Career Possibilities

A career in dental hygiene offers opportunities in the following settings.

Clinical

  • Perform oral health assessments.
  • Provide nutritional counseling and self-care programs to prevent disease.
  • Examine head, neck, and oral regions for disease.
  • Take and process X-rays and perform other diagnostic tests.
  • Provide services that help patients prevent gum diseases and cavities; for example: remove deposits from teeth and apply sealants and fluoride to prevent decay.

Administrative/Managerial

  • Consult for dental product companies and/or insurance companies.
  • Hold administrative positions in education, public health, hospitals, or professional associations.
  • Sell dental products and supplies.
  • Manage or own dental personnel placement services.
  • Evaluate and facilitate processing of dental insurance claims
  • Initiate and evaluate community dental health programs and resources.

Educational

  • Teach in dental hygiene and dental school programs.
  • Present continuing education seminars.
  • Write/edit educational materials.

Research

  • Write grant proposals.
  • Develop research methodology.
  • Collect and analyze data.
  • Conduct clinical research.
  • Write articles for professional publications.

Consumer Advocacy

  • Help consumer groups obtain access to care.
  • Develop networking systems to match existing resources with health care needs.
  • Advise consumers on insurance policies, commercial products, and political issues affecting oral health.

Change Agent

Influence business and government agencies to support health care efforts.
Advocate oral health programs for individuals, families, or communities.