awareness and disease prevention- and these are especially for those under the average socioeconomic status. Health professionals are being hired or designated in different health care centers, local or state, to provide quality care to those who need it but are having difficulty affording it. Having dental practitioners like dental hygienists handle simple dental cases or preventable issues is considered a big help in promoting public dental health care.

On the other hand, dental hygienists benefit a lot from community health because it opens more doors to career growth and opportunities for them. Not only can they be clinicians in the community, they can also have a spot in the administrative services. They can also have a hand in research and development of different health care approaches. Being a professional means a dental hygienist also has the skill and knowledge to also be an educator to aspiring public health dental hygienists. Moreover, dental hygienists can also try their luck in becoming entrepreneurs by having their own employment services that supply health care professionals to different local or state communities everywhere.

Community oral health practice for the dental hygienist

Where do dental hygienists practice in the community?

As mentioned earlier, there are so many job opportunities that are open for dental hygienists in public health. Instead of just seeing them clean and perform dental procedures that prevent diseases, you can see dental hygienists in urban or rural health clinics, schools, public hospitals, and even in prison, providing dental care to both the underprivileged and detainees. They can also serve as part of the administrative team that works in government offices, as a researcher in the field, as an educator in dental hygiene schools, and many more. This is definitely a win-win situation for both the needy and the practitioner. The former gains access to free or affordable health care, and the latter gains experience enough for him to develop and master his field of expertise.

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