Dental Hygienist Job Description

Dental hygienists help people with their oral hygiene. They work in offices and clinics, not just dentist offices.

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Dental hygienists are professionals who oversee the oral hygiene of patients. They can be found in both private and public health settings, working as employees of dentist offices or dentistry clinics.


This professional must complete a degree in dental hygiene from an accredited school. Some schools offer this program as an associate's degree, while others require a bachelor's degree. Upon graduation, the student would take and pass the National Dental Hygienist Board exam or state licensing exam for dental hygienists.


The average salary of these health professionals is $72,910 per year. This figure varies depending on a number of factors including the state where he/she practices and other qualifications such as the amount of years practicing within this field.


Dental hygienists work in dental offices, hospitals, schools and nursing homes helping patients maintain healthy teeth and gums. They can work alongside dentists, endodontists and other specialist who treat oral problems within the mouth.


Employment benefits of this position include salary security, good health insurance with dental plan and opportunities for advancement. 


As dental hygienists receive more training about the role they play in people's overall health, they're being called on to take a larger role in patient care. The American Dental Hygienists Association describes this trend as critical to the dental health of children and adults alike.


Duties include:

  • Cleaning teeth
  • Giving x-rays
  • Drawing blood for testing
  • Examining patients, charting and recording treatment plans
  • Giving fluoride treatments
  • Taking impressions of teeth for dental work such as crowns and dentures
  • Applying sealants to children's teeth
  • In private practices, arranging patient schedules
  • In public health settings, overseeing an entire dental health clinic


Dental hygienists work in a variety of different environments. They can be employed by private offices, hospitals, nursing homes and schools. They typically work on their own or with dentists, although some may assist other dental professionals such as oral surgeons or periodontists.


Dental hygienists are licensed in all states and must be registered or certified by the state dental board before working on patients.


All 50 states require some type of training or degree for this position, although requirements vary from state to state. Most employers prefer to hire hygienists with a two-year associate's degree in dental hygiene. Many hygienists continue to pursue higher education by enrolling in a bachelor's degree program or a master of science degree program.

Statistics on Dental Hygienists


  • Employment of dental hygienists is projected to grow 6 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. (
  • The largest employers of dental hygienists were as follows: Offices of dentists 93%, Offices of physicians 1%, Government 1% (
  • The lowest 10 percent earned less than $54,200, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $104,420. (

Articles On Dental Hygienists


Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienist assess oral health of patients, assist the dentist, take and develop dental radiographs. (


Dental Hygienists: Occupational Outlook Handbook: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Dental hygienists examine patients for signs of oral diseases, such as gingivitis, and provide preventive care, including oral hygiene. (


Dental hygienist - Wikipedia (


How to Become a Dental Hygienist 

What does it take to become a dental hygienist? Learn about the schooling and qualifications needed to become competitive in the field. (


Dental Hygienist 

Dental hygienists will clean a patient's teeth, removing tartar, stains and plaque as they brush, floss and scrape. (


Dental Hygienists (


Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienists are accredited, licensed preventive oral health professionals who provide educational, clinical, research and therapeutic services. (


Dental Hygienist Job Description: Salary, Skills, & More

Learn about job duties, educational requirements, earnings, and job outlook. (


Dental Hygienists at My Next Move (


Dental Hygienist (


Future Dental Hygienists

Dental hygienists are preventive oral health professionals who provide educational, clinical, research, & therapeutic services supporting total health. (

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