Dental hygiene examination: An underestimated profession?

dental hygiene examination

As you searched on the internet about dental offices near you, like the one at, and in choosing the best one, you may have seen that most dental clinics and practices have dental staff that has a dental hygienist role. How are dental hygienists different from general dentists? What dental procedures do they perform? Patients should undergo a dental hygiene examination at least twice a year.


Dental hygiene examination: A requirement

Yes, a dental hygienist is a professional dental practitioner like your dentists and specialists. They undergo rigorous education and training to become experts in their field. Students who aspire to be dental hygienists take a dental hygiene examination in order for them to have a license to practice their profession.


A dental hygienist’s job description

If you will look at the different procedures a dental hygienist can perform, you would really mistake them to be your dentist! In actuality, dental hygienists work hand-in-hand with dentists in order to make the practice organized and easy for the whole dental team. Here are the different tasks a dental hygienist is expected to perform on a daily basis.

dental hygienist jobsPatient examination. Assessment, screening, interview, review of systems, health history taking, vital signs checking, and other patient evaluation steps.

Imaging. Dental hygienists can prepare and take your x-rays for your dentist to interpret.

Teeth cleaning. A simple removal of plaque and cavities is ‘no biggie’ for hygienists.

Preventative measures. Hygienists can also be the ones who apply fissure sealants to your kids’ teeth after cleaning to protect them from chipping and tooth decay. Fluoride applications can also be made after prophylaxis.

Health teaching. Dental hygienists assist dentists in teaching patients and parents of kids about oral health and proper hygiene. They also give tips on what foods to eat to get the right nutrition necessary for their overall well-being.

Office work. Documentation, as well as organizing patient records,  should also be a priority of dental hygienists to keep their practice well-managed and maintained.


Characteristics of a good dental hygienist

People person. One of the perks of being a dental hygienist is you get to interact with your patients more actively than dentists and other dental specialists. Because you are the one who gets their history and patient information, you get to earn their trust and respect, and even become their trusted professional whenever they visit your clinic.

Flexible. Because dental hygienists perform basic dental procedures and also do the office work, one should be flexible and willing to learn and adapt a practice’s rules and regulations. Since a state’s standards and policies are different from another, it is imperative for the hygienist to cope and perform these responsibilities at an optimum level.

Organized. Maintain patient records is one of a dental hygienist’s job description. Making sure that the records are well-kept and arranged while still preserving patient confidentiality is a definite must.

Professional. A dental hygienist may act as a patient’s friend or confidant, but an ideal one knows the boundaries from being a peer and a dental practitioner.


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