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Dental Hygienist

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Life As a Dental Hygienist

Dental Hygienist Example 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.

Life As a Dental Hygienist

  • Expose and develop x-ray film.
  • Chart conditions of decay and disease for diagnosis and treatment by dentist.
  • Provide clinical services or health education to improve and maintain the oral health of patients or the general public.
  • Feel lymph nodes under patient’s chin to detect swelling or tenderness that could indicate presence of oral cancer.
  • Remove excess cement from coronal surfaces of teeth.
  • Feel and visually examine gums for sores and signs of disease.

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.

  • Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH)
  • Dental Hygienist, Mobile Coordinator
  • Education Coordinator
  • Registered Dental Hygienist, Part Time Clinical Faculty
  • Dental Hygienist

Dental Hygienist Job Outlook

In the United States, there were 207,900 jobs for Dental Hygienist in 2016. 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 17,500 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Dental Hygienists in U.S.

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.

Average Dental Hygienists Salary

Dental Hygienists make between $51,930 and $101,820 a year.

Salary Ranges for Dental Hygienists

Dental Hygienists who work in Alaska, California, or Washington, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Dental Hygienists in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $46,500
Alaska $114,320
Arizona $85,890
Arkansas $71,090
California $100,830
Colorado $84,510
Connecticut $83,630
Delaware $78,550
District of Columbia $81,270
Florida $64,070
Georgia $65,650
Hawaii $77,920
Idaho $74,430
Illinois $72,640
Indiana $68,000
Iowa $68,870
Kansas $64,980
Kentucky $59,910
Louisiana $59,810
Maine $65,500
Maryland $85,240
Massachusetts $82,750
Michigan $64,130
Minnesota $74,240
Mississippi $57,860
Missouri $68,820
Montana $74,350
Nebraska $65,870
Nevada $81,270
New Hampshire $79,560
New Jersey $85,860
New Mexico $75,860
New York $76,280
North Carolina $69,500
North Dakota $72,580
Ohio $68,310
Oklahoma $73,990
Oregon $85,280
Pennsylvania $67,010
Rhode Island $74,650
South Carolina $61,440
South Dakota $64,580
Tennessee $66,290
Texas $75,300
Utah $69,490
Vermont $72,490
Virginia $79,640
Washington $90,690
West Virginia $57,740
Wisconsin $65,540
Wyoming $69,620

What Tools do Dental Hygienists Use?

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

Are there Dental Hygienists education requirements?

Dental Hygienist Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Dental Hygienist Work Experience

Who Employs Dental Hygienists?

Dental Hygienist Sectors

Dental Hygienists work in the following industries:

Dental Hygienist Industries

You May Also Be Interested In…

Those thinking about becoming a Dental Hygienist might also be interested in the following careers:

Career changers with experience as a Dental Hygienist sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

References:

Image Credit: Sgt. Dallas Edwards via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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