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Is dental hygiene a good career to get into right now?

I’m currently a dental assistant in Oregon and I love my job! But Ive been thinking a lot of my future and decided to go back to school in fall. My biggest concern is that I won’t be able to find a job because there’s too many people becoming hygienist and not a huge demand for them! I’m feeling stuck and I don’t know if I should go for it and hope for the best or pick a different career!? Any feedback will help! Thanks 🙂

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1 Answer

Hello fellow Oregonian! I think it’s great that you are looking to expand your career in dentistry! You are correct that the job market is tough right now. Frankly, there are more hygienists than there are jobs. It’s something that a lot of recent graduates are struggling with. However, that doesn’t mean there are ZERO jobs available. It’s just a lot more competitive to land a job. Where there’s a will there’s a way. Having previous experience as an assistant can definitely work in your favor because you will know the ins and outs of an office more than somebody without that experience. And even beyond clinical work, there are lots of other opportunities where you can use your knowledge of dentistry. Check out the article I wrote in the source link below.


A big thing you should factor into your decision is how you are going to pay for school. If you have to take out a lot in student loans, you may find that your pay increase is actually not that much more (if any) based on having to pay back student loans. Really spend the time figuring this out.


Also, figure out where you are at in your life. Would you be willing to move to another state to find a job? If so, you will broaden your opportunities. Maybe you could talk to the doctor at your office and see if there would be an opportunity to become a hygienist in his or her practice. It might be a long shot, but you would possibly see if he or she would help pay for school. I don’t think this is very common, but depending on your relationship, it might not hurt to ask.


I really hope this doesn’t scare you away from pursing a career in hygiene if that is what you are passionate about. I love being a hygienist and couldn’t imagine any other career for me. It’s just important to look at all the factors and make sure it is the right choice for you.

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