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Needed Skills and Qualifications for becoming a dental hygienist

Needed skills and Qualifications ➤

Needed Skills and Qualifications for becoming a dental hygienist

A dental hygienist removes tartar and plaque from the teeth of patients and also helps to teach the dental office clients the proper techniques on how to properly care for their teeth at home through suggestions of techniques and products where applicable. Teeth aren’t simple and not all sets are the same, for that reason, there are many skills that someone is going to need to have in order to become a dental hygienist.
A dental hygienist's most important role is in educating their patients in proper oral care, followed by examining the patient’s teeth and gums. Of course, this takes a great deal of training and a set of qualifications. For the properly motivated person going through the education requirements is something that can be done, however, you just need to ensure that you’re setting yourself up for success. The following is going to be a little bit of information on the purpose, requirements, and considerations that are looking toward becoming a dental hygienist.


You need to be properly trained to deal with oral health issues. Taking x-rays and organizing reports for a dentist’s evaluation requires a particular type of education and training. Oral health is a serious business and although the job can be very enjoyable it’s important to take your education seriously and find that this is the job you want to do.

People Skills ➣

Due to the fact, the dental hygienist works so closely with all of the patients there are some strong skills that they’ll need, most of which are people skills. This means that you need to be able to put the patients at ease, and you have to be compassionate. I don’t know anyone that actually enjoys going to the dentist and there are a lot of people that are extremely apprehensive about it. For that reason, you need to have those skills along with the ability to communicate succinctly through excellent verbal skills when you’re explaining procedures in the office and home care for teeth and gums.

Time adjustment skills ➣

Dental hygienists must be able to manage their time properly and work efficiently. Their schedules are very tight and have a lot to do for each patient in a short period of time. Planning ahead, organizing and prioritizing tasks are essential skills for a dental hygienist.

Talking and communication skills ➣

To treat patients, you should talk to them. You should take patient stories, talk with patients about your oral care routines and explain what you are doing during treatments. If you are not a strong communicator, or if you do not trust your communication skills, you may have difficulties with these tasks.

Problem resolution ➣

Each patient is different. You will face unique challenges with each patient and you must be a good problem solver to handle these challenges. For example, if you have very scared patients, you should discover how to complete their treatments. If you have patients who cannot open your mouth very much, you should discover how to clean your teeth.

Other skills ➣

Other then everything that we’ve talked about above, there are some other miscellaneous skills that are going to make you a successful dental hygienist. There are eight key ones that fall into that other skills department:

Needed Skills and Qualifications for becoming a dental hygienist
  1. Compassion- Dental work is not the most comfortable health care procedure. Dental hygienists need to be aware and compassionate about patient comfort and anxiety.
  2. Attention to Detail- There are specific rules and protocols for diagnosing patients. A dental hygienist must be very detail-oriented when following these rules or instructions of a dentist.
  3. Dexterity- A dental hygienist works with a variety of different tools. Being able to work with your hands in tight spaces (the mouth) is very important.
  4. Interpersonal Skills- Working closely with dentists and patients is almost always required. Dental hygienists should have social and interpersonal skills to do this.
  5. Stamina- Dental hygienists need to be comfortable performing various physical tasks, as well, as sitting and bending over for long periods of time while.
  6. Technical Skills- In many cases, dental hygienists are required to operate complex machinery and technological equipment at the workplace. Dental hygienist training courses may teach students how to use x-ray machines, in-mouth cameras, and other powered instruments.
  7. Steady dexterous hands- Steady and dexterous hands will allow you to safely and properly clean the patient’s teeth
  8. Excellent eyesight- while excellent eyesight will ensure that you’re able to locate any and all areas of tartar and plaque buildup as well as any other dental problem signs to report to the dentist.

Requirements ➣

Needed Skills and Qualifications for becoming a dental hygienist

First off, a high school diploma or GED equivalent focusing on plenty of math a lot of hard sciences to be key to setting yourself up for success. Then, you must pass a dental hygiene program that is properly accredited prior to moving on to either a certificate or a degree program. Depending on your overall career aspirations you can obtain these associates, a bachelor’s or even go so far as to get your masters.

High School Education ➣

In order to become a dental hygienist student, the prospective hygienist is going to have to first have graduated from high school and then have taken the College Board examinations. If you’re looking to pursue this career path, you’ll need to look toward the following courses in high school:
  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
The reason for this is that the knowledge that you’re going to be taught in high school through these classes is going to be crucial to getting into your advanced college studies.

College Education ➣

Once high school is completed the dental hygienist will need to either obtain a dental hygiene degree through one of the following:
Associates degree
Bachelor’s degree
Graduate degree
The programs are going to teach the students different and similar skill sets in order to perform their future work as a dental hygienist, including, but not limited to:
  • Physiology
  • Anatomy
  • Microbiology
  • Chemistry
  • Histology
  • Clinical dental hygiene
  • Dental materials
  • Radiography
  • Pharmacology
  • Periodontology
  • Licensure
Other than the knowledge that’s gained through post-secondary education, the prospective hygienist will also need to have a strong skillset when it comes to test-taking aptitude and ability. In order to begin practicing, the dental hygienist will first need to pass two exams.

Considerations ➣

After your schooling is done, you must become licensed, both on the national level and in the state where you will be practicing dental hygiene. You must also be good at working with people because this is a critical component of your job. You will be working with an office full of dental professionals, as well as patients. If this is the career you’re looking toward your choosing one that has a lot of opportunities. Choosing to go into a career as a dental hygienist is a great one.