Career in Dental Hygiene/Job Description

Career in Dental Hygiene
Job Description

A dental hygienist is a preventive oral health professional licensed to provide educational, clinical and therapeutic services to the public. A dental hygienist's primary duties are to care for patients using an individualized oral health regimen. Each state outlines those procedures that can be legally performed by a licensed registered dental hygienist.

Listed below are examples of services that registered dental hygienists may be able to perform.

  • Health history assessment.
  • Dental hygiene exam and charting of intra-oral and extra-oral conditions, which include periodontal charting, dental charting and classifying occlusion.
  • Dental hygiene assessment and treatment planning.
  • Remove hard and soft deposits (calculus, biofilm/plaque, stain) from tooth surfaces.
  • Periodontal scaling and root planning.
  • Administration of local anesthesia for pain control.
  • Administration of nitrous oxide/oxygen sedation for anxiety and pain control.
  • Apply tooth-decay preventive agents (fluoride, sealants) to the teeth.
  • Dental hygiene nutritional and dietary evaluation.
  • Placement of subgingival prescription drugs for prevention and treatment of periodontal disease.
  • Expose, process and interpret dental x-rays.
  • Place and remove temporary fillings and periodontal dressings.
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