Empowerment through mentorship and leadership

Rebecca S. Wilder, Janet M. Guthmiller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Leadership is vital to future growth and change in the dental hygiene profession. Background and Purpose As health care reform emerges, state practice acts expand and new models of dental hygiene practice are created and implemented, dental hygienists will assume leadership positions that may be quite different from the more traditional leadership roles they assume today. These dental hygienist leaders will envision, creatively design and implement oral health care programs to improve the oral health of the public. Mentoring, a vital component of leadership development, is critical for dental hygienists to acquire knowledge, guidance, and growth. Methods This paper provides a literature-supported overview of leadership and mentoring principles applicable to dental hygienists in their personal and professional lives. Opportunities for dental hygienists to assume leadership roles are also described. Conclusions Dental hygienists are poised to become leaders and vital members of the professional team promoting and integrating oral health care as a part of general health. Consequently, the dental hygienist's leadership roles are likely to expand and can be strengthened through mentoring relationships and mentoring teams. Ultimately, this can increase professional growth and career satisfaction for the dental hygienist as well as improve oral health care for the public.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-226
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice
Issue numberSUPPL.
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Mentors
  • career plan
  • dental hygienist
  • leadership
  • professional growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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