Guide To Becoming A Dental Hygienist In the UK

One of the best means of ensuring that patients maintain the best levels of dental health is to ensure that their teeth and gums are as clean as possible. That’s why the position of dental hygienist I such a vital part of any modern dentists practice.

To most patients a dental hygienist is the person who gets their teeth extra clean, shows them the correct way to brush at home and generally makes sure that their teeth are as immaculate and hygienic as they possibly can be. Whilst this is a vital component of good general health in its’ own right, it’s also only a small part of what this position actually entails. As a dental hygienist you will be called upon to scale and polish patients’ teeth and apply treatments such as topical fluoride and fissure sealants. If you join our dental clinics in London you will become a vital cog in a smooth running and forward thinking machine. We aim to provide the most up to date and professional treatments available to our patients in an atmosphere which is relaxed and welcoming.

Although some hygienists work in hospitals, the vast bulk end up in smaller clinic based practices, and working alongside an NHS approved dentist at Perfect Smile you’ll get to see the whole range of problems and conditions which modern dentistry can throw up whilst treating patients of all ages.

The route to becoming a hygienist first starts with gaining five GCSE qualifications of grade A-C or an equivalent qualification such as a recognised dental nursing qualification and then studying a course which has been approved by the General Dental Council (GDC). This last point is absolutely vital as it means that you can later register with the GDC, something which is required by law if you wish to practice. The courses themselves are run by dental schools on a full time basis and generally last for two years or even twenty seven months. The courses are in depth and detailed and include modules on topics such as dental pathology, the management and care of patients, anatomy and physiology, dental pathology, dental health education and preventive dentistry.

Some schools offer courses which combine dental hygiene with dental therapy. Once you’ve qualified as a dental hygienist the career path which opens up in front of you includes teaching on training courses, managing a practice and working as an orthodontic therapist.

Anyone studying on a dental hygienist course will be able to apply for an NHS bursary to fund them until they are qualified. Those who begin training on or after September 2012 will be eligible for a small grant which isn’t means tested, a larger bursary depending upon financial need, and a loan given out at a reduced interest rate. If you study dental hygiene at university there’s also a good chance that you’ll be able to receive a bursary from the NHS to cover the cost of your tuition fees. All students will also receive a grant of £1,000 each year, whilst a means tested bursary of up to £4,395 is also available, with more available to those students who are attending courses based in London (£5,460). The university you wish to study at will be able to tell you whether the course they teach is GDC approved and whether it receives funding from the NHS.

When you join Perfect Smile you’ll be given the chance to study and experience all different areas of dentistry. You may, for example, be working in an NHS dental implant clinic, striving to help patients who need to have a missing or damaged tooth replaced. Virtually all the treatments we offer have a far greater chance of success if the patient ensures that their levels of dental hygiene are maintained before, during and after the treatment, and your appointments with them will play a vital role in ensuring this. Another treatment which is far more likely to succeed with a set of clean and healthy teeth is teeth straightening on the NHS, with hygiene being even more important once the braces or retainers have been made and fitted. Working at an invisible braces London clinic you’ll be involved with cutting edge dental technology such as cone beam 3D scanning and lightweight Invisalign retainers, and it’s no exaggeration to say that clinics like ours boast some of the most advanced and cutting edge medical technology currently in use.

If you want a job which involves helping people, improving their lives and working with some of the latest technology and techniques then being a hygienist for Perfect Smile could be just what you’re looking for. If you join us, you’ll be part of one of the best teams around, and the greatest reward of all will be knowing the vital part you played in putting the gleam and sparkle back in your patients smiles.

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