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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 foundation degree in oral health science
  • a diploma of higher education (DipHE) in dental hygiene, or dental hygiene and dental therapy
  • a degree in oral health science, or dental therapy and dental hygiene

The foundation degree and DipHE courses usually take 2 years to complete. The degree course usually takes 3 years, full time. 

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

National Government Policy states that all students should have achieved at least a Grade 4 or C Grade in English & Maths at GCSE.  Achieving this minimum grade in these subjects will increase the opportunities open to you, support your future career development and prospects.

Students who do not meet this standard will be supported to continue to study English and Maths through full-time education or an Apprenticeship.

Required Skills

You will need to be highly organised, a compassionate and caring person, have good eyesight and manual dexterity skills, the ability to concentrate for long periods of time, be decisive and enjoy working as part of a team.

Starting Salary

£22,000 to £41,500

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