What does a Dental Hygienist do?

Clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop x rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.

Jobs Roles

  • Clean calcareous deposits, accretions, and stains from teeth and beneath margins of gums, using dental instruments.
  • Feel and visually examine gums for sores and signs of disease.
  • Chart conditions of decay and disease for diagnosis and treatment by dentist.
  • Feel lymph nodes under patient's chin to detect swelling or tenderness that could indicate presence of oral cancer.
  • Apply fluorides or other cavity preventing agents to arrest dental decay.
  • Examine gums, using probes, to locate periodontal recessed gums and signs of gum disease.
  • Expose and develop x-ray film.
  • Remove excess cement from coronal surfaces of teeth.
  • Make impressions for study casts.
  • Administer local anesthetic agents.
  • Conduct dental health clinics for community groups to augment services of dentist.
  • Remove sutures and dressings.
  • Place and remove rubber dams, matrices, and temporary restorations.
  • Record and review patient medical histories.
  • Provide clinical services or health education to improve and maintain the oral health of patients or the general public.
  • Maintain dental equipment and sharpen and sterilize dental instruments.
  • Maintain patient recall system.
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