Dental Hygienist Position Description
Job Title: Dental Hygienist
Reports to: Doctor(s)
Supervised by: Practice Manager
Evaluation: Annual Review
The Dental Hygienist’s primary responsibility is to provide excellent dental
hygiene, dental treatment, and patient education in accordance with guidelines
approved, issued, and regulated by the state as well as by the Company. As a
Dental Hygienist, you will provide input, advice, and support to the Practice
Manager and Doctor(s) about a range of clinical and didactic issues required to
achieve improved patient experience and more efficient utilization of dental
services and care. The Dental Hygienist will supervise Treatment Coordinators,
Hygiene Assistants, and Dental Assistants in delivering professional care.
The Dental Hygienist must demonstrate confidence and professionalism by showing a
sincere interest in the hygiene team and inspiring others. He or she is expected
to supervise and mentor the hygiene team by identifying the strengths and weakness
and coaching them to help better develop the team. The Dental Hygienist will invest
his or her time and attention into the hygiene team and office at all times. One
must be able to communicate and deliver non-basis or judgmental guidance and
instruction. The Dental Hygienist will help continue to train each hygiene team
member and create a productive work environment for all employees on a daily basis.
The Dental Hygienist should be able to successfully manage others by delegating
duties and tasks when needed to achieve direction and organize the flow in the
clinical area. The Dental Hygienist must have the ability to exercise a high degree
of independent decision making with sound judgment and with little supervision.
The Dental hygienist is expected to work closely with the Practice Manager and
Doctor(s) to collaborate together for the success of the office. The Dental
Hygienist will maintain upkeep of dental rooms, storage, inventory, materials, and
product maintenance. If asked upon, the Dental Hygienist will work with the
Practice Manager and the Company’s Supply representative to formulate a plan and
budget to manage and order the office supplies as needed.
General duties include: oral prophylaxis, preliminary periodontal examinations
involving diagnostic tests and x-rays, oral health education, preparation of
treatment plans for plaque control, identification of problematic areas for the
Doctor to further evaluate and diagnose, application of topical fluoride to the
The Dental Hygienist shall practice under the general direction of a Doctor and
provide clinical and educational services that meet all the needs of all patients.
Each Dental Hygienist will use his or her own judgment to examine patients to
determine the suitability of each prophylaxis and ensuing precautionary measures
when necessary. The result of each Dental Hygienist’s work is to be evaluated by
the Doctor at the time of the patient’s oral exam.
Dental Hygienists are required to perform direct patient care on a day-to-day basis
that can often involve significant patience and discretion in order to obtain the
proper cooperation from each patient. Many children are in need of tender, loving,
care and may involve some sort of tell-show-do prior to any treatment or
prophylaxis. Dental Hygienists must use creativity and imagination to encourage
anxious or timid patients. Adapting to each individual and providing excellent
chairside manner is a must.
• Patient preparation: review the chart and patient’s medical history prior
to prophylaxis, identify insurance benefits, interact with the parent or guardian,
discuss all procedures with the parent or guardian and assist the patient to and
from the clinical area.
• Patient examination: take periapical, bitewing, and panoramic x-rays as
needed, determine preliminary selection for patients in need of periodontal
screenings, examine mouth, throat, and pharynx, detecting and reporting oral
conditions, considering and reporting plaque buildup, observing and reporting
indicators of physical or mental distress, and comforting and encouraging hesitant
or frightened patients
• Patient treatment: Aid the Doctor in recommending the need and frequency of
future appointments, review the patient’s medical and dental history with the
Doctor, make a plan and explanation to be shared with the parent or guardian for
proper diet as well as plaque control, respond to patient or parent questions
regarding oral care.
• Preventative services: identify and remove plaque, using hand devices and
ultrasonic devices to remove supra gingival and sub-gingival calculus, using floss
to clean interproximal areas of the teeth, polish coronal surfaces of the teeth,
apply topical fluoride to the teeth, and perform the same oral prophylaxis
procedures for children with special needs.
