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50 Dental Hygienist Jobs Found

Dental Hygienist jobs revolve around educating patients on maintaining good oral health while focusing on preventative oral healthcare. Also known as oral health practitioners, they usually work for a dentist in general dental practices or in hospitals. Dental hygiene careers in hospitals involve helping patients having surgery or complicated orthodontic treatment.

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Professionals pursuing a career in dental hygiene will be covering both clinical and health promotion responsibilities. On a typical day to day basis dental hygienists carry the following tasks:

  • provide dental advice on dental hygiene care
  • demonstrate cleaning techniques
  • help patients in preventing gum disease
  • Scale and polish the teeth and remove plaque
  • take radiographs and impressions of teeth
  • administer local anaesthetic under the supervision of a dentist
  • collect medical and dental histories and maintain patients’ health records
  • demonstrate a strong work ethic and keep up to date with new developments

Other skills you will need to become a dental hygienist in the UK include:

  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills, to explain dental treatments to patients
  • good listening and motivational skills to successfully educate patients
  • the ability to work well in a team, as well as independently
  • an interest in helping people
  • Compassion, professionalism and concentration
  • good eyesight and steady hands

If you’re wondering what qualifications dental hygienists need, then here’s where to start with. To become a dental hygienist in the UK you’ll need to be registered with the General Dental Council (GDC). To do this, you must complete a three-year undergraduate degree in oral health science or a two-year undergraduate diploma in dental hygiene or a two-year foundation degree in oral health science.

To be eligible for a degree or a diploma course, you’ll typically need three A-levels, one of which should be in biology or human biology, as well as GCSEs in maths and English. Some institutions welcome graduates with a minimum 2:2 or above in a science or healthcare subject. Entry criteria may vary, so make sure you check for the exact requirements with each institution. Moreover, you’ll have to complete a successful Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before admission to a training programme in England and Wales.

The average salary for those working as a Dental Hygienist in the UK can vary between £23K and £29K. More experienced professionals can earn between £29K to £36K annually.
Experienced hygienists in senior roles who have training responsibilities could be earning up to £44K annually.

Typical employers of dental hygienists include general dental practices provided by the NHS, community dental services, hospitals, dental hospitals or private clinics. With experience, it’s also possible to work as a self-employed dental hygienist having a contract with a dental practice.

There are plenty of career development opportunities for those working in dental hygienist jobs, such as choosing to work as a dental therapist or getting into orthodontic therapy. In particular, becoming a dental therapist, you could earn up to 3.5% more than a dental hygienist.

Job prospects are generally good for people in this profession as dental professionals will always be in demand. Also you will usually work up to 38 hours per week. On the other hand, this profession requires continued professional skills development and depending on the organisation you work for, you may need to work in the evenings or at weekends. Finally, eye strain and neck or back fatigue can be an issue, due to the repetitive nature of work in such jobs.