Dental hygienists use preventive, educational and therapeutic methods for controlling oral diseases to help individual patients and groups achieve and maintain oral health.
Duties & Tasks
Dental hygienists may perform the following tasks:assess and record oral health conditions and plan treatments
educate, counsel and provide instruction for people of all ages, as well as other healthcare professionals, on oral health and hygiene, plaque control and nutrition
remove deposits and stains from teeth by scaling, root debridement and tooth polishing
identify and apply prevention strategies and control mechanisms for dental caries (decay) and periodontal (gum) disease
select and use appropriate fluoride treatments, and polish tooth restorations
apply professional tooth whitening agents
place temporary dental restorations
expose, process and interpret dental X-rays
take impressions of patients' mouths for the construction of study casts, mouthguards and orthodontic appliances
carry out orthodontic procedures that do not initiate tooth movement (such as band sizing and selection or bonding of fixed retainers)
apply and remove periodontal dressings and rubber dams
stabilise teeth affected by gum disease
select and administer pain control techniques, including local anaesthesia
remove dental sutures (stitches)
instruct patients on looking after their teeth and mouth after operations.
Dental hygienists may work in a team with other dental practitioners.
good hand-eye coordination
able to perform precise and detailed work
good problem-solving skills
good communication skills
interest in healthcare work
able to work as part of a team.