Southern Ontario Dental College

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Top 5 Dental Hygienist Duties and the Skills Needed to Perform Them

Posted in Articles, Dental Hygienist.

If you’re looking for a career with lots of potentials, dental hygienist is a great choice.

With this career choice predicted to grow 11 percent between 2018 and 2018, it’s a field that’s offering plenty of job opportunities.

But before you can land a job as a hygienist, you’ll need to make sure that you have the right training.

If you’re thinking about changing careers, keep reading to learn some of the dental hygienist duties you can expect to be responsible for.

1. Cleaning Patients’ Teeth

Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when most people think of a dental hygienist is cleaning patients’ teeth.

Dentists take care of procedures like removing cavities or performing root canals. But they generally don’t do cleanings. Instead, that falls on hygienists.

While cleaning patients’ teeth isn’t always the best job, it can be incredibly rewarding. You’ll help patients leave the office with a more beautiful smile, which can help them feel more confident and put them in a better mood.

2. Check for Signs of Disease or Damage

While cleaning teeth is an important part of all dental hygienist jobs, it’s far from their only duty.

While earning your dental hygiene diploma, you’ll also learn how to check patients’ gums, tongues, and teeth from signs of damage or disease.

While you might not be the one to treat these conditions, finding them as soon as possible can help the dentist put a stop to the damage.

3. Make Patients Feel at Ease

One of the dental hygiene interview questions you might get asked is about your people skills.

That’s because one of the duties you’ll be responsible for is setting your patients’ minds at ease.

Somewhere between 9 and 20 percent of adults avoid going to the dentist because they are anxious or scared. Even those who do go might be feeling nervous about any upcoming procedures.

Because you’ll see patients before they are seen by the dentist, it’s your job to set their minds at ease so that they’ll be relaxed for their appointment.

4. Prep Patients for Procedures

Most dentists pack their days with procedures. Which leaves them with very little time in between.

That’s why it’s up to you to get the patients ready for any procedures they are scheduled for.

Besides cleaning their teeth, you may also be tasked with things like taking x-rays before a dentist gets to the patient.

5. Get Equipment Ready for Procedures

It isn’t just the patients that you’ll be prepping for procedures. You’ll also be getting equipment ready.

From cleaning tools to choosing the right ones for each procedure, it’s up to you to make sure that the dentist has everything he or she needs for each patient and their unique situation.

Mastering Your Dental Hygienist Duties

Mastering these and other dental hygienist duties start with getting the right education.

But what degree do you need to be a dental hygienist? A specialized program to become a dental hygienist is one great option.

Request more information today to learn about our dental hygiene program and to find out whether its the right route for you.

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