Dental hygienists are licensed oral health professionals who focus on prevention and
treating oral diseases – both to protect teeth and gums, and also to protect patient's
total health. They are graduates of accredited dental hygiene educational programs
in colleges and universities, and must take a written national board examination and
a clinical examination before they are licensed to practice in a particular state.
In addition to treating patients directly, dental hygienists may also work as educators,
researcher, and administrators.
Source: adha.org. 2008
*The University complies with the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation
Act of 1973 and the Disabilities Act of 1990. Therefore, the University will make
reasonable accommodations for participants with disabilities who are otherwise qualified.
- Clean hard deposits, accretions, and stains from teeth and beneath margins of gums,
using dental instruments.
- Feel and visually examine gums for sores and signs of disease.
- Chart conditions of decay and disease for diagnosis and treatment by dentist.
- Feel lymph nodes on patient's head and neck to detect swelling and/or tenderness that
could indicate presence of oral cancer.
- Apply fluorides and other cavity preventing agents to stop dental decay.
- Examine gums, using probes, to locate periodontal recessed gums and signs of gum disease.
- Expose and develop x-ray film.
- Provide clinical services and health education to improve and maintain oral health
of school children.
- Remove excess cement from coronal surfaces of teeth.
- Make impressions for study casts.
- Pain management (administration of topical and local anesthesia and nitrous oxide
Tools and Technology Used in This Occupation
- Dental lasers (not used at FSU) & caries detection aids
- Dental probes - calculus explorers, caries explorers, Nabers furcation probes, periodontal
- Dental scalers and accessories – Autoscalers; Cavitron equipment, solid hand instruments
(scalers); other types of ultrasonic scalers
- Dental x-ray units – Dental x-ray machines; digital dental x-ray units; panoramic
dental x-ray units, portable x-ray units (portable x-ray units not used at FSU)
- Teeth cleaning devices or accessories – air driven dental polishers; air/water syringes;
motor driven dental polishers
Technology Used in This Occupation
- Accounting software – dental billing software
- Calendar and scheduling software – Eaglesoft used at FSU
- Inventory Management software
- Other types of software; voice activated software; periodontal charting software (not
used at FSU, currently)
- Word processing software
- Medicine and Dentistry – Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose
and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment
alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- Customer and Personal Service – Knowledge of principles and processes for providing
customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality
standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Biology – Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions,
interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- Education and Training – Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training
design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of
- English Language – Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language
including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Psychology – Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in
ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research
methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Sales and Marketing – Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting,
and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product
demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
- Public Safety and Security – Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures,
and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations
for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Production and Processing – Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality
control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and
distribution of goods.
- Active Listening – Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time
to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting
at inappropriate times.
- Speaking – Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Learning – Understanding the implications of new information for both current
and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Reading Comprehension – Understanding the written sentences and paragraphs in work
- Time Management – Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Critical Thinking – Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses
of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Social Perceptiveness – Being aware of others reactions and understanding why they
react as they do.
- Coordination – Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Instructing – Teaching others how to do something.
- Writing – Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the
- Finger Dexterity – the ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers
of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Near Vision – The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the
- Manual Dexterity – The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand and forearm, or
two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness – The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your
arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Problem Sensitivity – The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to
go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Control Precision – The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a
machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Oral Expression – The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Clarity – The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Selective Attention – The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without
- Inductive Reasoning – The ability to combine pieces of information to form general
rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events.
- Assisting and Caring for Others – Providing personal assistance, medical attention,
emotional support, or other personal care to others such as co-workers, customers,
- Getting Information – Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from
all relevant sources.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events – Identifying information by categorizing,
estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge – Keeping up-to-date technically and applying
new knowledge to your job.
- Performing for or Working Directly With the Public – Performing for people or dealing
directly with the public. This includes receiving clients or guests.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships – Developing constructive
and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others – Translating or explaining what
information means and how it can be used.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems – Analyzing information and evaluating results
to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Work Context - This occupation requires
- one to work with co-workers, patients, etc. Contact would be face-to-face, by telephone,
- one to work with their hands. One must be able to handle, control and feel objects
using tools and equipment.
- one to follow MIOSHA and OSHA guidelines as far as personal protective equipment (PPE's).
All clinical work requires the use of laboratory coats, safety glasses, gloves, masks,
closed toed shoes.
- that the worker performs their job tasks in very close proximity to their patient.
Usually within feet of another human being.
- approximately 80% sitting time or more, depending on the work environment.
- constant repetitive motion with fingers, hands, and arms with the body usually in
a seated position.
- does expose the worker to diseases or infections presented by the public.
- frequent decision-making that affect other people, financial resources, and/or the
image and reputation of the organization.
- the worker to be very exact or highly accurate in performing this job.
- Dependability – requires being reliable, responsible, dependable, and able to fulfill
- Attention to Detail – requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing
- Concern for Others – requires being sensitive to others' needs, feelings, and being
understanding and helpful on the job.
- Independence – requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself
with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Integrity – requires being honest and ethical.
- Self Control – requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling
anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Stress Tolerance – requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively
with high stress situations.
- Initiative – requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Achievement/Effort – requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging
achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Source: O*Net Summary Report for Dental Hygienists. 29-2021.00