Dental Hygiene

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  • About the Profession

    Registered dental hygienists are licensed oral health care professionals. Dental hygienists provide direct patient care services that limit the extent of cavities and periodontal disease as well as promote the overall health and well-being of the oral environment and head and neck region.

    Dental hygienists assess general and oral health by using a variety of diagnostic aids (comprehensive health histories, head, neck and oral examinations, radiographs and indices). Using the information obtained from the assessment process, the hygienist develops a care plan in conjunction with the patient's goals and needs, provides oral health education and performs preventive (fluorides, sealants) and therapeutic services (non-surgical periodontal therapy) according to individual needs.

    Baccalaureate graduates are employed as clinical practitioners, educators, researchers, administrators, managers, preventive program developers, consultants and in public health agencies. Registered (licensed) dental hygienists practice according to the requirements of individual state dental practice acts.