Dental hygienists are everyone's favorite person at the dental office. They are the person you see for your regular checkups and cleaning. Most people develop a friendship with their hygienist. Hygienists are responsible for scaling, root planing and polishing your teeth, keeping proper dental records of your gum/ teeth health, taking x-rays, educating you about your teeth and how to keep them healthy, and can also administer local anesthetics to make your visit more comfortable.
Dental Hygiene is a Diploma and Degree program in British Columbia, Canada. It takes a minimum of two years to complete the Diploma program and longer for the Degree program. Dental Hygiene is a regulated profession which means all hygienists must be licensed to practice by their governing organization ( BCDHA) in BC.
Dental Hygiene applications require a minimum of one year in a post secondary institution to fulfill the prerequisite courses. There are both government and private dental hygiene schools in Vancouver, Victoria, the Okanagan and Prince George among others. If you are looking at dental hygiene as a career, make sure the school you are applying to is an Accredited institution. This means the school has been examined and certified to be teaching the proper program.
Most dental hygienists work in a dental office with a dentist. There are also independent hygienists who have their own clinics set up. As per current BC regulations, a patient must still see a dentist for a checkup at least once within 365 days for a hygienist to be able to work on them. There are certain independent hygienists who are exempt from this rule. Please check with yours to be sure they fit into this qualification. Hygienists also visit care homes and work in Public Health Units in BC.