A Dental Hygienist’s responsibility is to help prevent dental related diseases in their patients. Dental Hygienists will usually work with a certified dentist to meet the oral health concerns of patients. Some basic job responsibilities and tasks include, giving patients routine cleanings in order to remove plaque and other caustic substances from all surfaces of the teeth, testing patients’ teeth for cavities and other abnormalities, assessment of the patient’s health history, applying anesthesia to patients going through surgery, applying different treatments such as fluoride in order to prevent future cavities and diseases, taking and developing dental X-rays in order to assess current and future dental problems, and assisting dentists with their work. It is also the responsibility of a Dental Hygienist to talk to their patients about proper dental care and promote good nutrition habits in order to prevent further dental health problems. Along with these hands on activities, Dental Hygienists also perform general documentation procedures and office management involving their patient’s documented information.
To become a Dental Hygienist, one can go through a variety of different accredited academic programs offered at Universities, Technical Schools, Community Colleges and Dental Schools. The dental hygiene programs offered at Universities will more than likely require two years of schooling in order to get a Baccalaureate or Master's Degree. Community college programs are also usually two years but will require you to take additional examinations in order to become a licensed dental worker.
Dental Hygienist Tasks
- Record the presence of diseases or abnormalities.
- Examine patients teeth and gums.
- Teach patients how to practice good oral hygiene.
- Remove soft and hard deposits from teeth.