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Dental Hygienist Overview - Preparation - Day In The Life - Earnings - Employment - Career Path Forecast - Professional Organizations -
Overview PowerPoint - Overview Podcast


Dental hygienists remove soft and hard deposits from teeth, teach patients how to practice good oral hygiene, and provide other preventive dental care. They examine patients' teeth and gums, recording the presence of diseases or abnormalities.

Dental hygienists use an assortment of different tools to complete their tasks. Hand and rotary instruments and ultrasonic devices are used to clean and polish teeth, including removing calculus, stains, and plaque. Hygienists use digital and traditional x-ray machines to take and develop dental pictures. They may use models of teeth to explain oral hygiene, perform root planning as a periodontal therapy, or apply cavity-preventative agents such as fluorides and pit and fissure sealants.

In some states, hygienists are licensed to administer local anesthetics using syringes. Some states also allow hygienists to place and carve filling materials, temporary fillings, and periodontal dressings; remove sutures; and smooth and polish metal restorations.

Dental hygienists also help patients develop and maintain good oral health. For example, they may explain the relationship between diet and oral health or inform patients how to select toothbrushes and show them how to brush and floss their teeth.

Hygienists sometimes make a diagnosis and other times may prepare clinical and laboratory diagnostic tests for the dentist to interpret. Hygienists sometimes work chair side with the dentist during treatment.

Dentist Hygienist Resources

Online

Overview:
Overview of the work of Dental Hygienists
Preparation:
Programs, Preparation Tips
Day in the Life:
Specialty Areas, the Workplace
Earnings:
Salary Ranges
Employment:
Statistics, Employment Options
Career Path Forecast:
Predictions for Dental Hygienists
Professional Organizations:
Resources, Networking, Support
Podcast:
Overview of the work of a Dentist Hygienist
Internet Resources:
American Dental Association

American Dental Education Association
American Dental Hygienists' Association
Student American Dental Hygienists' Association

Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 


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