Dental hygiene is an important field of dental care. Dental hygienists play a vital role in dental health, and they perform many important tasks that help keep teeth healthy. In this blog post, we will answer the question: What do dental hygienists do? We will also discuss the kinds of education that dental hygienists can get or need. So if you are interested in becoming a dental hygienist, read on!
What is a Dental Hygienist?
A dental hygienist is a dental professional who specializes in preventive dental care and oral health. Dental hygienists are trained to provide routine dental cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants, and other preventive dental care services. They also educate patients on how to maintain good oral hygiene habits. In addition, dental hygienists may also take X-rays, perform root canals, and place fillings.
What Does a Dental Hygienist Do?
Dental hygienists typically do the following:
- Remove plaque and tartar from teeth
- Apply sealants or fluorides to teeth
- Take X-rays of teeth
- Educate patients on proper oral hygiene habits
How Do I Become a Dental Hygienist?
To become a dental hygienist, you will need to complete an accredited dental hygiene program. Most dental hygiene programs take two to three years to complete, and they typically lead to an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. Some dental hygienists may also choose to pursue a master’s degree in dental hygiene. After completing a dental hygiene program, you will need to obtain a state license in order to practice dental hygiene.
What Are the Education Requirements for Becoming a Dental Hygienist?
Most dental hygienists have at least an associate’s degree in dental hygiene. However, some dental hygienists may choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in dental hygiene.
What Are the Job Outlook and Salary for Dental Hygienists?
The job outlook for dental hygienists is very good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the employment of dental hygienists will grow by 19 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual salary for dental hygienists was $72,000 in May 2022.
What Does a Master’s in Dental Hygiene Do?
A master’s in dental hygiene is a terminal degree that prepares dental hygienists for advanced clinical practice, research, and teaching. A dental hygienist with a master’s degree may pursue careers in dental education, dental public health, or clinical dental hygiene research.