Dental Hygienists

Consumer Ed By:Liz Galvan

Duties:

  • Remove tartar, stains, and plaque from teeth
  • Apply sealants and fluorides to help protect teeth
  • Take and develop dental x rays
  • Keep track of patient care and treatment plans
  • Teach patients oral hygiene, such as how to brush and floss correctly

Job Outlook & Pay :average growth rate for occupations is 14%. Annual wage was $68,250 in May 2010.

What do dental hygienists do?

Dental hygienists clean teeth and examine patients for any oral diseases and give other dental care. They also teach their patients about their health.

Work Schedules


Most dental hygienists work part time. They often work only a few days a week, however some of them work more than others. About 38% of them work full time.

2010 Median Pay;; $68,250 per year $32.81 per hour

How to Become One

  • Typically need associate's degree in dental hygiene
  • Certificates, bachelor's degrees, and master's degrees are available but are less common for them
  • private dental offices usually require a minimum of an associate’s degree or certificate in dental hygiene
  • A bachelor's or master's degree is usually required for research, teaching, or clinical practice in public or school health programs.