The Importance of Dental Hygienists and Their Duties
A Dental Hygienist’s top priority is oral care and overall physical health of the patients they see each day. They look for and work to prevent tooth and/or gum diseases or irregularities. They educate people about dental health and show them how to perform good oral cleanliness. This education includes brushing, flossing and a person’s diet.
Some of the basic daily job duties for a Hygienist in the Dental industry are:
- Clean and inspect teeth and gums
- Polish teeth
- Take dental x-rays and develop the x-rays
- Educate people about oral hygiene
- Help patients to plan for root canals or other dental procedures
- Administer products on teeth that help prevent cavities
A Dental Hygienist is trained to be capable of making a diagnosis. Also, they may have to arrange medical and lab investigations as part of their daily work routine. The diagnosis and reports are performed for the Dentist. He or she deciphers the results and explains them to the patients. Often times, a hygienist is referred to as a dentist’s assistant because they work with the dentist, side by side, and assist with dental procedures with many patients.
The average yearly salary for Dental Hygienists was about $69,280 according to recent government reports. The annual income can range from approximately $46,020 to $94,850. What a person earns in this line of work can depend on locations, education and experience.
Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.
Becoming a Dental Hygienist and Schools that Offer the Programs
In order to become a Dental Hygienist, an individual will need to have a high school diploma or a GED and a college degree. A person will proceed with an undergraduate program and become registered as a Dental Hygienist in the state in which he or she wishes to work in. Students can move forward from an Associate of Science degree to a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degree in dental hygiene programs as well.