In a year that felt slow and stagnant, the dental hygiene industry was dynamic and growing.
From new work styles that make it so you can pretty much sign up to be a dental hygienist from your living room, to brand new technology that can change how patients perceive procedures, some of the industry’s newest trends might impact your life as a dental hygienist forever.
As dental hygienists, there’s always more to learn (and more trends to familiarize ourselves with.) Here are just three that might really shift the future of our profession; for the better.
If you love being a dental hygienist, your happy place might just be standing over that big chair in the middle of the dentist’s office. But for many of your patients, that chair is their biggest nightmare (and probably has permanent evidence of where they dig their nails into the armrests in fear).
As you probably know, fear of the dentist is not uncommon, and usually comes from a patient’s fear of uncertainty regarding the outcome of their procedures.
With the rise of emotional dentistry, dental hygienists are able to build their patient’s trust by providing the answers to these outcomes. Many offices are using virtual mockups to show patients exactly what they will look like post-procedure, sometimes giving them the independence to control the outcome (some offices can now let patients choose their desired smile, which is pretty awesome).
Although a dental hygienist can’t remove all of the discomfort associated with the dentist’s chair, they can provide some answers to make the patient feel a little more excited and emotionally connected to the procedure.
Virtual Continuing Education
Virtual learning has been around for quite awhile, but never before has it been so well-designed, widely-used, and efficient. Which has been pretty exciting for the world of dental hygienists, especially when it comes to training.
Whether you’re looking to kickstart your dental career from scratch or take a few courses to refresh your knowledge, there are hundreds of virtual programs offering live webinars, interactive modules, or a mix of both.
And although there are some parts of dental hygiene training that just have to be hands on (you can’t dig around in someone’s mouth through a screen), supplementing virtual learning with standardized training will allow you to experience a holistic and accelerated path to your dental hygienist career, with the help of experts around the world.
There are clearly hundreds of trends that are rapidly impacting this industry, and it’s your job as dental hygiene professionals to stay up to date on them. Why not throw yourself into the deep end with dental exhibitions and conferences to check out the shiny new innovations? Or, strengthen the social media presence for your office to scan the industry for new trends and create online content to show that you are engaging, innovative, and unique compared to your competitors.
Our industry is so dynamic that there will probably be new trends by next week, but for now, these are taking charge of the dental hygienist community, affecting how we work, learn, and engage with our community. And staying on-top-of of these trends is critical to providing the best care of our patients, which we all know is the number one goal at the end of the day.
Read more fun facts, expert advice, and dental industry news on the Biteline blog.
And don’t forget to share with your dental friends!