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Career Tips & Advice

Five main duties of a Dental Hygienist

Concorde Staff
Concorde Staff
Updated May 5, 2016. The information contained in this blog is current and accurate as of this date.
Dental Hygienist

As a greater emphasis is placed on the importance of proper oral health, the duties of a dental hygienist become increasingly vital in the process.

"Today, dental hygiene is a synthesis of facts, ideas, concepts and philosophies - a unique entity in its own right," according to a recent article published in Registered Dental Hygiene Magazine.

A growing emphasis on quality care and instruction

"It is the study of preventive oral health care and the management of behaviors required to maintain good oral health and prevent oral diseases. It has become a science of assessment, diagnosis, intervention and evaluation," the article stated.

"Hygienists," notes Mark Harris, DDS, from our Concorde-San Bernardino campus, "are front-line health care providers who provide comprehensive wellness care which extends beyond the mouth to include the whole body."

A typical dental hygienist job description involves things like:

  • World-class periodontal care of the teeth, gums and bone
  • Communication with the doctor and patient regarding care
  • Maintenance of accurate clinical record
  • Educating and empowering patients to care for their oral health
  • Providing access to care for underserved populations

Different states allow their hygienists to take on additional roles and responsibilities such as exposing, developing and interpreting oral X-rays, design and implementation of community oral health programs and administration of nitrous oxide.

Seeking the right kind of dental hygienist training

At Concorde, we prepare future health care professionals by offering the most up-to-date dental hygiene training.

We couldn't agree more with RDH Mag. We know that your influence in the dental health community extends far beyond a black and white structure of duties.

You might find yourself in the role of administrator, change agent, clinician, client advocate, educator/oral health promoter and research.

To make sure you are ready and confident, we provide hundreds of hours of classroom instruction before preclinical and clinical instruction under the direct supervision of dental hygiene instructors in state-of-the-art labs.

We even meet with a program advisory committee to gain valuable insight about different industry trends, what employers are looking for in entry-level graduates and how we can plug our students into valuable service learning opportunities.

What do they tell us they're looking for most in new grads?

  • Somebody who understands his or her role and who reflects professionalism in everything from appearance to speech
  • A strong history of job experience, especially in jobs where customer service is a key component
  • The ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong team skills

If you're on the hunt for a position, Concorde students and alumni should always start with their respective campus Graduate Employment Services office (insert link to upcoming blog).

Beyond that, our subject matter experts encourage job seekers to, "Find out what everybody else is doing to find a job and do something different. Craft your own strategy which reflects who you are as a person and the type of office you want to work."

Seek out community and regional volunteer clinics to gain patient interaction and experience. Most of all, don't forget to smile!