Example Career: Dental Hygienists
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.
What Job Titles Dental Hygienists Might Have
- Dental Hygienist
- Dental Hygienist
- Mobile Coordinator
- Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH)
What Dental Hygienists Do
- 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.
- Maintain patient recall system.
- Administer local anesthetic agents.
- Remove excess cement from coronal surfaces of teeth.
- Conduct dental health clinics for community groups to augment services of dentist.
What Dental Hygienists Should Be Good At
- Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
What Dental Hygienists Should Be Interested In
- Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- 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.
What Dental Hygienists Need to Learn
- 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.
- 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.
- Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- 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.
- 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.