What Do Dental Hygienist Do?
Dental Hygienist Definition 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.
Daily Life Of a Dental Hygienist
- Feel and visually examine gums for sores and signs of disease.
- Make impressions for study casts.
- Conduct dental health clinics for community groups to augment services of dentist.
- Remove excess cement from coronal surfaces of teeth.
- Place and remove rubber dams, matrices, and temporary restorations.
- Administer local anesthetic agents.
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.
Other Dental Hygienist Job Titles
- Education Coordinator
- Oral Hygienist
- Pediatric Dental Hygienist
- Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH)
Job Outlook for Dental Hygienists
There were about 207,900 jobs for Dental Hygienist in 2016 (in the United States). 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. There will be an estimated 17,500 positions for Dental Hygienist per year.
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.
What is the Average Salary of a Dental Hygienist
The salary for Dental Hygienists ranges between about $51,930 and $101,820 a year.
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|
|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 to Become a Dental Hygienist
What education or degrees do I need to become a Dental Hygienist?
What work experience do I need to become a Dental Hygienist?
Dental Hygienists Sector
The table below shows the approximate number of Dental Hygienists employed by various industries.
You May Also Be Interested In…
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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