Dental nurses, also known as dental hygienists in the United States, perform a wide variety of tasks in dental offices. They are responsible for cleaning teeth, looking for signs of oral disease in patients, and providing education and preventative care. Specific tasks performed by dental nurses include сlеаning stаіns and plaque buildup on teeth, сlеаning undеr аnd аrоund the gums, sеаrсhing fоr іndісаtоrs оf оrаl disease such as swеllіng, and applying dental prophylaxis, sealants and topical fluorides as required. They also educate patients on oral care and hygiene, such as on proper flossing and brushing techniques and ways to improve oral health through diet.
Additionally, dental nurses help dentists and other professionals in their office in tasks such as taking radiographs, assisting during dental procedures and making impressions of teeth. Some dental nurses work for orthodontists and provide care specific to orthodontic patients and procedures. They generally work under the supervision of a dentist. and must be able to follow the dentist's instructions accurately and promptly.
Common requirements for dental nurses include a degree from an accredited dental hygiene program, as well as state licensing as a dental hygienist and previous experience. Dental nurses must have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, as they work with patients and dental colleagues on a daily basis. They should also be able to multitask, keep appropriate records and stay well organized. Some light lifting may be required in this role.