They evaluate patients’ needs by performing screening procedures, which include reviewing health and dental history and taking temperature, pulse, and blood pressure. Some of their other duties include examining teeth and other oral structures, taking and developing dental radiographs (X-rays), removing calculus and plaque from above and below the gum line, counseling patients on proper nutrition and appropriate oral hygiene techniques, and applying cavity-preventing agents (fluoride and sealant) to teeth.
Some dental hygienists are responsible for designing and implementing dental health programs for communities and organizations. Their main objective is educating individuals, as well as the general public, on the best preventative oral health care and the importance of good oral hygiene habits. Anyone interested in this line of work should enjoy working with a variety of different people, be articulate and organized, and work well as part of a team.