As some of you have may read in my bio, you are aware that I work in the dental field. I graduated from dental hygiene school in 2011. I get asked frequently why I decided to become a dental hygienist, and to be quite honest I do not really know what made me come to that decision. I just got it in my head one day and ended up loving it. I am extremely grateful that I found a career that I love. Some people think I am crazy for loving being in people’s mouths everyday. But honestly I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
My job just isn’t cleaning people’s teeth every 6 months. During 45 minutes to an 1hr appointment, we are nonstop assessing your health from everything to oral cancer, such as possible areas of cavities, to gum disease. Most people don’t understand this, but your oral health is one key to your overall health. There are multiple health conditions that have been linked to poor oral health, for example heart disease. The same plague that forms on your teeth throughout the course of the day is the same plague that lines your arteries which lead to your heart and gets trapped there. Another example is gum disease and diabetes, when your sugar levels are not regulated believe it or not it takes a toll on your gums causing inflammation which progresses to gum disease or periodontal disease.
One of the many reasons I take pride in my work is my job involves endless learning to ensure each of my patients get the proper care. Just like any medical profession in order to keep my license I need to maintain a certain amount of continuing education courses. Today I attended a convention in which I took one of these continuing education courses. The course I attended was geared to a new technology to help treat periodontal disease. This technology is a certain type of a laser called a diode. This diode laser has different settings which vary from a patient with a slight case of gum disease who only needs the bacteria disinfected beneath their gums; to a patient with a case of severe periodontal disease who needs the disinfection of the bacteria and removal of the diseased tissue underneath their gums.
Today was mainly a lecture about all different cases and practicing with the laser itself. I love learning the technique hands on. Today my patient was a lovely pig jaw. It was very interesting to be able to utilize this new laser and learn about it. I intend to use this knowledge that I learned today to help improve the health of my future patients. Like I said this career, along with multiple health careers is endless learning. It is not for everyone but I find it rewarding.