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All About Dental Hygienists

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: What Do They Do?

  • Apply fluorides or other cavity preventing agents to arrest dental decay.
  • Maintain dental equipment and sharpen and sterilize dental instruments.
  • Place and remove rubber dams, matrices, and temporary restorations.
  • Clean calcareous deposits, accretions, and stains from teeth and beneath margins of gums, using dental instruments.
  • Make impressions for study casts.
  • Record and review patient medical histories.

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.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

  • Implant Coordinator
  • Registered Dental Hygienist, Part Time Clinical Faculty
  • Oral Hygienist
  • Education Coordinator
  • Hygienist

Is There Job Demand for Dental Hygienists?

There were about 207,900 jobs for Dental Hygienists in 2016 (in the United States).

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 19.7% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 40,900 new jobs for Dental Hygienists by 2026. There will be an estimated 17,500 positions for Dental Hygienist per year.

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

The states with the most job growth for Dental Hygienists are California, Texas, and New York.

Watch out if you plan on working in Rhode Island, Mississippi, or Idaho. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Dental Hygienist Salary

Dental Hygienists Make between $51,930 and $101,820 a year. The median salary is $74,820.

Salary Ranges for Dental Hygienists

How much do Dental Hygienists make in each U.S. state?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Alaska

$114,320

California

$100,830

Washington

$90,690

Arizona

$85,890

New Jersey

$85,860

Oregon

$85,280

Maryland

$85,240

Colorado

$84,510

Connecticut

$83,630

Massachusetts

$82,750

District of Columbia

$81,270

Nevada

$81,270

Virginia

$79,640

New Hampshire

$79,560

Delaware

$78,550

Hawaii

$77,920

New York

$76,280

New Mexico

$75,860

Texas

$75,300

Rhode Island

$74,650

Idaho

$74,430

Montana

$74,350

Minnesota

$74,240

Oklahoma

$73,990

Illinois

$72,640

North Dakota

$72,580

Vermont

$72,490

Arkansas

$71,090

Wyoming

$69,620

North Carolina

$69,500

Utah

$69,490

Iowa

$68,870

Missouri

$68,820

Ohio

$68,310

Indiana

$68,000

Pennsylvania

$67,010

Tennessee

$66,290

Nebraska

$65,870

Georgia

$65,650

Wisconsin

$65,540

Maine

$65,500

Kansas

$64,980

South Dakota

$64,580

Michigan

$64,130

Florida

$64,070

South Carolina

$61,440

Kentucky

$59,910

Louisiana

$59,810

Mississippi

$57,860

West Virginia

$57,740

Alabama

$46,500

What Tools & Technology do Dental Hygienists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Dental Hygienists:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office

How do I Become a Dental Hygienist?

What education or degrees do I need to become a Dental Hygienist?

Dental Hygienist Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Dental Hygienist?

Dental Hygienist Work Experience

Where Dental Hygienists Work

Dental Hygienist Sectors

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those interested in being a Dental Hygienist may also be interested in:

  • Psychiatric Aides
  • Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses
  • Neurodiagnostic Technologists

Are you already one of the many Dental Hygienists in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

  • Radiologic Technologists

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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