What Do Dental Hygienist Do?
Job Description & Duties Clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop x rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.
Dental Hygienist Responsibilities
- Remove sutures and dressings.
- Maintain dental equipment and sharpen and sterilize dental instruments.
- Examine gums, using probes, to locate periodontal recessed gums and signs of gum disease.
- Provide clinical services or health education to improve and maintain the oral health of patients or the general public.
- Conduct dental health clinics for community groups to augment services of dentist.
- Place and remove rubber dams, matrices, and temporary restorations.
Skills Needed to be a Dental Hygienist
These are the skills Dental Hygienists say are the most useful in their careers:
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.
Types of Dental Hygienist Jobs
- Education Coordinator
- Registered Dental Hygienist, Part Time Clinical Faculty
- Implant Coordinator
- Dental Hygienist
Are There Job Opportunities for Dental Hygienists?
In 2016, there was an estimated number of 207,900 jobs in the United States for Dental Hygienist. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 19.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 41,000 new jobs for Dental Hygienist by 2026. The BLS estimates 17,500 yearly job openings in this field.
The states with the most job growth for Dental Hygienist are Arizona, Maryland, and Utah. Watch out if you plan on working in Rhode Island, Mississippi, or Kansas. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Dental Hygienist Salary
The typical yearly salary for Dental Hygienists is somewhere between $51,930 and $101,820.
Dental Hygienists who work in Alaska, California, or Washington, make the highest salaries.
How much do Dental Hygienists make in different U.S. states?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$81,270|
Tools & Technologies Used by Dental Hygienists
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Dental Hygienists:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Web browser software
- Email software
- Word processing software
- Scheduling software
- Inventory management software
- Henry Schein Dentrix
- Patterson Dental Supply Patterson EagleSoft
- Dental clinical records software
- Dental imaging software
- Dental intra-oral imaging software
- Voice-activated perio charting software
- Dental charting software
- Dental digital radiology software
How do I Become a Dental Hygienist?
Individuals working as a Dental Hygienist have obtained the following education levels:
What work experience do I need to become a Dental Hygienist?
Where Dental Hygienists Work
The table below shows the approximate number of Dental Hygienists employed by various industries.
Those thinking about becoming a Dental Hygienist might also be interested in the following careers:
Those who work as a Dental Hygienist sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:
Image Credit: Sgt. Dallas Edwards via Public domain
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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