How do I become a dental hygienist?

“I have found my career as a dental hygienist and therapist immensely rewarding and satisfying. Every day, I’m given the opportunity to make a real difference to my patients’ health and wellbeing. I enjoy building a rapport with patients and gaining their trust, often treating several generations in a family. Educating people on effective oral hygiene practices and helping to prevent serious dental issues is a fulfilling aspect of my role. I have also had the opportunity to work alongside dentists and other healthcare professionals, constantly learning and growing in my field.”
Shelley Belgrove, Clinical Director, Well:o

At Well:o, dental hygienists are empowered to lead treatment. There’s no need to be referred by a dentist for your dental hygiene treatment — instead, your hygienist will take the time and care to fully assess your oral health, provide bespoke preventive care, and give you tips to optimise your dental wellness routine at home.

Have you ever considered becoming a dental hygienist? Here are some notes on how to get started.

1. Understand the Role: Dental hygienists play a central role in promoting oral health by providing preventive care, routine cleaning, examining patients for oral diseases, and educating them about good oral hygiene practices. It’s a profession that merges clinical expertise with patient-centred care.

2. Education and Training Pathway: To become a dental hygienist, pursue a recognised qualification, such as a diploma or degree in dental hygiene and therapy from an accredited institution. These programs cover essential topics like anatomy, radiography, periodontology, and preventive dental care.

3. Gain Clinical Experience: Practical training is invaluable in honing your skills. Seek opportunities for clinical placements or internships during your education to gain hands-on experience in dental practices, mastering essential clinical procedures and patient care.

4. Attain Certification and Licensing: Upon completion of your education, you’ll need to obtain certification and register with the General Dental Council (GDC) in the UK. Passing the GDC-approved course validates your competency and ensures compliance with professional standards.

5. Continued Professional Development (CPD): Engage in CPD activities, attend seminars, and stay updated with the latest advancements in dental technology and hygiene practices. This commitment to ongoing education enhances your skills and keeps you at the forefront of oral healthcare.

A career as a dental hygienist offers a unique opportunity to positively impact people’ oral health and overall well-being. By embracing direct access, well:o empowers dental hygienists to lead treatments, providing tailored preventive care while fostering a patient-focused approach.