What does a Dental Hygienist do?
Dental hygienists are responsible for providing oral care to patients through examination, teeth cleaning, and other preventative dental services. Dental hygienists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, public health clinics, private dental offices, and dental schools.
Dental hygienists must have an associate's degree in dental hygiene from an accredited school. Additionally, dental hygienists must become licensed by becoming a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH). Requirements vary by state, but it is common to require the following to become an RDH: completion of an accredited dental hygienist program, certification in CPR, passing of a national exam, and passing of a state clinical exam.
- Perform dental hygiene services and procedures, including dental prophylaxis, scaling, flouride and sealants, and root planning
- Complete a thorough assessment of the patient's teeth, bone, and periodontal tissues, and document any abnormalities or suspected conditions
- Customize care to meet patient's oral health
- Educate patients on good oral hygiene techniques
- Aid the dentist with procedures and emergencies as needed
- Maintain patient confidentiality
- Provide all care in conjunction with accepted professional dental practices and standards
- Graduate of an accredited school of dental hygiene
- Registered Dental Hygienist licensure in state of practice
- Current CPR certification
- 1-2 years of experience working in a dental practice
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Proven dedication to provide high quality, comprehensive dental care
- Ability to comply with safety procedures, rules, and regulations in order to maintain a clean and safe working environment
- Strong working knowledge of dental terminology, equipment, and practices
Dental Hygienist Salaries
Average Base Pay
Dental Hygienist Career Path
Learn how to become a Dental Hygienist, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.
Average Years of Experience
Dental Hygienist Insights
“We have the best staff that is knowledgeable and that go above and beyond for our patients.”
“Great Doctor and staff to work with.”
“Having the ability and support to grow in your career as well as focusing on your own self mastery.”
“I get to go to the best CE classes and learn the most advanced techniques.”
“Good nice very good nice”
“Fri. Flexible work schedule.”
“I was able to attend their Leadership Institute program which had a significant impact on my life as a whole.”
“term potential for my career and opportunities for movement.”
Dental Hygienist Interviews
Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of dental hygienists
The typical day of a dental hygienist involves caring for patients' teeth by examining and cleaning them. They also collect patient medical information and advise them on different oral cleaning techniques. They also work alongside the dentist, assisting them with dental procedures.
Dental hygienics is a great career choice. Dental hygienists can work either full-time or part-time schedules. They can often find the right weekly schedule to fit their needs. Helping patients improve their health by teaching them how to care for their teeth more effectively can be a fulfilling aspect of working as a dental hygienist.
Though becoming a dental hygienist can have a lot of benefits, it does have a few challenges, including physical strain and fast deadlines. Hygienists can sometimes experience back and neck pain after working, and they may also have to see many patients during the day, leading to stress.