In treatment modality, they perform preventative dental procedures such as teeth cleaning, scaling, gum stimulation and fluoride and sealant applications. Dental hygienists provide oral care instructions such as oral hygiene procedures, strategies to maintain and improve oral health and on the impact of nutrition on oral health. If needed, dental hygienists may consult with dentists on patient care and refer to the dentists or other appropriate health professionals.
They may perform restorative and orthodontic procedures under the direction of a dentist. They also supervise dental assistants in their health care functions. May participate in community- or school-based oral health initiatives such as oral screening.
Dental hygienists and dental therapists (3222)
Community dental hygienist; Dental hygiene technician; Dental hygienist; Dental hygienist technician; Dental nurse; Expanded duty dental hygienist; Expanded duty dental nurse; Orthodontic hygienist; Periodontal hygienist; Registered dental hygienist; Restorative dental hygienist;
Completion of a two- to three-year college dental hygiene program, approved by the governing board within the province or territory of residence, is usually required for dental hygienists.
Licensing by the appropriate provincial or territorial regulatory body is required for dental hygienists.
The employment outlook is good to fair in most provinces. More information is available here
Advancement depends on educational background and experience. Teaching, research, and administrative positions require academic qualifications at the bachelor’s degree level or beyond. They may work in private dental offices, independent dental hygiene clinics, institutions (such as hospitals, continuing care centres, correctional facilities), community health, home care and other outreach programs, the armed forces, government or regulatory bodies, research or consulting companies, dental insurance or supply companies, post-secondary schools.
0 - 3 years
- General learning ability to provide dental hygiene treatment and instruct patients in care of the teeth and mouth
- Verbal ability to provide information on oral hygiene and disease prevention; may supervise dental assistants in their health care functions
- Methodical interest in compiling information by conducting initial dental assessments and taking and developing X-rays; may perform restorative and orthodontic procedures under the direction of dentists Objective interest in precision working with dental equipment to take dental impressions, to clean and stimulate the gums to prevent gum disease, to remove stains and deposits from teeth to prevent tooth and root decay, and to apply fluoride treatments
- Social interest in instructing patients regarding oral hygiene procedures; and in consulting with dentists on patient care
private dental offices
independent dental hygiene clinics
institutions (such as hospitals, continuing care centres, correctional facilities)
community health, home care and other outreach programs
the armed forces
government or regulatory bodies
research or consulting companies
dental insurance or supply companies
One needs to complete a dental hygienist program from an accredited institute. However, the admission might be very competitive. In that case, one may start with completing and having some experience as a dental assistant.