Day in the Life
Dental hygienists work in clean, well-lighted offices. Important health
safeguards include strict adherence to proper radiological procedures and
the use of appropriate protective devices when administering anesthetic
Dental hygienists wear safety glasses, surgical masks, and
gloves to protect themselves and patients from infectious diseases. When
taking x rays, they follow strict procedures to protect themselves and
patients from radiation.
Flexible scheduling is a distinctive feature of this job.
Full-time, part-time, evening, and weekend schedules are widely available.
Dentists frequently hire hygienists to work only 2 or 3 days
a week, so hygienists may hold jobs in more than one dental office. More
than half of all dental hygienists worked part time,
or less than 35 hours a week.
Dental hygienists should work well with others because they
work closely with dentists and dental assistants as well as dealing
directly with patients. Hygienists also need good manual dexterity, because
they use dental instruments within a patient's mouth, with little room for
Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US
Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor