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Dental Hygienist

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What Do Dental Hygienist Do?

Dental Hygienist Job Description 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

  • Conduct dental health clinics for community groups to augment services of dentist.
  • Record and review patient medical histories.
  • Provide clinical services or health education to improve and maintain the oral health of patients or the general public.
  • Place and remove rubber dams, matrices, and temporary restorations.
  • Make impressions for study casts.
  • Remove excess cement from coronal surfaces of teeth.

Dental Hygienist Needed Skills

Dental Hygienists state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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

  • Implant Coordinator
  • Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH)
  • Dental Nurse
  • Pediatric Dental Hygienist
  • Registered Dental Hygienist, Part Time Clinical Faculty

Dental Hygienist Job Outlook

In the United States, there were 207,900 jobs for Dental Hygienist in 2016. 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 17,500 job openings in this field each year.

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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 Average Salary

The typical yearly salary for Dental Hygienists is somewhere between $51,930 and $101,820.

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Dental Hygienists who work in Alaska, California, or Washington, make the highest salaries.

How much do Dental Hygienists make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $46,500
Alaska $114,320
Arizona $85,890
Arkansas $71,090
California $100,830
Colorado $84,510
Connecticut $83,630
Delaware $78,550
District of Columbia $81,270
Florida $64,070
Georgia $65,650
Hawaii $77,920
Idaho $74,430
Illinois $72,640
Indiana $68,000
Iowa $68,870
Kansas $64,980
Kentucky $59,910
Louisiana $59,810
Maine $65,500
Maryland $85,240
Massachusetts $82,750
Michigan $64,130
Minnesota $74,240
Mississippi $57,860
Missouri $68,820
Montana $74,350
Nebraska $65,870
Nevada $81,270
New Hampshire $79,560
New Jersey $85,860
New Mexico $75,860
New York $76,280
North Carolina $69,500
North Dakota $72,580
Ohio $68,310
Oklahoma $73,990
Oregon $85,280
Pennsylvania $67,010
Rhode Island $74,650
South Carolina $61,440
South Dakota $64,580
Tennessee $66,290
Texas $75,300
Utah $69,490
Vermont $72,490
Virginia $79,640
Washington $90,690
West Virginia $57,740
Wisconsin $65,540
Wyoming $69,620

What Tools do Dental Hygienists Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Dental Hygienists may use on a daily basis:

  • 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

Becoming a Dental Hygienist

What kind of Dental Hygienist requirements are there?

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What work experience do I need to become a Dental Hygienist?

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Dental Hygienists Sector

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Dental Hygienists work in the following industries:

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Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming a Dental Hygienist might also be interested in the following careers:

Are you already one of the many Dental Hygienist in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

References:

Image Credit: Sgt. Dallas Edwards via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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