Mentor Advice ForumFurthering my career in dental hygiene
Sara Vazquez asked 3 years ago

Hello, my name is Sara Vazquez. I was given an assignment in my BSDH course to reach out to an online mentor here about furthering my career in dental hygiene. I am not sure what I would like to do once I receive my bachelor’s. I do not think that I would like to teach or be in sales, that’s just not personality. I was thinking something administrate or with insurances. Even working with a corporation in some capacity. I would love some guidance to help me further my dental hygiene career! Thank you.

3 Answers
Noel Paschke, RDH, MS Staff answered 3 years ago

It sounds like you have great organizational and administrative skills. Both are very valuable. Perhaps you could consider being a dental practice administrator. With the growth of dental service organizations like Heartland and Aspen, you could be an asset in running the practice. I was a practice administrator for 2 years and it was very challenging. What I liked best was presenting the $20,000 to $30,000 complex treatment plans and running the weekly team meetings. Check out the American Academy of Dental Office Managers (AADOM) They have annual meetings and great resources.
Another possibility would be to work for an insurance company. I’d suggest that you join Patti DiGangi’s Dental Codeology group. It is a great way to learn about the American Dental Association Current Dental Terminology (CDT) procedure code—from new codes being created to utilizing them properly. You will also want to learn more about the use of medical codes for oral/dental procedures.
Dream big and ask yourself, “What If..” Best wishes on your future endeavors.

Lillian J. Caperila, RDH, MEd Staff answered 3 years ago

I suggest that you find out from your local ADHA component if there are some folks who reside near you who work in an insurance capacity, or a dental company, and maybe you can contact them to see if you can SHADOW an employee who has similar qualifications in dentistry and figure out if this is interesting enough for you to pursue.

Karen Davis, RDH, BSDH Staff answered 3 years ago

Sara, when I pursued my bachelor’s degree, initially I thought I wanted to pursue dental research. Instead, I discovered that I eventually wanted to start my own continuing education business, which requires that I research constantly. You don’t have to be certain today, but be open to exploring options. It is admirable for you to complete your bachelor’s degree as it will be a stepping stone to pursue alternative career paths. Perhaps you want to look into community dental hygiene services as there are more administrative positions in some of those options. Check with your state health agencies to see which ones utilize the skills of a dental hygienist and check with the school where you are getting your cachelor’s degree about more community dental hygiene positions if that interests you.