Dental hygienists work with dentists and provide educational, clinical, and therapeutic services. They are responsible for providing treatment to prevent oral diseases including applying fluoride, cleaning teeth, examining gums for signs of disease, and performing X-rays.
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Dental hygienists work with a dentist in private dental offices, public health departments, hospitals, and nursing homes. Some are employed by private business, correctional facilities or the military. Dental hygienists may teach dental hygiene for education programs, community groups, and schoo1s. A dental hygienist's hours are usually flexible and can vary from part-time to full-time. Dental hygienists sometimes work for more than one dentist, working a few days at each office. Dental hygienists assist the dentist by performing supportive duties such as teeth cleanings, fluoride applications, examining gums, and charting patient information. They are trained to use a variety of dental instruments, to take X-rays, to examine the teeth and mouth for abnormalities or disease, and to administer local anesthetics.
High school students should study biology, chemistry and mathematics. Dental hygienist students may complete an associate (2-3 year) degree, or bachelor's degree (4-year) in an accredited program. Upon graduation, students must pass a written and clinical exam to qualify for a license. Course work includes studying the sciences, anatomy, physiology, psychology, histology (study of tissue and cells), nutrition, dental materials, sociology, public health, and pathology.
Chippewa Valley Technical College
Fox Valley Technical College
Lakeshore Technical College
Madison Area Technical College
Milwaukee Area Technical College
Nicolet Area Technical College
Northcentral Technical College
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
Waukesha County Technical College
American Dental Assistants Association
140 N. Bloomingdale Road
Bloomingdale, IL, 60108-1017
630/994-4247 or 877/874-3785
American Dental Association (ADA)
211 E. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL, 60611-2678
American Dental Hygienists' Association
444 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 3400
Chicago, IL, 60611
Wisconsin Dental Hygienists' Association
6510 Grand Teton Plaza, Suite 312
Madison, WI, 53719
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