WHAT DO DENTAL HYGIENISTS DO?
Do you see dollar signs when someone smiles? Dental hygienists work with dentists to inspect and clean people's teeth and gums. Dental hygienists also teach people proper tooth and gum care and educate people on different ways to prevent oral disease.
Using a multitude of tools, dental hygienists clean gingivitis, plaque and tartar from teeth, clean and apply flouride, and give oral x-rays. They work directly with patients and give them advice on good oral health.
HOW MUCH DO DENTAL HYGIENISTS MAKE?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Dental Hygienists made a median hourly income of $32.81, or $68,250 annually.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?
To become a dental hygienist, you must have an associate's degree in dental hygiene. You can also get a master's degree, but it's not necessary for entry level positions. All states require dental hygienists to be licensed.
JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Compassion: Some patients will be in pain or stressed out. You will need to be compassionate to their needs.
- Attention to Detail: There are rules when treating patients for gum and tooth disease. Dental hygienists need to be aware of what they are doing.
- Dexterity: You should be good with your hands. You will be working in close proximity with someone's mouth, and you don't want to fumble around in there.
- Interpersonal Skills: You will be talking and listening with patients, giving them instructions on tooth and gum health, cleaning instructions and diagnosing issues. Good listening and speaking skills are needed.
- Stamina: Dental hygienists spend long hours on their feet or bent over working.
- Technical Skills: Dental hygienists work with many tools, such as x-ray machines, power brushes and others.