Dental hygienists are the professionals who perform several dental tasks on the patients in the dental clinic. The main responsibility of a dental hygienist job description is to educate the patients on oral hygiene, teeth cleansing, ins and outs of dental care, how to brush, which toothbrush is good for them etc.

Roles and Responsibilities

In most of the countries the dental hygienist is also known as oral hygienist. They usually work on part time basis and in more than one dental clinic. The dentists hire the hygienists to work for them. They work with private hospitals and clinics, government departments, teaching institutions etc. The dental hygienist is just a part of dental care team so they should be well versed with their duties and responsibilities.

The hygienists use different apparatus to perform their tasks. These apparatus could be oral X-rays, manual tools, ultrasonic devices, hand and rotary instruments etc. They may even use the models of teeth to explain the oral hygiene. Not only this the hygienists perform some other tasks also like administering anesthesia using syringes, carve filling materials, temporary fillings, periodontal dressings etc.

The dental hygienists help the patients to maintain good oral health. They diagnose and prepare clinical tests for the dentists to interpret. They mainly work under the supervision of the dentists. They even explain the patients, how to floss and brush their teeth. They also explain the relationship between the diet and oral health of the patients.

Usually, the hygienists like to work in a clean and peaceful environment. They wear safety glasses, masks, and gloves while performing on the patient’s teeth. It helps to protect them and patients from infectious diseases. This profession plays a very important part in dental clinics. It involves completing all the necessary tasks like dental hygiene, examining gums, removing plaque from teeth, etc. They also test the abnormalities and radiographs of the patients’ dental conditions.

Qualification and Skills Required

Qualification-To become a dental hygienist one should have a high school diploma and college entrance test scores. The interested students should opt for subjects like- biology, chemistry and mathematics in their high school. After the completion of the dental hygiene education one can expects a diploma, degree or an associate degree depending upon the program and the institution. The degree or diploma in dental hygiene covers the theoretical and practical aspects.

The associate degree is the minimum requirement for a candidate to start their career as a dental hygienist.They can start there career as private practitioner, public health services, research and teaching etc.The dental hygienists can also go for master’s degree in dental hygiene if they wish to study further. The candidate should also undergo training program in dental hygiene. The dental hygienist also requires a state license to carry on with the practices.

As a dental hygienist one has to interact a lot with the patients. They work closely with the patients. It is there duty to screen the patients and provide them with good oral care treatment.

They should very well know how to evaluate the dental history of the patients and track the changes and development from time to time of the patients’ oral health care. They are trained people who conduct the tests and inspections on the patients.

The dental hygienists also work as consultants. The patients can freely consult them regarding any dental problems on regular basis. The hygienists should also be well versed with the nutrition part. They should consult patients on their diets and oral care.

Skills required by the Dental Hygienist:

General skills required- Listed below are the skills required by a dental hygienist:

  • Listen actively to your patients. Take time to understand their points and ask questions if necessary
  • Covey the information correctly to others
  • Be critical in your thinking. Use logic and interpretation to identify the strengths and weaknesses
  • Should be good in reading comprehensions. Understand the written sentences.
  • Should possess the skills of understanding the reactions of others.
  • Coordination
  • Come up with different ways to help people
  • Good decision making ability
  • Solve problems by using the scientific methods
  • Impressive vocabulary

Professional Growth:

Dental hygienist is one of the fastest growing occupations now-a-days. Job prospects are also good in this area with cut throat competition. The demand for dental hygienist is increasing because of the growing population. To meet this demand the dental offices and clinics are increasingly employing the dental hygienists. The job prospects for a dental hygienist vary according to the geographical locations as they are allowed to practice only in those states in which they are licensed.

According to the U.S. Bureau of labor statistics, it is projected that the demand for dental hygienists will increase to 36% by 2018 than other occupations. The career for dental hygienists is widely diverse having plenty of opportunities.

If you strongly believe that you can make people smile and make them powerful then you can take this as a career option. Moreover, their flexible work schedule allows them to work in several hospitals and dental clinics. They get lots of opportunities to work in dental care under the supervision of licensed dental hygienists and dentists.

Published by Sarah Samson

Sarah Samson is a professional career advisor and resume expert. She specializes in helping recent college graduates and mid-career professionals improve their resumes and format them for the modern job market. In addition, she has also been a contributor to several online publications.

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