What does a Dental Hygienist do?

Dental hygienists are responsible for providing oral care to patients through examination, teeth cleaning, and other preventative dental services. Dental hygienists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, public health clinics, private dental offices, and dental schools.

Dental hygienists must have an associate's degree in dental hygiene from an accredited school. Additionally, dental hygienists must become licensed by becoming a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH). Requirements vary by state, but it is common to require the following to become an RDH: completion of an accredited dental hygienist program, certification in CPR, passing of a national exam, and passing of a state clinical exam.

What responsibilities are common for Dental Hygienist jobs?
  • Perform dental hygiene services and procedures, including dental prophylaxis, scaling, flouride and sealants, and root planning
  • Complete a thorough assessment of the patient's teeth, bone, and periodontal tissues, and document any abnormalities or suspected conditions
  • Customize care to meet patient's oral health
  • Educate patients on good oral hygiene techniques
  • Aid the dentist with procedures and emergencies as needed
  • Maintain patient confidentiality
  • Provide all care in conjunction with accepted professional dental practices and standards
What are the typical qualifications for Dental Hygienist jobs?
  • Graduate of an accredited school of dental hygiene
  • Registered Dental Hygienist licensure in state of practice
  • Current CPR certification
  • 1-2 years of experience working in a dental practice
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Proven dedication to provide high quality, comprehensive dental care
  • Ability to comply with safety procedures, rules, and regulations in order to maintain a clean and safe working environment
  • Strong working knowledge of dental terminology, equipment, and practices
EducationAssociate's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.6 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.6 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

Dental Hygienist Salaries

There are no current reports for Dental Hygienist salaries. You can add additional job titles in your job preferences to see related salary information.

Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Dental Hygienist Career Path

Learn how to become a Dental Hygienist, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L2
Dental Hygienist
€64,639/yr
L4
Dental Hygienist IV
No Salary Reports
L5
Dental Hygienist V
No Salary Reports
L2

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
30%
2 - 4
32%
5 - 7
2%
8+
36%
Not including years spent in education and/or training
See Career Path

Dental Hygienist Insights

Read what Dental Hygienist professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Bain Dental GroupBain Dental Group
Registered Dental Hygienist
2 Dec 2020

“We have the best staff that is knowledgeable and that go above and beyond for our patients.”

Howard Family DentalHoward Family Dental
Dental Hygienist
17 Apr 2021

“Great Doctor and staff to work with.”

Heartland DentalHeartland Dental
Registered Dental Hygienist
14 Dec 2020

“Having the ability and support to grow in your career as well as focusing on your own self mastery.”

Dental Excellence Integrative CenterDental Excellence Integrative Center
Registered Dental Hygienist
3 Dec 2020

“I get to go to the best CE classes and learn the most advanced techniques.”

Empress Dental Laboratories
Non Dental Tech
20 Nov 2021

“Good nice very good nice”

Fuji Dental Laboratory
Dental Ceramist
21 Jun 2022

“Fri. Flexible work schedule.”

American Dental PartnersAmerican Dental Partners
Registered Dental Hygienist
21 Aug 2020

“I was able to attend their Leadership Institute program which had a significant impact on my life as a whole.”

DocbracesDocbraces
Registered Dental Hygienist
6 Nov 2021

“term potential for my career and opportunities for movement.”

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Dental Hygienist Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of dental hygienists

The typical day of a dental hygienist involves caring for patients' teeth by examining and cleaning them. They also collect patient medical information and advise them on different oral cleaning techniques. They also work alongside the dentist, assisting them with dental procedures.

Dental hygienics is a great career choice. Dental hygienists can work either full-time or part-time schedules. They can often find the right weekly schedule to fit their needs. Helping patients improve their health by teaching them how to care for their teeth more effectively can be a fulfilling aspect of working as a dental hygienist.

Though becoming a dental hygienist can have a lot of benefits, it does have a few challenges, including physical strain and fast deadlines. Hygienists can sometimes experience back and neck pain after working, and they may also have to see many patients during the day, leading to stress.

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