Dental hygienist instructors train new dental hygienists at academic institutions such as community colleges and universities. They instruct students in classrooms and laboratory settings in methods to remove tartar and stains, take and process x-rays, apply sealants and fluorides, as well as proper oral care and tracking treatment plans and patient care. These instructors must be able to work with a wide variety of students from diverse backgrounds, responding to their questions and ensuring they are learning course materials. Dental hygiene instructors must also maintain good student records, as well as stay up to date on developments within their field.
Typically, dental hygienist instructors have at least a bachelor's degree in a related field, along with many years of professional experience. To work as a dental hygienist instructor, one is first required to have experience as a dental hygienist and be licensed by their state or regional board; in most states, licensing requires graduation from a dental hygienist program that is recognized by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, as well as passing written and clinical exam. CPR certification is needed as well. Work experience is an important consideration for dental hygienist instructor positions, and prospective instructors can gain experience by working part or full time with dentists within the state in which they are licensed. Some teaching or education experience is typically required or highly preferred as well.
Dental Hygiene Instructor Tasks
Conduct on-the-job training, classes, or training sessions to teach and demonstrate principles, techniques, procedures, or methods of dental hygiene.
Prepare reports and maintain records such as student grades, attendance rolls, and training activity details.
Supervise and monitor students' use of tools and equipment.