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Dental Hygienist

Minimum Education Required for this Career

Basic Certificate
Advanced Certificate
Associate's Degree
4+ year Degree
Associate's Degree

City Colleges Program Options

Nature of the Work

Dental hygienists typically:
  • Clean calcareous deposits, accretions, and stains from teeth and beneath margins of gums, using dental instruments.
  • Record and review patient medical histories.
  • Examine gums, using probes, to locate periodontal recessed gums and signs of gum disease.
  • Feel and visually examine gums for sores and signs of disease.
  • Expose and develop x-ray film.
  • Chart conditions of decay and disease for diagnosis and treatment by dentist.
  • Maintain dental equipment and sharpen and sterilize dental instruments.
  • Feel lymph nodes under patient's chin to detect swelling or tenderness that could indicate presence of oral cancer.
  • Provide clinical services or health education to improve and maintain the oral health of patients or the general public.
  • Apply fluorides or other cavity preventing agents to arrest dental decay.

Click here to learn more about 29-2021 Dental Hygienists.

Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Future Trends

Career Pathways

Success at City Colleges

Career Disclaimer

Wage estimates are based on Occupational Employment Statistics and the American Community Survey. Wage estimates are also affected by county-level Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI) earnings by industry. The Nature of the Work description is from O*Net Online, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.