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 treatmentseducate, counsel and provide instruction for people of all ages, as well as other healthcare professionals, on oral health and hygiene, plaque control and nutritionremove deposits and stains from teeth by scaling, root debridement and tooth polishingidentify and apply prevention strategies and control mechanisms for dental caries (decay) and periodontal (gum) diseaseselect and use appropriate fluoride treatments, and polish tooth restorationsapply professional tooth whitening agentsplace temporary dental restorationsexpose, process and interpret dental X-raystake impressions of patients' mouths for the construction of study casts, mouthguards and orthodontic appliancescarry 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 damsstabilise teeth affected by gum diseaseselect and administer pain control techniques, including local anaesthesiaremove 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.