Dental hygienists work directly with both dentists and their patients. They are healers and contributors that care for their patients’ oral health and help make going to the dentist less nerve-wracking.
Dental hygienists inspect and clean patients’ teeth and gums and report their finding to dentists. They also perform dental x-rays, maintain patient records, and educate patients on oral hygiene.
Nearly all dental hygienists work in dentists’ offices, but some also work in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities. Many work part time. Dental hygienists need to have a certificate or associate’s degree in dental hygiene, plus state licensure. Jobs for dental hygienists are projected to grow 6% by 2029.