CAREER OUTLOOK: DENTAL HYGIENIST
The Dental Hygienist plays an important role in the field of healthcare. As specialists in oral health, dental hygienists help patients in the maintenance of good health and educate patients to prevent disease. Dental hygienists perform services under the supervision of licensed dentists and are the only other members of the dental team licensed to perform direct patient care. The demand for dental services will increase as the population ages and as research continues to link oral health to overall health.
Dental hygiene is a prevention-oriented profession offering a variety of career options. There are over 219,800 licensed dental hygienists in the United States. A dental hygienist can pursue numerous career options which are defined by the American Dental Hygienists’ Association as clinician, oral health promoter, clinical educator, researcher, practice administrator, clinical director, consultant, and consumer advocate.