Dentistry is thriving in Parksville/Qualicum.Â The area has 18 dentists in general practice, 17 hygienists, 30 dental assistants, and 18 office staff actively working.
Where the shortage shows up in Parksville/Qualicum is with hygienists.Â Dr. Kevin Doyle Inc.Â is looking for a hygienist and Qualicum Beach Dental is functioning with 8 assistants and no hygienist right now but would consider hiring if a person was the right fit for their office. Dental hygienists are specially trained health care professionals who help prevent oral health problems and promote good oral hygiene.Â Hygienists begin an appointment by assessing the condition of the patientâ€™s teeth and gums looking for tooth decay and gum disease.Â A small mirror and probe are used to check for indicators of trouble. This process requires a steady hand and a careful eye.
Hygienists may also take x-rays of patientâ€™s teeth to reveal tooth decay that cannot be seen by a visual inspection, and any dental problems that may exist below the gums.Â Following the inspection the hygienist will discuss any oral health problems that were found with the patient and give instructions on proper dental care techniques and habits that will prevent further problems.Â Next the hygienist cleans the patientâ€™s teeth, which usually involves a procedure called scaling in which teeth are scraped with a sharp flat-bladed instrument to remove hard material built up on the teeth.Â The hygienist then polishes the teeth to remove stains and to smooth the surface of the teeth.
Other preventative procedures that the hygienist frequently performs include fluoride treatments and the application of sealant to patientâ€™s teeth. In addition to all the technical skills outlined it is important for potential hygienists to know that the position requires constant and close contact with people throughout the day.Â Hygienists require above average communication skills to teach clients and to comfort nervous patients and make the dental office a more agreeable experience.
Camosun College, College of New Caledonia, College of the Fraser Valley, Vancouver College of Dental Hygiene, Vancouver Community College and Vancouver Island University Malaspina campus in Nanaimo all have Diploma programs for Dental Hygiene.Â University of British Columbia has a Dental Hygiene degree program and a degree completion option.
Dental Hygienists have the option of having very flexible careers.Â They can work full-time or part-time quite easily for dental offices, hospitals, and long term care facilities.Â Those who have advanced training can find work teaching, doing research and in some cases work in their own private clinics. British Columbia was first, followed by Alberta and now Ontario in allowing hygienists to open private clinics. Â
Carmelina Buksa, who has a Bachelor of Science in Dentistry from the University of Toronto, opened Rootine Dental Hygiene Clinic in Parksville three years ago.Â When asked why she wanted to open her own clinic instead of working in a dental office she said â€œIt allows me to be the best practitioner I can be.â€ Carmelina enjoys the flexibility of setting her own hours and is clear that she didnâ€™t open the clinic for the money. She is passionate as she talks about helping her patients.Â Carmelina is able to keep her fees low, spend time teaching and customize cleaning plans for each individual. Rootine Dental Hygiene Clinic, which accepts dental insurance, is located at #105-198 East Island Highway in Parksville.Â They are accepting new patients and welcome children to their â€œdrill freeâ€ office. If Carmelinaâ€™s skills are anywhere close to her enthusiasm then Parksville smiles will sparkle.