International Dental Hygiene in Israel

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Israel, officially the state of Israel, is located in the Middle East, on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. The capital is Jerusalem and it is on the continent of Asia

For many years Israel has been on my bucket list of places to visit. Although it may not be the safest place to travel and visit at this time, I hope that I can one day check it off my list. One of the main reasons for wanting to tour this fabulous is country, besides for its incredible history, is to float in the Dead Sea! I don’t really hear or at least know much about Israel, hens the reason I chose this the country for my foreign dental hygiene research.

In the 1981, the Israel Dental Hygiene Association (IDHA) was established and it is now well known internationally. In order to be recognized as a dental hygienist in Israel, you must be licensed by the Ministry of Health (Misrad HaBriut) and in order to obtain this license, you must meet the educational requirements. There are only four schools that provide dental hygiene program in Israel and each year there are approximately 150 graduates in total. In order to attain a diploma or certificate in this field, students must complete two trimesters; in the first trimester, basic concepts of science in biology and anatomy is taught. Then, theoretical studies on various subjects in the field of dentistry, with a focus on professional hygienist, including preparatory courses and training in the community. The curriculum includes clinical experience of over 450 hours (35 patients) under the supervision of a dentist and dental hygienist.

According to the Ministry of Health, the length is about 2,000 hours of academic hours. Before submitting and application for a DH license, the applicant must be a citizen or resident of Israel and must be 18 years of age or older.  Upon graduation and successfully fulfilling the requirements for the Ministry of Health, a licensed dental hygienist is able to perform the following:

  • Medical history
  • Removing supra/sub-gingival calculus and debris, including root planning
  • Dental and perio charting
  • Removal of sutures and periodontal dressing post-surgery.
  • Polishing restorations and removal of overhangs
  • Topical applications of medications, prophylactic materials and fluoride
  • Application of fissure sealants
  • Smoking cessation and nutritional advice
  • Radiographs and taking alginate impressions for study models

After reading and doing some research, I was astounded at how similar the scope of practice of a dental hygienist in Israel is to one in the United States. Aside from a shorter education, Israel has same ethical principles as the ones in the U.S, like working under the supervision of a dentist. Although there wasn’t factual evidence of an annual salary for a hygienist in Israel, I was able to gather that the demand of a dental hygienist is not high. However, the ones who are employed are seeking to work double time, because of this, I am lead to believe that the annual salary is not high as it is in the U.S.

Israel is populated with 7 million people and for that population there is only about 1,700 employed registered dental hygienists. For a clearer picture, the ratio of a dental hygienist to a general dentist is 1:6, considerably lower than the ratio of 1:1 in the United States. Statistics show that approximately 700 of these hygienists are working in private practice and the remaining work in public facilities (schools, hospitals, etc.).

I am happy I chose Israel for this assignment; I believe that it is instilled within us as a civilization that other countries other than the United States are unaccomplished when it comes to health profession. Although, there is many differences in ethics and how certain professions perceive themselves, we learn that there are many similarities between the U.S and other foreign countries and Israel is a great example when it come to the dental hygiene profession.

RESOURCES

“Dental Hygiene in Israel.” – DentistryIQ. Web. 18 May 2016.

“Journal of Dental Education.” Dental Hygienists in Israel: Employment Evaluation, Job Satisfaction, and Training Implications. Web. 18 May 2016.

 “Israel.” IFDH. Web. 19 May 2016.

“איך נולד מקצוע השיננות?” איך נולד מקצוע השיננות? Web. 18 May 2016.

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