Dental Hygienist Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a dental hygienist. You can use our job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a dental hygienist.
Who is a Dental Hygienist?
Although the eyes are the windows to the soul, a lovely smile must be the door. This is why 96 percent of people say that a person’s smile is more significant to their appearance than any other piece of vesture. And achieving those million-dollar smiles begins with proper dental hygiene, which is the responsibility of a dental hygienist. A dental hygienist is a dentist who specializes in the forestallment and treatment of oral ails. Dental hygienists work singly for the utmost part, with just limited supervision from a pukka dentist. Dental hygienists play a pivotal part in dentist-led brigades. Their labor relieves the dentist of a significant burden, allowing him or her to concentrate on more advanced operations. As a result, multitudinous preventative dental procedures, similar as dental charting, oral complaint examinations, and other precautionary dental care, are generally performed by dental hygienists in services. Patients are also educated on how to enhance and maintain good dental health by dental hygienists.
Everyone wants to live a healthy life, yet some people overlook the significance of keeping their teeth clean at all times. To avoid conditions and infections, it’s critical that people take care of their health and their teeth. Likewise, having fresh breath and a clean, healthy mouth is always affable. Because bacteria and origins grow on teeth and around the epoxies, people must brush their teeth every day. People must keep their teeth clean and healthy on a diurnal basis in order to avoid issues like dental decay, toothache, poor breath, unheroic teeth, and so on. Meanwhile, people must visit the dentist on a regular basis in order to save good dental health. It’s preferable to act sooner rather than latterly.
When you go for a dental scan, you will presumably spend the maturity of your dental scan time with a dental hygienist. Dental hygienists unite with dentists to give precautionary oral care, drawing and checking patients’ teeth for symptoms of decay and illness. Dental hygienists also educate cases, especially children, on the need for proper dental hygiene. Still, depending on the state in which they’re certified to exercise, their specific job tasks and functions, as well as the services they can lawfully give, differ.
Dental Hygienist Job Description
Below are the dental hygienist job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
Because there are still unmet demands in oral healthcare, dental therapists, dental hygienists, and oral health therapists have the opportunity to take on more tasks and responsibilities. Dental hygienists’ job description includes oral care and health counseling under the supervision of a dentist, tooth cleaning and mechanical removal of deposits on the tooth surface over the gingival edge, and dental treatment aid. Their dental treatment responsibilities have as well grown to include the following:
- Examining patients for indicators of oral disorders such as gingivitis and providing other preventative dental care.
- Washing and scaling teeth.
- Teaching patients how to properly care for their teeth so that they can have healthy teeth for the rest of their lives.
- Assisting dentists with operating treatments such as fillings and extractions, as well as manufacturing dental molds. Before a dentist studies the structure of teeth for further treatment procedures, the dental hygienist takes and generates X-rays.
- Putting sealants on teeth
- Taking impressions of teeth and filling out information regarding the patient’s dental and medical history
- Administering local anesthesia and suturing.
- Using a toothbrush, removes soft plaque from the teeth and creates patient follow-up documents.
Qualifications of a Dental Hygienist
Students interested in becoming dental hygienists must earn a master’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, a certificate, or, most typically, an associate degree from a recognized dental hygiene institution. Clinical practice, research, or teaching in schools or public health programs often require a master’s or bachelor’s degree. Other prerequisites include graduation from a dental hygiene institution that is accredited.
- preferably 2-4 years of clinical experience
- Current CPR certification from the American Heart Association or the Red Cross is essential, as are effective oral and written communication skills in English.
- N2O certificate/local anesthesia
Skills Required to Become a Dental Hygienist
Do you think you have what it takes to work as a dental hygienist? To be successful, dental hygienists must have a combination of soft and hard skills in order to thrive in their profession.
- Visual acuity that is sufficient for observing oral conditions and assessing patients, whether normal or corrected.
- Extremely fine motor control necessitates a high level of hand-eye synchronization.
- Visual ability to distinguish color spectrums for tissue states and changes.
- Small differences in radiographic density can be detected.
- From a distance of 20 inches, you should be able to view the patient’s teeth clearly.
- Ability to develop reasonable percussion and auscultation skills and correctable hearing in at least one ear.
- In order to offer safe and effective patient care, you must have sufficient gross and fine motor abilities.
- To detect and remove dental deposits, you’ll need good sensory perception in your palms and fingers.
- Full manual dexterity includes the ability to use both arms, wrists, hands, and fingers.
- Tactile ability sufficient for the operation of small instruments, as well as instrumentation control.
- Ability to manipulate clinical and laboratory devices and syringes with enough fine motor control to avoid patient damage.
Physical Strength and Endurance
- Clinical dental hygiene therapy requires motor abilities that are sufficient.
- Physical stamina to move themselves to a position where they can offer dental treatment (using a walker, cane, or crutches if necessary).
- Physical stamina to assist a patient in getting into and out of a dental chair.
- To do CPR for an extended amount of time, you’ll require a lot of physical strength.
- Ability to sit, stand, or move while remaining focused on a task for numerous hours.
- Capabilities in spoken and written English sufficient for efficient contact with others.
- The ability to accurately enter data into a patient’s record.
- Reading and comprehension of technical and professional information.
- Ability to communicate with patients, peers, instructors, and staff with compassion, confidentiality, and respect.
- Intellectual, conceptual, and cognitive abilities are all important.
- Ability to discriminate between normal and aberrant situations.
