Dental Hygienist Job Description

by Publishing Team on January 17, 2011

The dental hygienist is responsible for cleaning teeth and examining oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. They educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop X-rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.


  • The dental hygienist cleans calcareous deposits, accretions, and stains from teeth and beneath margins of gums, using dental instruments.
  • They feel and visually examine gums for sores and signs of disease.
  • They chart conditions of decay and disease for diagnosis and treatment by dentist.
  • They apply fluorides and other cavity preventing agents to arrest dental decay.
  • They examine gums, using probes, to locate periodontal recessed gums and signs of gum disease.
  • They provide clinical services and health education to improve and maintain oral health of school children.
  • They remove excess cement from coronal surfaces of teeth.
  • They place, carve, and finish amalgam restorations.
  • They administer local anesthetic agents.
  • They conduct dental health clinics for community groups to augment services of dentist.
  • They remove sutures and dressings.
  • They place and remove rubber dams, matrices, and temporary restorations.
  • They provide personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.


  • The dental hygienist must be able to use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • They must be able to see details at close range.
  • They must be able to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • They must be able to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.


    The dental hygienist must have a bachelor or associate’s degree in dentistry or dental health with years of experience in the field.
  • They should have knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities; including symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

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