Dental Hygienists

Dental hygienists perform clinical tasks, serve as oral health educators in private dental offices, work in public health agencies, and promote good oral health by educating adults and children. Their main responsibility is to perform oral prophylaxis, a process of cleaning teeth by using sharp dental instruments, such as scalers and prophy angles. With these instruments, they remove stains and calcium deposits, polish teeth, and massage gums. There are approximately 192,330 dental hygienists employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) None
Duties Clean teeth with special instruments; provide dental counseling to patients; maintain a pleasant health care environment for dental patients
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Nationwide
Minimum Education Level
  • Associate's Degree
School Subjects
  • Biology
  • English
  • Health
Experience Prior experience operating dental equipment and working with patients
Personality Traits
  • Conventional
  • Helpful
  • Technical
  • Interpersonal
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Excellent
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Much Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Director, Dental Health Care Program
  • Professor, Dental Hygiene
  • Dental Hygienist

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