CareerShip Home
About CareerShip
Resources
Contact Us
Mapping Your Future
  back
Visit the Featured Career Match My Career Interests
Review Careers by Clusters Career Search

Details for Dental Hygienists


Description

Clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop X-rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.

Tasks

  • Clean calcareous deposits, accretions, and stains from teeth and beneath margins of gums, using dental instruments.
  • Feel and visually examine gums for sores and signs of disease.
  • Chart conditions of decay and disease for diagnosis and treatment by dentist.
  • Feel lymph nodes under patient's chin to detect swelling or tenderness that could indicate presence of oral cancer.
  • Apply fluorides and other cavity preventing agents to arrest dental decay.
  • Examine gums, using probes, to locate periodontal recessed gums and signs of gum disease.
  • Expose and develop x-ray film.
  • Provide clinical services and health education to improve and maintain oral health of school children.
  • Remove excess cement from coronal surfaces of teeth.
  • Make impressions for study casts.
  • Place, carve, and finish amalgam restorations.
  • Administer local anesthetic agents.
  • Conduct dental health clinics for community groups to augment services of dentist.
  • Remove sutures and dressings.
  • Place and remove rubber dams, matrices, and temporary restorations.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Knowledge

  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Related Careers

  • Dental Assistants
  • Dentists, General
  • Orthodontists
  • Prosthodontists
  • Radiologic Technicians
  • Respiratory Therapists
  • Surgical Technologists
Wages for this career
America's Career InfoNet