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Job Description

Dentist Hygienists will de-scale and clean patients' teeth to help prevent dental decay.  They will also provide information to patients on how they should care for their teeth to help prevent build up of plaque and calculus and how diet can affect oral health.  Most dental hygienists work for private or NHS practices or a mixture of the two

Entry Requirements

You’ll need to take one of the following General Dental Council (GDC) approved courses:

  • a 2-year foundation degree in oral health science
  • a 2-year diploma of higher education in dental hygiene, or dental hygiene and dental therapy
  • a 3-year degree in oral health science, or dental therapy and dental hygiene

Experience as a dental nurse may be useful. A recognised dental nurse qualification can sometimes take the place of an A level for course entry.

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) lists training schools.

You’ll need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Career Path and Progression

With experience, you could move into dental practice management.

With further training you could teach student dental hygienists.

You could also move into a related area like orthodontic therapy or health promotion.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Dental nurse
  • Dental technician
  • Dental therapist
  • Dentist

Required Skills

  • You will need to be highly organised
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • enjoy working as part of a team
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations

Salary Range

£24,907 to £37,890

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