What Do Dental Hygienist Do?
Occupation Description 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
- Record and review patient medical histories.
- Maintain dental equipment and sharpen and sterilize dental instruments.
- Remove sutures and dressings.
- Provide clinical services or health education to improve and maintain the oral health of patients or the general public.
- Conduct dental health clinics for community groups to augment services of dentist.
- Examine gums, using probes, to locate periodontal recessed gums and signs of gum disease.
Dental Hygienist Needed Skills
When polled, Dental Hygienists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:
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.
Other Dental Hygienist Job Titles
- Implant Coordinator
- Education Coordinator
- Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH)
- Dental Hygienist, Mobile Coordinator
- Registered Dental Hygienist, Part Time Clinical Faculty
What Kind of Dental Hygienist Job Opportunities Are There?
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.
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.
Dental Hygienists who work in Alaska, California, or Washington, make the highest salaries.
How much do Dental Hygienists make in each U.S. state?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$81,270|
Tools & Technologies Used by Dental Hygienists
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Dental Hygienists may use on a daily basis:
- 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
Becoming a Dental Hygienist
Are there Dental Hygienists education requirements?
What work experience do I need to become a Dental Hygienist?
Where Dental Hygienists Are Employed
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
You May Also Be Interested In…
Those interested in being a Dental Hygienist may also be interested in:
Those who work as a Dental Hygienist sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:
Image Credit: Sgt. Dallas Edwards via Public domain
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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