• Evaluate existing sealants and application of sealants as directed by
• Dental health education: may be provided to either the patient or the
parent depending on the patient’s age and maturity level, educate patients on the
proper way to brush and floss, instruct patients on the proper care of appliances
or braces, educate patients on periodontal care, provide dental related information
on diet and nutrition, describe the nature of cavities and periodontal disease to
patient, and monitor past oral hygiene as a tool to motivate patients.
• Appliance maintenance: identify the need for adjustment or removal, this
may include the actual removal or adjustment, recognize the need to seat an
appliance and place an appliance while the patient is in the hygiene chair.
• Medical and dental recordkeeping: review and document a patient’s or
parent’s primary concern, past dental and medical history, family history of
illness, current medications and allergies, ensure proper structure of chart and
associated documents; document oral health and findings of periodontal examination,
oral progress and therapy as well as visit and behavior notes, and recording proper
scheduling code for return visits.
• Miscellaneous duties: break down and set up chairs, monitor and control the
general flow of the hygiene department to create an efficient clinical area,
treatment plan with the Doctor after the prophylaxis, escort the patient from the
clinical area, discuss findings and recommendation for treatment with parent or
guardian, discuss behavior with parent or guardian when needed, sharpen and
sterilize equipment, monitor and maintain the proper condition of instruments,
ensure the proper ordering and storage of dental equipment and supplies needed to
properly operate the hygiene department on a day-to-day basis.
A team of Dental Hygienist, Hygiene Assistants, and Treatment Coordinators may
share the Dental Hygienist’s duties. In the case that each assistant is
unavailable, then each hygienist is required to perform all of his or her own job
Maintain patient confidentiality through HIPAA compliance.
Understand how to work effectively within the organization – partner with the
Practice Manager, Doctor(s), other team members and support staff to maintain
consistency and integrity within the organization. The hygienist will work with the
Practice Manger by making them aware of employee behavior or performance issues
they observe in the clinical area.
Attend Continuing Education classes to maintain current license.
Lead by example, teaching ethics, enthusiasm, and respect and treats others like
you want to be treated.
EXPECTED RESULTS AND MEASURES
The Dental Hygienist is expected to conduct himself or herself with a high degree
of professionalism in all work assignments and related duties. The Doctor(s) and or
Practice Manager will evaluate the Dental Hygienist’s performance on a daily basis
and a formal review will be conducted once a year. The individual will be held
responsible for his or her performance as a Dental Hygienist pursuant to the duties
outlined in this job description and in the performance of other duties that may be
assigned over each period of evaluation. Each Dental Hygienist will be evaluated
on his or her attitude, ethics, customer service, administrative duties and
procedures and teamwork.
Additionally, the employee will be required to follow the rules and regulations as
set forth by the Company Employee Handbook and other company publications.
This section specifies all the requirements for this position.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
Registered Dental Hygiene License – maintain an active license.
Strong interpersonal and relationship building skills – must be able to establish
and maintain positive working relationships. Communication– must be able to
communicate verbally and in writing to patients and all levels of staff and
management. The Dental Hygienist must be able to project a capable and
professional image – one that is reflective of Company values and inspires others.
Must possess excellent organizational skills- be able to multi-task and perform job
duties in a timely manner. Must have radiograph and CPR certifications, and be
certified to monitor local anesthesia. Must have computer skills and successfully
use the dental software.
The Dental hygienist must have the ability to exercise a high degree of independent
decision making with sound judgment and minimal supervision.
CONTACT WITH OTHERS
Must be able to work well with the Practice Manager, Assistant Practice Manager,
Doctors, staff, patients, parents or legal guardians, colleagues, other Company
representatives, and vendors.
Additional duties to be assigned as necessary to achieve the Company’s standards
and goals as efficiently as possible.
This job description is subject to review and or modification at any time based on
the needs of the company.