|| Dental hygiene is an important profession in the dental health
care field. The dental hygienist is the preventive oral health-care
specialist who uses her/his knowledge and clinical skills to
prevent, detect, and treat diseases of the oral cavity.
As our population continues to grow, the demand for access to preventive health care services will increase and the career opportunities for dental hygienists will expand throughout the nation.
Advantages of the Profession
- Satisfaction of helping people
- Status of a healthcare professional
- Flexible work schedule - full or part-time
- Variety of settings - private office, institutions, research,
- Direct patient care
- Good income potential
- Career potential and stability
Clinical Duties and Responsibilities
Each state has its own regulations, but California allows
hygienists to perform specific duties including the following:
- Patient screening, medical history, dental charting
- Examination of the head, neck and oral cavity for disease
- Exposing, developing and interpreting radiographs (x-rays)
- Application of fluoride and protective sealants
- Removal of calculus (tartar), stain and plaque from above
and below the gumline
- Administer local anesthetics and nitrous oxide
- Provide nutritional counseling, and self-care programs
to prevent disease
Admission requirements and prerequisites vary among the dental
hygiene programs. Most include prerequisites in sciences,
nutrition, psychology, sociology, English, and speech.
For specific program requirements and application process,
it is necessary to contact the particular dental hygiene school.
Upon completion of the program required prerequisites
and acceptance in the dental hygiene program, the curriculum
is 16 months to two years full-time and
offers a certificate, associate degree or a baccalaureate
degree in dental hygiene.
Baccalaureate and Master's level degree programs are also
offered for hygienists who are interested in education, research,
public health or administration at private and state colleges
>> Accredited California
Dental Hygiene Schools