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Dental Hygienists


Dental hygienists perform clinical tasks, serve as oral health educators in private dental offices, work in public health agencies, and promote good oral health by educating adults and children. Their main responsibility is to perform oral prophylaxis, a process of cleaning teeth by using sharp dental instruments, such as scalers and prophy angles. With these instruments, they remove stains and calcium deposits, polish teeth, and massage gums. A growing number of hygienists provide more advanced dental care to vulnerable populations in rural or other areas that have a shortage of dentists. There are approximately 219,800 dental hygienists employed in the United States.

Salary Range

$50,000 to $100,000+

Minimum Education Level

Associate's Degree




Much Faster than the Average
Personality Traits




Career Ladder
Director-Dental Health Care Program or Dentist

Professor, Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygienist

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