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Dental Hygienist Job Description

Updated on August 10, 2011

Job Description For Dental Hygienists

I am currently doing a Practice Managers course, and part of my assignments was to create job descriptions for the dental team. While looking on the internet for different examples, I found it very difficult to find any decent job descriptions that were up to date. So, now I've done my assignment, I thought I would post my job description for hygienists. Feel free to use it as a guide.

Job Description

Job Title: Dental Hygienist

Purpose of the Job: To assist in the prevention and treatment of oral disease, focusing on periodontal health by monitoring oral hygiene practices and assisting the patient to develop a home care plan to maintain their oral health. As well as performing scaling and polishing, hygienists can give specific advice on prevention, nutrition, use of fluoride and smoking cessation.

To Whom Responsible: The principle/dentist s/he is working along side.

For Whom Responsible: The nurse assisting.

Employment Duties:

  • To perform high quality dental hygiene procedures whilst working along side the dentists, in a safe and effective manner in accordance with the ‘Code of Ethics’ of the British Association of Dentists and the GDC requirements and recommendations to the dentists and their staff. The performance of these duties is under the reasonable directions of the principle, made known from time to time as appropriate.
  • To establish and maintain productive working relationships with all members of the dental team.
  • To ensure that the surgical areas and equipment are regularly cleaned and maintained, including aspiration systems and autoclaves, paying all due attention to relevant legal and ethical codes, in addition to the practice policy in respect of cross infection control and Health & Safety.
  • To keep accurate records and ensure the recording methods are used in line with agreed practice policy and current medico-legal guidelines.

Key Tasks:

  • Set up and prepare surgery before the start of each session when working without a nurse.
  • Test autoclave before the start of the morning session and afternoon session, keeping all necessary records in accordance with the HTM 01-05 guidelines, when required.
  • Provide dental health education about tooth care and diet.
  • Remove plaque and calculus by scaling and polishing teeth.
  • Take impressions and/or dental radiographs of teeth as required.
  • Apply prophylactic/antibacterial materials, fissure sealants and topical fluorides to help prevent tooth decay.
  • Carry out screening and monitoring procedures.
  • Treat and help prevent gingivitis and periodontitis.
  • Offer advice and encouragement to patients.
  • Ensure that sterile conditions are maintained.
  • Clean and sterilize all equipment and working surfaces to the required standards at the end of each session, including the sterilizing room, when working without a nurse.
  • Work closely with and under the instruction of the dentists.
  • Use a range of different dental instruments.
  • Maintain patient dental records, check all medicals are up to date and record on the computer as necessary.
  • Ensure safe disposals of sharp and clinical waste.
  • To take all reasonable methods to ensure patient comfort.
  • Follow all practice policies and procedures.
  • Obey all dental ethical guidelines including all rules on confidentiality and Data Protection.
  • Report equipment failures or breakages to the principle or practice manager, so that action may be taken to remedy any defects.
  • Monitor and maintain stocks within the dental surgery as necessary, informing the practice manager when necessary.
  • To follow Health & Safety codes, C.O.S.H.H. and R.I.D.D.O.R. guidelines in all aspects including when taking x-rays, handling mercury, disposing of sharp and clinical waste, resuscitation, emergency procedures and fire drill.
  • To maintain skills by actively following a programme of Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

Required Qualifications: Either a two-year Diploma in Dental Hygiene, or a three-year Oral Health Science Degree.

Beneficial Skills:

  • Computer Skills
  • Experience of working in surgery
  • Any extra courses taken relevant to dentistry.

Personal Attributes:

  • An interest in the welfare of patients, with a mature, friendly, confident and caring manner
  • A steady hand for delicate work, with good co-ordination skills
  • The ability to concentrate for long periods of time
  • An interest and ability in science, anatomy and physiology
  • Excellent communication and listening skills, with the ability to motivate patients to improve their dental hygiene
  • The ability to relate well with a wide range of people, including those with special needs
  • The ability to work alone or as part of the team
  • To be punctial
  • To be presentable and take care of appearance, keeping jewelry to a minimum
  • To be honest, reliable and trustworthy, with a friendly manner.

Terms of Employment: Your hours of work will be 9.00am – 5.30pm, two days out of seven, with one hour unpaid lunch, and you will work on a six month trial period. The successful applicant will require a CRB check, which will be reimbursed by the employer, and must show proof of registration and all inoculations, including Hepatitis B. Hygienist will also need a copy of their insurance details.


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