What Do Dental Hygienist Do – Duties And Skills


Dental Hygienists are professionals who are active in the area of caries and periodontal disease prevention, non-surgical periodontal therapy and maintenance therapy, and in the promotion of health. In their field, dental hygienists help patients in the following ways.


Dental hygienists apply prevention strategies through individualized motivation processes that focus on the promotion and maintenance of health. They advise, support and support the needs of prevention, therapy, and aesthetics of patients. They inform them about the etiologies, the consequences, and the therapeutic options.


An important part of the work of dental hygienists is preventive and therapeutic action on the tooth and its environment in order to preserve its health. Dental hygienists are able to detect pathological changes in the gingiva, oral mucosa, periodontium, and teeth. They refer to the dentist for examinations and treatments that are not within their competence or inform patients of the options offered by other professionals concerned.


Dental hygienists autonomously organize, plan and execute therapies. Their strategy is part of the overall treatment plan of the dentist by respecting the patient’s individual situation. From the objective of the treatment set in consultation with the patient, the dental hygienist chooses the appropriate therapeutic strategy.

Patients consult dental hygienists on the recommendation of a dentist, a physician or on their own initiative. When dealing with patients at risk, dental hygienists consult the dentist or physician before treatment.

Dental hygienists strive to provide effective, efficient, cost-effective treatment. They put in place a framework to guarantee the success of the treatment, as well as an appropriate follow-up of the patients.


Dental hygienists work in medical or dental teams. They work in dental offices, dental clinics, hospitals, medical-social establishments, industry, public service, schools, health centers and training centers.

Different models of work are possible: dental hygienist employee, an independent dental hygienist in a collective practice or independent dental hygienist in an individual practice.


They practice their profession in accordance with the legal provisions. They are responsible for their services. The medical and medical-dental responsibilities are defined by the legal provisions regarding the installation and the operation of the cabinets.

Dental hygienists can assume management responsibilities in their area of expertise. They delegate tasks related to the organization, hygiene and/or prophylaxis to dental assistants, prophylaxis assistants, and school dental educators and ensure their correct execution. Upon request, they advise health and education professionals on oral hygiene issues.

Dental hygienists are technically competent in oral hygiene treatment processes in multidisciplinary teams, for example in healthcare facilities or hospitals.


The dental hygienist is a health professional who plays a vital role in the education of the population to promote the acquisition, control, and maintenance of good oral health. Dental hygienist:

  • Detects oral diseases
  • Teaches the principles of oral hygiene
  • Draws preventive programs
  • Advises clients
  • Plans treatment plans
  • Under the direction of a dentist, uses scientific methods of control and prevention of oral diseases
  • Layout delegated dental procedures such as descaling, polishing, X-rays.

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