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Registered Dental Hygienist
Dental Health Care Guides

Registered Dental Hygienist: Responsibilities, Job Description and Requirements

Find out about training and the instruction needed to be a registered dental hygienist. Get an instant view of the demands – including licensing, degree programs and job responsibilities – whether this can be the profession for you personally to see.

Basic Info
Dental hygienists are proficient healthcare workers who usually work in dentists’ offices. They need to be trained in abilities, techniques and theories associated with dental treatments and should obtain state licensure. This might be a great profession for people who love working with individuals and are interested in health care occupations.

Dental Hygienist Job Description
They are not qualified perform the same procedures as dentists or to make exactly the same type of decisions that are diagnostic. Instead, they perform basic dental care jobs, largely focused on keeping patients’ teeth and gums clean. Unlike dental assistants, who work directly with dentists, hygienists often see patients on their own and direct their own jobs. They spend a lot of work time around other people, including other office staff along with patients and work in close physical proximity for their patients.

 

Responsibilities of the occupation include:
– supplying dental health education about tooth care and diet
– removing and calculus by scaling and polishing teeth
– taking dental radiographs of teeth and/or impressions
– implementing prophylactic /antibacterial materials, fissure sealants and topical fluorides to assist in preventing tooth decay
– carrying out monitoring and screening processes
– treating and helping prevent gum disease
– ensuring that sterile conditions are kept
– offering encouragement and advice to patients
– working closely with and under the teaching of dentists
– utilizing a variety of dental devices
– keeping up-to-date with new developments within the profession preserving patient records that are dental

Dental Hygienist Responsibilities
Most hygienists’ day-to-day responsibilities comprise teaching proper brushing and flossing techniques and polishing a sick patient’s teeth during a routine checkup, screening patients, reviewing a sick patient’s oral health history and removing plaque from. In addition they use X-ray machines develop the movie for the dentist’s evaluation and to take images of the teeth.

Based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), dental hygienists might be competent to perform additional tasks depending on the rules and regulations regulating the field in their state (www.bls.gov). The additional jobs named by the BLS include sculpting materials to fill cavities, removing stitches, managing anesthesia and working with alloy tooth components.

Dental Hygienist Requirements
A person must obtain a license from the state where he or she will work to lawfully act as a dental hygienist in the United States. As stated by the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (www.adha.org), licensure in many states depends on graduating from an accredited degree program, passing a national exam for licensure and passing a state or region-specific test.

Education Requirements
Aspiring dental hygienists can attend programs that are accredited at community colleges, vocational schools, and universities. The BLS reports that qualifications given by dental hygienist programs vary from certificates to master’s degrees, bachelor’s and associate. The BLS says that the most common degree in dental hygiene systems is the associate degree, that might take two years of full-time study.

Required courses in dental hygiene systems commonly include physiology, anatomy, chemistry, clinical sciences and pharmacology. There are about 270 dental hygiene systems accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.

Requirements for Dental Hygiene School
Applicants to hygienist programs should have a high school diploma or equivalent and generally have to have excelled in biology, chemistry, math and health courses during high school, as stated by the American Dental Association (www.ada.org).

Testing Conditions
To be a licensed dental hygienist, the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, which is a comprehensive written exam must be passed by the graduate. Section of the test evaluates the test taker’s knowledge of scientific principles and facts regarding dental hygiene. Another part asks the future hygienist to evaluate case study patients, based on graphs and photos, and select proper treatment for them.

To be a licensed dental hygienist, the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, which is a comprehensive written exam must be passed by the graduate. Section of the test evaluates the test taker’s knowledge of scientific principles and facts regarding dental hygiene. Another part asks the future hygienist to evaluate case study patients, based on graphs and photos, and select proper treatment for them.
The candidate generally must take a regional dental hygiene assessment after passing the national examination. This assessment usually includes a demonstration of clinical skill. The candidate removes tartar, plaque or calculus from your teeth of a real individual. She or he also checks for pockets between gums and teeth, which might indicate inflammation or potential disease.

Employment Outlook and Wages Info
The BLS forecast considerably faster than average job growth of 33 percent from 2012-2022 for these professionals.

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