I Love My Job! (A second introduction)
Why I do what I do, the way I do it:
As I hope you can tell, I am quite passionate about my profession of Dental Hygiene. I have been a dental hygienist for 34 years and still love it. I look forward to going to work every day. Many people wonder why and how I can “clean gunk” off people’s teeth and enjoy that. The first year I worked as a hygienist, I wondered too. Ten patients a day, 50 patients a week, all I really did was become people’s personal human toothbrush. Yuck and yuck. I was quite miserable in my work and thus my life, and resolved to change that. I left Florida, went back to school, got a Masters in Business, worked as a dental sales rep, and stumbled into a dental office that had a chair-side microscope. I begged for a job in that office, and with that microscope, changed my life. I always wanted to be a healer, and with the knowledge gained from the microscope, dental hygiene made sense. There was no returning to the “cleaning gunk off people’s teeth” type of hygienist that I had been. Now I could truly be a healer.
Both tooth decay and gum disease are bacterial infections. So let’s monitor and look at the bacteria, just like your physician does. How can you treat a disease unless you know what bacteria you have and what they are doing? Those tiny bacteria set up an eco-system that destroys your mouth, invades your body, causing inflammation and death. With my microscope, I can be proactive and preventive. I can see problems before they cause permanent damage. I can see progress, and I can see health. I own the microscope at the office I work in, it is one of the most important tools in my dental hygiene tool box. It gets used with almost every patient, every day.
What’s under your gums that cause gum disease? Lots of bad bacteria! Bacteria that can be systemically connected to bone loss, infection/inflammation, heart attacks, strokes, dementia, many different cancers, kidney disease, low birth weight babies, still birth, pneumonia, and the list goes on. Are you starting to get the picture that the bacteria associated with gum disease are truly important to monitor and prevent? There are ways to check this bacteria with other tools, but I find using the microscope quick and easy. Not many hygienists own their own microscope, but there’s no way I would ever practice without one by my side. It allows me to peek under the gumline, see what’s happening and recommend therapy that can be bacteria-specific. Reducing infection and inflammation under the gumline makes a difference in your entire body. If your dental office does not monitor your dental bacteria, let me know. I’ll help you find one that does.
Using the microscope changed my life and goals as a hygienist, as well as influencing my personal life. It created a passion for learning more about dental diseases, and doing so throughout my career. As an added bonus, it was on my way to a dental continuing education class when I sat next to my then-future husband on an airplane from Portland, Maine to Washington DC. The microscope started me on a path that I truly enjoy, changing tedious work into a profession I love, a life I love, and a career I truly enjoy.
I have been really enjoying sharing my knowledge with you. Contact me if you have questions or want to find a dental hygienist that does what I do in my office.