Other Important Skills
- Understanding, reasoning, integrating, analyzing, evaluating, and problem-solving abilities.
- Demonstrate the ability to think critically.
- Ability to work without supervision.
- Understanding of three-dimensional relationships.
- Attitude and demeanor of a professional.
- Possessing the ability to present a professional image.
- Ability to put measures in place to maintain one’s own physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
- Emotional and mental health are required to properly apply knowledge and make sound decisions.
- Flexibility and adaptability are two qualities that can be demonstrated.
- Accountability and the ability to act in an honest and ethical manner.
- Self-awareness is a valuable skill.
- Ability to show respect for people of other ethnicities, religions, and/or sexual orientations.
How to Become a Dental Hygienist
The dental hygienist profession isn’t only on the rise, but it also provides a career route for those interested in a career in dentistry. Those interested in this profession must meet particular qualifications that not only prepare them for the job but also educate them about oral health in general.
A dental hygienist must have at least an associate’s degree, while bachelor’s and master’s degrees are also available for individuals who ask to advance in the field. The time it takes to finish your education is determined by the degree you choose. Four to five years is enough time frame to get certified.
Associate’s Degree in Dental Hygiene
Associate’s degrees offer you the needful position of study to be certified as a dental hygienist. These degrees generally take two years to complete and are attained in community sodalities or specialized institutes.
Over the course of your degree, you will conduct supervised clinical practice in addition to classroom education that covers the areas listed by CODA. You should get between 8 and 12 hours of hands-on practice every week in your first year when you start offering clinical services. In your alternate time, this should increase to between 12 and 16 hours of dental hygiene practice.
The academy’s admission conditions for every dental hygiene program vary. Numerous programs, still, demand that courses must be completed with a GPA of2.5 or better. These could include classes in subjects like:
Dental Hygienist Bachelor’s Degree
Bachelor’s degree programs are meant for dental hygienists interested in further technical training, similar to rehearsing or designing programs in public health or academy settings, albeit they’re less current. You will study dental hygiene in the classroom and in supervised clinical practice and gain a liberal trades education.
Bachelor’s degrees typically take four years to complete, while an associate’s degree in dental hygiene can be completed in a lesser time. Degree-completion programs are aimed at scholars who formerly have their dental hygiene license and want to ameliorate their leadership capacities or expand their theoretical and exploration knowledge. Clinical experience may not be needed because you’ll have entered hands-on experience as part of your associate’s program. In fact, your degree could be completed completely online. A degree completion program will generally take 15 to 18 months to complete.
You will nearly clearly need to complete prerequisites and have a GPA of at least2.5. High academy graduates should have taken the same courses as those needed for entry into an associate’s program, and those with an associate’s degree should be familiar with deconstruction, radiography, and dental lab inventories.
Dental Hygienist Master’s Degree
A master’s degree in dental hygiene may be the ideal option to pursue if you want to educate, do exploration, or work in administration. Advanced- position positions similar to oral complaint forestallment experts, community program directors, or leaders of dental health and education programs could be attained with these degrees. Master’s degrees in dental hygiene take 1 – 2 years to complete and this includes a culmination design.
A bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene or a similar discipline that meets the prerequisites is needed for admission to a master’s program. The following are some other frequent entry conditions
- A GPA of 3.0 or better is needed.
- A current dental hygienist license is needed.
- GRE scores that are respectable
- Recommendation letters
- A possible career statement or a current capsule are two options.
Dental Hygiene Programs Available Online
Although there are online programs available, keep in mind that dental hygiene is a hands-on profession. Although you may be suitable to take introductory classes online, you’ll still need to gain in-person clinical practice to prepare for the part’s liabilities.
A degree completion program could be an exception to this demand. It may be doable to complete your bachelor’s degree completely online if you start this kind of academy having formerly completed your clinical experience while carrying your associate’s degree.
How to Gain a Dental Hygiene Certificate
Dental hygienists are needed to be certified by the state in which they exercise. You must take and pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination after graduating from a sanctioned institution. The test is made up of 350 multiple-choice questions divided into two sections discipline- grounded and case-grounded. The test is graded on a range of 49 – 99, with a minimal end score of 75.
Each state also has its own clinical test that assesses your understanding of introductory hygiene, anesthetic, and restorative treatments. Also, it’s typical to be needed to take a medicine and legal test that covers your state’s specific rules and regulations. However, you’ll be suitable to gain your license as a registered dental hygienist (RDH), If you pass all of the needed examinations.
Renewal of a Dental Hygiene License
Every one to three times, dental hygienists must renew their licensure. You will need to pay any demanded freights and show attestation that you’ve completed the state-commanded number of continuing education hours. These are generally between 10 and 20 hours for a one-time cycle, 30 – 50 hours for a two-time cycle, and around 60 hours for a three-time cycle. The effects you will need to learn will differ by state, but the utmost will bear CPR and infection control education.
The American Dental Association (ADA) provides multitudinous openings for you to gain continuing education credits. You can search a database of live and online courses covering a wide range of motifs.
Where Dental Hygienists Can Work
- General dentists’ offices and dental specialists’ offices
- Public health associations, hospitals, and community health conventions
- Public academy systems, dental seminaries, and dental hygiene education programs
- Dental outfit and product deals and exploration
Dental Hygienist Salary
In May 2020, the median periodic paycheck for dental hygienists was$77,090. Half of the workers in a given occupation earned further than that quantum, while the other half earned less. The nethermost 10 earners earned lower than$54,200, while the top 10 earned further than$104,420.