On the Job
Dental Hygienists inspect teeth and gums. They clean teeth with dental instruments and scan for dental problems. They help to educate patients about how to care for their teeth.
This career requires good eyesight.
Typical Work Tasks
People who work in this career often:
- Administer anesthetics or sedatives to control pain.
- Treat acute illnesses, infections, or injuries.
- Treat dental problems or diseases.
- Record patient medical histories.
- Adjust dental devices or appliances to ensure fit.
- Fabricate medical devices.
- Examine mouth, teeth, gums, or related facial structures.
- Operate diagnostic or therapeutic medical instruments or equipment.
- Process x-rays or other medical images.
- Sterilize medical equipment or instruments.
Typical Working Conditions
- Frequent contact with others.
- Exposure to disease or infections.
- Wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, hard hats, or life jackets.
- Close physical proximity with other people.
- Using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools, or controls.
- Working with a group or team.
- Repeating the same physical or mental task without stopping for periods of time.
- Frequent decision-making.
- Exposure to contaminants (like gases or odors).
- Meeting strict deadlines.
- Responsibility for others' health and safety.
This page includes information from the O*NET 24.2 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.
Source: You can learn about our data sources in the About Us section.