The history of oral hygiene was evident 4000 years ago. In Egyptian relief’s, toothpicks for oral hygiene are represent. They are still used successfully today in many natural living populations. In the 1700’s, in Europe and later in the USA, discussions about a natural toothbrush began. In 1819 in the USA, certain dentists were concerned about the prevention of acute dental problems by using special cleaning techniques. Only in 1913 in Bridgeport, USA, a new profession was established: that of the Dental Hygienist. Over many years, the USA, followed by Norway (1924), were initiators in new developments in this field. In the meantime in the USA, there are about 332 dental hygiene study programs. Studies also take place in Colleges, where the professional education is of a particularly high standard. The universities offer a Bachelor’s program and furthermore, a Master’s degree in Dental Hygiene. A Doctorate in Dental Hygiene can also be attained in the following countries: Australia, Canada, The Netherlands, Sweden and the USA.
Today one can find the Dental Hygienist in many countries as a recognized studied profession. In the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, in three states in the USA and in two provinces in Canada, independent practice of dental hygiene has been established. The German Dental Hygienist’s Association was officially registered in Munich, 12/11/1990. For many years the DDHV tried to establish this profession in Germany and is continuing working toward legal recognition because its professional image has not achieved national recognition.
Profile and Responsibilities of the Dental Hygienist
The state recognized dental hygienist with diploma is a dental professional. Her main goal is the Periodontal Therapy. As a competent member of the dental profession, her strength lays in the multifaceted treatment care that results in the accomplishment of optimal oral health. As far as recognition in Germany is concerned, only continued education programs with no more than 950 on the job-training hours mostly without supervision are available via the Dental Assistants. They have been given the name of our profession.
There are approximately 150 Dental Hygienists with international qualifications and diplomas working in Germany (all foreign trained). These Dental Hygienists with Diploma/Bachelors work mainly in private practice. The employing dentist is responsible for the work the hygienist performs. The dental hygiene profession is not protected in Germany. At the moment our association is working on a University-Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program on a European level. But the Dental Hygiene Profession and its legality are still missing.
Goals of the German Dental Hygienists Association (DDHV)
– Insure quality through regular continued education on very high standard.
– Transfer of information across borders.
– Official recognition for study programs as a profession in Germany.
– Inclusion in the insurance system.
– To initiate state recognized dental hygiene university educations at a bachelor level.
Please include full address, when requesting information (we do not answer those, which have no address listed). Requests for college papers will not be answered due to lack of time and due to lack of more information available.
As up today we have no registered Dental Hygiene profession in Germany.
Unfortunately we cannot be of any assistance in finding jobs.
The payment is mostly that of a dental assistance and appropriate German is required. Some dentists require another exam thru the dental association. Another continued exam for X-rays can only be taken after another exam and requires a Diploma as a Dental Assistant.
Hygienists with a (state recognized) diploma from a recognized Dental Hygiene (minimum AS) Program can become an active member of the DDHV.
The membership includes the Journal, where latest information concerning dental hygiene, educational articles and news of the association are published.
The DDHV offers a full-day congress at its annual convention held in springtime every year. Attendance will ensure credits towards your license.
The congress will be held in the German language.
For more Information please contact:
German Dental Hygienist’s Association