Dental Hygienists

Dental Hygienist

The scope of work for Registered Dental Hygienist encompasses a variety of clinical duties which promote excellent patient care in the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease. This job description outlines the essential functions of the Registered Dental Hygienist position and the Core Performance areas the Registered Dental Hygienist position is held accountable to.

Essential functions
Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

  • Reviews patient chart through the practice Hygiene Chart Review process to determine any missing patient documents/information prior to day of patient’s appointment and follows Hygienist SOP to obtain patient materials
  • Prepares room and patient for dental hygiene treatment by adhering to practice procedures and protocols.
  • Educates patients per treatment and practice protocol.
  • Maintains instrumentation for dental hygiene treatment by sharpening, sterilizing, and selecting instruments.
  • Selects materials and equipment for dental hygiene visit by evaluating patient's oral health and per practice protocol
  • Performs dental prophylaxis and any treatments for each patient per practice protocol.
  • Detects disease by performing oral cancer screening and blood pressure checks, feeling, visually evaluating gums and using periodontal probes to assess periodontal disease and to assess levels of recession and taking radiographic studies.
  • Uses indicated periodontal treatments per practice protocol for periodontal disease symptoms and maintenance.
  • Educates patients by giving oral hygiene and plaque control instructions and postoperative instructions and appoints patients for their recall appointment chairside.
  • Thoroughly documents dental hygiene services by recording vital signs and medical and dental histories; charting in patient records and sending referral offices pertinent follow up documentation no later than the same day of the patients’ appointments.
  • Maintains patient confidence and protects operations by keeping information confidential.
  • Maintains safe and clean working environment by complying with practice procedures, rules, and regulations.
  • Protects patients and employees by adhering to infection-control policies and protocols.
  • Performs hygiene procedures within the guidelines of the WA State Dept. of Health.
  • Ensures operation of dental equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; following manufacturer's instructions; troubleshooting malfunctions; notifying operations about require repairs, maintaining equipment inventories and evaluating new equipment and techniques.
  • Maintains dental supplies inventory by checking Dental Hygiene stock to determine inventory level; anticipating needed supplies; placing orders for supplies and verifying receipt of supplies per practice protocol.
  • Conserves dental resources by using equipment and supplies as needed to accomplish job results.
  • Maintains professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops; reviewing professional publications; establishing referral networks; participating in practice study clubs.

  • Apply a professional code of ethics and values
  • Adhere to state and federal laws governing the practice of dental hygiene
  • The systematic collection and analysis of medical and dental histories, vital signs, extra/intraoral examinations, periodontal examinations, radiographs, risk assessments.
  • Establishment of realistic goals and treatment strategies to facilitate optimal oral health including: dental hygiene diagnosis, treatment plan, informed consent, case presentation.
  • Provision of treatment as identified in the assessment and planning phase: Infection control, periodontal debridement and scaling, pain management, application of chemotherapeutics, fluoride treatment, sealants, coronal polishing, care of prostheses, health education and prevention.
  • Measurement of the extent to which goals were achieved: Indices, reevaluation of periodontal condition, subsequent treatment needs, referrals, patient satisfaction. Hygienist must be competent in providing dental care for all types of periodontal classifications.
  • Competency in interpersonal skills and communication.
  • Life support measures for medical emergencies that may be encountered in the dental office.
  • Competent in applying ethical, legal and regulatory concepts to the support of oral health services.
  • Competent in problem solving strategies related to comprehensive patient care and management of patients.

Supervisory responsibilities

Work environment

Required education and experience
  • Maintains current BLS
  • State License Registrations and Certification
  • Two years of dental hygiene experience