Dental Hygienist Job Profile and Description

Dental hygienists are responsible for assisting patients with dental procedures in order to promote oral hygiene among patients. A dental hygienist teaches his patients on how to remove deposits from teeth and about the ways to practice good oral hygiene. He makes use of his instruments to in order to clean the teeth and also takes x-rays to check for the presence of abnormalities or diseases. He works in his own dental clinic or also at schools, hospitals or laboratories.

Dental Hygienist Duties and Responsibilities

A dental hygienist is required to perform the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Makes use of dental instruments to clean deposits and stains from the gums and teeth.
  • Applies cavity preventing agents like fluorides for preventing dental decay.
  • Records patient’s conditions of disease or decay to diagnose and plan treatment methods.
  • Explains the relationship between oral health and diet to patients and also help them to choose the toothbrushes that best suit them.
  • Prepares models of teeth to explain oral hygiene to patients.

Dental Hygienist Skills and Specifications

A dental hygienist is required to possess the following skills and specifications:

  • Paying attention to details provided by patients is the most important skill that is required by a dental hygienist.
  • Willingness to work for extra hours.
  • Must be a critical thinker to find out causes and solutions for problems.
  • Ability to teach well along with good verbal and written communication skills and excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Good knowledge about the tools to be used and willingness to learn continuously.
  • Must be up-to-date with the current technological methods for treatment.

Dental Hygienist Education and Qualification

A dental hygienist is required to possess the following education and qualification:

  • An Associate’s degree in Dental hygiene from an institution that is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
  • Certifications which can be completed in 2 to 3 year periods in dental hygiene are available.
  • License is mandatory and thus can be obtained after passing a national exam that is administered by the American Dental Association’s Joint Commission.
  • Candidates who are planning to perform research in the field have to complete a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in dental hygiene.

Dental Hygienist Salary

A dental hygienist is expected to earn around $64,648 annually and it varies depending up on the geographic location of the hygienist and also his experience and qualification. Job opportunities are expected to increase for dental hygienists with the increasing demand for dental services.