The major responsibilities of the dental
hygienist are preventive in
nature. In the private dental office, the dental hygienist may be
for providing patient education, exposing and processing dental
conducting head and neck examinations, as well as providing a thorough
prophylaxis, non-surgical periodontal therapy, local anesthesia, diet
analysis and other services as delegated by the licensed dentist. In
some large offices the dental hygienist may serve as a manager of
office procedures. Dental hygiene services vary from state to state
according to the laws that govern the practice of dental hygiene.
In public health and community agencies, the dental hygienist is concerned
with the oral health of the community being served. Major responsibilities may
be assessing the oral health of a given population or developing and
implementing a dental health program. In hospitals and nursing homes, the
dental hygienist may function as a health educator, a clinician or a resource
person. In other instances, hygienists are employed for clinical and
descriptive research projects.
Although the majority of dental hygiene graduates are involved in private
practice, the following practice settings may also be available:
Graduates can take advantage of the Dental
School's job placement
assistance service. The School of Dentistry's library maintains an
extensive database of job opportunities in several states. Faculty
members are available for job-placement counseling to assist graduates
with placement decisions.
- Federal, state and local health departments.
- Hospitals and nursing homes.
- School districts.
- Health maintenance organizations.
- Educational programs for dental, dental hygiene and dental assisting
- Private and public centers for pediatric, geriatric and other special