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Occupation Details

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Dental Hygienist

Job Zone

Education
Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skills, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, several years of full or part-time employment in the area may suffice.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship or training program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

€25k > 41
Dental Hygienist
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€25 - 41
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
CareersPortal

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Provides dental care and oral hygiene treatments and advice to dental patients.


Videos & Interviews header image

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..Dental Hygienist - from: YouTube Video

Go..Search YouTube for Dental Hygienist videos

The Work header image

Dental hygienists are concerned with the general health of people's teeth and gums. The dentist sees the patient first and then, if it is appropriate, passes them on to the hygienist to carry out treatment. Hygienists scale, clean and polish teeth as well as apply substances such as fluorides and fissure sealant to prevent decay. Hygienists also advise patients on how to take care of their teeth. They tell them about suitable diets and show them how to brush their teeth properly and how to use dental floss and mouth rinses.  
 
Sometimes hygienists visit schools or clinics to talk to groups of people about oral health. For this part of the work, hygienists need to be clear in their explanations and able to convince different audiences about the importance of dental care.  
 
A dental hygienist working in a hospital would do all of the above types of work as well as working with patients undergoing surgery or having corrective dental treatment. With this group of patients, the dental hygienist aims to keep the mouth in a healthy condition.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Clean calcareous deposits, accretions, and stains from teeth and beneath margins of gums, using dental instruments.

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Record and review patient medical histories.

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Examine gums, using probes, to locate periodontal recessed gums and signs of gum disease.

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Feel and visually examine gums for sores and signs of disease.

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Expose and develop x-ray film.

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Chart conditions of decay and disease for diagnosis and treatment by dentist.

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Maintain dental equipment and sharpen and sterilize dental instruments.

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Feel lymph nodes under patient's chin to detect swelling or tenderness that could indicate presence of oral cancer.

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Provide clinical services or health education to improve and maintain the oral health of patients or the general public.

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Apply fluorides or other cavity preventing agents to arrest dental decay.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Assisting and Caring for Others: Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

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Handling and Moving Objects: Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings: Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Documenting/Recording Information: Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Performing for or Working Directly with the Public: Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

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Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards: Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Medicine and Dentistry: Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

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Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Psychology: Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

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Biology: Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

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Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Persuasion: Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

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Learning Strategies: Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

In order to ensure that treatments are carried out quickly and effectively, you will need to put patients at ease and inspire them with confidence. This means you'll have to get on with all sorts of people of all different ages.  
 
Hygienists use a wide range of manual and powered instruments, so you should have a steady hand, good eyesight and the ability to concentrate on complex tasks.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Dental Hygienist - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Dental hygienist - from: GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Dublin Dental University Hospital
Address: Trinity College Dublin, Lincoln Place, Dublin 2.
Tel: (01) 612 7315
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Organisation: Irish Dental Association
Address: Unit 2, Leopardstown Office Park, Sandyford, Dublin 18
Tel: (01) 295 0072
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Organisation: Dental Health Foundation Ireland
Address: PO Box 12343Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 672 8870
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Organisation: Cork University Dental School and Hospital
Address: Wilton,Cork
Tel: (021) 4901100
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Organisation: National Dental Nurse Training Programme of Ireland
Address: Dublin Dental Hospital, TCD, Lincoln Place, Dublin, 2
Tel: 01 612 7315
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Organisation: Dental Council of Ireland
Address: 57 Merrion Square, Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 676 2069
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


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Medical & Healthcare

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