What does a Dental Hygienist do?
Dental Hygienists work with patients during the entire dental process, from beginning to end and teach oral hygiene strategies to patients. Tasks include cleaning teeth, taking x-rays, applying sealants, and oral care instructions.
In addition, they work closely with the dentist and assist as needed. They also document and record all patients information to ensure accurate records of services provided and findings.
How to Become a Dental Hygienist
Most dental hygienists earn a two-year degree at a community college. Some states require a student to graduate from an accredited program in dental hygiene and pass a state exam. Dental hygienist earn an Associates degree after completing these programs. Most employers prefer applicants to have experience in dental hygiene and it would also be helpful to have some computer experience as well.
Job Description of a Dental Hygienist
A dental hygienist assistant works with patients under the supervision of a dentist. They perform a variety of tasks, such as, taking X-rays, record-keeping and appointment scheduling.
They would sterilize dental instruments and prepare the treatment area by setting out required instruments or materials. They keep a patients mouth dry by using equipment, like, suction hoses. Some dental hygienist assistants may prepare materials used for casting teeth or create temporary crowns.
According to each states’ regulations, the dental hygienist assistant may be able to do coronal polishing, fluoride application, sealant application and topical anesthetics application. He or she also sets up billing and payments for the patient. One normally would work in a dentist office on a full-time basis. A Dental Hygienist generally has a normal working week of forty hours.