About the Profession of Dental Hygiene

Dental hygienists provide dental hygiene treatment and services related to oral health promotion and disease and mouth injury prevention. They are employed in a variety of settings including dentists' offices, hospitals, private clinics, educational institutions, public health agencies or they may be self-employed.

Dental hygienists:

  • Conduct patient screening and oral health assessments, including taking vital signs and documenting patient medical and health history
  • Take dental impressions
  • Take and develop X-rays
  • Perform preventative dental procedures such as teeth cleaning, scaling, gum stimulation and fluoride and sealant applications
  • Provide oral care instructions such as oral hygiene procedures, strategies to maintain and improve oral health and on the impact of nutrition on oral health
  • Consult with dentists on patient care
  • May perform restorative and orthodontic procedures under the direction of a dentist
  • May supervise dental assistants in their health care functions
  • May participate in community- or school-based oral health initiatives such as oral screening

Source: Job Bank Canada