If you have been to a dental clinic before you definitely know that they have a dental hygienist working for the dentist. A dental hygienist is a licensed health care professional who works together with dentists to provide preventive oral care. A dental hygienist salary is lower than a dentist because they don’t identify and cure dental problems but they simply prevent it by being able to provide valuable information and tips on sustaining good oral hygiene. A dental hygienist salary depends on the job description. There are three types of services provided from a dental hygienist, which include prevention, treatment and education. During a dental visit, they first see a dental hygienist whom will evaluate their gums and teeth for any potential oral problems then the dentist will see them. A good dental hygienist will educate the patient on how to properly floss and selecting the right toothbrush to prevent any oral problems. Sometimes they can develop a care plan for the patient in order for them to take it home. Some the dental hygienist is the one that removes the tartar, stains and plaque from teeth. They work alongside of the dentist and nurses in order to provide the best oral care possible for their clients.
Job Duties for a Dental Hygienist
A dental hygienist will check the patients gums and teeth for any oral abnormalities, take and develop dental x-rays, educate patients on oral hygiene, develop care plans for maintaining good dental hygiene, smoothing and polishing metal restorations, fluoride administration and sealant applications, administering local anesthetic, removing stains, tartar and plaque and placing filling materials, temporary fillings and periodontal dressings. In order to become a dental hygienist, a high school diploma and college entrance test scores are required for admission into a dental hygienist program. A dental hygienist program is around 2 years and there is 4-year bachelor’s degree available, which allows them to expand their clinical expertise and advanced more rapidly in their career. This extra schooling is what dictates the dental hygienist salary increase.
In order to become a dental hygienist, the students must complete a certain number of hours in the dental office and this is usually done under the supervision of a dentist or dental hygienist. In order for them to obtain a license to work in a particular state, the student must have graduated with an associate degree in that field and are required to pass a written exam and a clinical examination before obtaining their license.