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Dental Hygiene

About a Dental Hygienist Career

Dental hygienists clean teeth and provide preventive dental care, as well as teach patients how to practice good oral hygiene. They examine patients’ teeth and gums and record the presence of diseases or abnormalities. They may explain the relationship between diet and oral health and educate patients how to properly brush and floss teeth. Hygienists use rotary and hand instruments, take X-rays, and may administer local anesthetics in some states.

Opportunities for Employment

According to the 2006-2007 edition of the Occupational Outlook Handbook, dental hygiene is expected to grow much faster than average for all occupations through 2014, ranking among the fastest growing occupations.

Licensed dental hygienists can find employment in private dental offices and clinics, nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and in private businesses. The flexibility within this career allows for employment in both full and part time positions. Salary ranges for a dental hygienist in Arizona are from $30 to $40 per hour.