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Dental Hygienist Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Dental Hygienist, or an Oral Hygienist, is a dental assistant who works with Dentists in cleaning, fixing, and evaluating teeth. Their duties include supporting Dentists and their staff in collecting medical records, providing oral hygiene education, and cleaning teeth.

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Dental Hygienist duties and responsibilities

There are many important duties and responsibilities a Dental Hygienist will focus on day-to-day. They will see many patients with varying dental needs. It is up to them to take a medical history, review a client’s teeth prior to the Dentist, and relay pertinent information to the Dentist. They may also need to: 

  • Chart the condition of teeth and the overall oral health of the patient
  • Create molds of the patient’s teeth for braces, dentures, and bridges
  • Sterilize and clean dental tools and medical areas
  • Educate patients on proper dental care and oral hygiene
  • Provide assistance and support to the Dentist during major operations and procedures
  • Complete patient intake examinations
  • Create a dental plan that addresses the patient’s financial status and insurance coverage
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Dental Hygienist Job Description Examples:

What does a Dental Hygienist do?

A Dental Hygienist is an important support employee in a dental office. There are often several Dental Hygienists who work in one clinic and for different Dentists. Their main responsibility is to clean teeth, perform x-ray procedures, and provide support for clients and customers. In order for a Dental Hygienist to be successful, they must be diligent, have attention to detail, and be able to work collaboratively with others in the office.

Dental Hygienist skills and qualifications

A successful Dental Hygienist will have important skills and qualifications in order to perform their job safely and properly. Some of these may include:

  • Excellent verbal communication skills for working directly with patients
  • Written communication skills for documenting a patient’s medical history and oral health
  • Flexibility to work evenings and weekends as needed
  • Experience taking digital x-rays and other imaging

Dental Hygienist experience requirements

Ideally, a Dental Hygienist will have some prior experience working in dental hygiene, but that may not always be necessary. Candidates with a history of interaction with children in their work may be sought after, depending on the practice. Experience using digital software and varying platforms for imaging, record-taking, and communication would also generally be considered an asset for the applicant.

Dental Hygienist education and training requirements

A good Dental Hygienist candidate will have received training from an accredited school or training program in dental hygiene. They should be registered with their respective provincial colleges, such as the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario (CDHO). Any other medical training would be considered as an asset to the candidate. It would be an asset if a candidate has taken continuing education courses in dental hygiene to advance their skills.

Dental Hygienist salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Dental Hygienist is $39.61 per hour. This will depend on many factors, including where the dental office is located, the experience of the applicant, and the needs of the company.

Job description samples for similar positions

If the job description same for Dental Hygienist is not what you are looking for, there are other job description samples that may be helpful, including:

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Dental Hygienist job description FAQs

What is the difference between a Dental Hygienist and a Dental Assistant?

A Dental Hygienist will work one-on-one with patients to help them with their oral hygiene. A Dental Assistant, in contrast, will focus on supporting and aiding a Dentist in their work.

How can you make your Dental Hygienist job description stand out?

In order to make your Dental Hygienist job description stand out, you should include the dental clinic’s proximity to public transportation, if parking is available, or any unique employee benefits. If you do not expect your Dental Hygienist to work weeknights or weekends, it would be beneficial to include this in the job description as it may be seen a positive highlight for your company. You can also include the approximate amount of hours you expect the Dental Hygienist to work.

Who does a Dental Hygienist report to?

A Dental Hygienist may report to a Dentist directly if they work at a dental office. However, some public health units will hire Dental Hygienists for cleaning programs. In that case, they may report to a Director of Operations at a public health office.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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