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What does a Dental Hygienist do?

Dental hygienists are responsible for providing oral care to patients through examination, teeth cleaning, and other preventative dental services. Dental hygienists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, public health clinics, private dental offices, and dental schools.

Dental hygienists must have an associate's degree in dental hygiene from an accredited school. Additionally, dental hygienists must become licensed by becoming a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH). Requirements vary by state, but it is common to require the following to become an RDH: completion of an accredited dental hygienist program, certification in CPR, passing of a national exam, and passing of a state clinical exam.

  • Perform dental hygiene services and procedures, including dental prophylaxis, scaling, flouride and sealants, and root planning
  • Complete a thorough assessment of the patient's teeth, bone, and periodontal tissues, and document any abnormalities or suspected conditions
  • Customize care to meet patient's oral health
  • Educate patients on good oral hygiene techniques
  • Aid the dentist with procedures and emergencies as needed
  • Maintain patient confidentiality
  • Provide all care in conjunction with accepted professional dental practices and standards
  • Graduate of an accredited school of dental hygiene
  • Registered Dental Hygienist licensure in state of practice
  • Current CPR certification
  • 1-2 years of experience working in a dental practice
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Proven dedication to provide high quality, comprehensive dental care
  • Ability to comply with safety procedures, rules, and regulations in order to maintain a clean and safe working environment
  • Strong working knowledge of dental terminology, equipment, and practices

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
30%
2 - 4
32%
5 - 7
2%
8+
36%

Common Skill Sets

Sealants
Dentrix
Excellent Communication
CPR Certified
HIPAA
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
Written Communication
Protocols

Dental Hygienist Seniority Levels

L2
Dental Hygienist
$62,027/yr
L5
Dentist
6% made the transition
Administrative Assistant
55% made the transition
See Career Path

Dental Hygienist Salaries

Average Base Pay

CA$74,782 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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CA$61k
Median: CA$75k
CA$108k
See More Insights
Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Dental Hygienist jobs