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Dental Hygienists

Also called: Dental Hygienist; Dental Hygienist, Mobile Coordinator; Hygienist; Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH)

Where in the Marine Corps? In the Marine Corps: Dental Assistant Apprentice; Dental Assistant Craftsman; Dental Assistant Craftsman, Dental Hygienist; Dental Assistant Helper; Dental Assistant Journeyman; Dental Assistant Journeyman, Dental Hygienist; Dental Specialist

What they do:
Clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop x rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.
On the job, you would:
  • Clean calcareous deposits, accretions, and stains from teeth and beneath margins of gums, using dental instruments.
  • Record and review patient medical histories.
  • Examine gums, using probes, to locate periodontal recessed gums and signs of gum disease.


  • medicine and dentistry
  • customer service
  • sales and marketing
Arts and Humanities
  • English language
Math and Science
  • psychology


Basic Skills
  • talking to others
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
  • looking for ways to help people
  • understanding people's reactions


  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say
Hand and Finger Use
  • put together small parts with your fingers
  • keep your arm or hand steady
  • pay attention to something without being distracted
  • do two or more things at the same time
Ideas and Logic
  • notice when problems happen


People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Dependability
  • Attention to Detail
  • Concern for Others
  • Integrity
  • Cooperation
  • Self Control


You might use software like this on the job:

Medical software
  • Dental charting software
  • Dental office management software
Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel
Electronic mail software
  • Email software


Education: (rated 3 of 5)
associate's degree or
bachelor's degree
usually needed

Get started on your career:

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Job Outlook

Bright Outlook
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about dental hygienists.