The Dental Hygienist promotes oral hygiene and proper dental care to the community either for dental clinic clients and/or children in school settings by providing oral health information and instructions; performs dental prophylactic treatments and preventive dental care procedures; and/or supervises subordinate dental health personnel assigned to programs.
This class is distinguished from the:
Dental Assistant, Registered Lead class which cleans, sterilizes and arranges dental instruments; maintains records; and coordinates clinic and office operations;
Dentist class which performs oral examinations at various County clinics and detention facilities; interprets x-rays; treats diseases of the oral cavity; performs prophylactic procedures, restorations, and other dental treatment as needed; takes impressions, orders dentures and fits and adjusts dentures; and instructs patients in oral hygiene and dental care.
Examples of Duties
Analyzes community dental health needs and assists groups in planning and promoting dental health education programs; develops or modifies dental health programs to meet the needs of the community.
Plans and conducts sealant clinics at school sites, unsupervised: pre-screens children to determine eligibility for dental sealants; provides sealant information to parents of pre-screened and targeted students; recruits and notifies volunteers, community dentists and hygienists; performs toothbrush prophylaxis and re-examines targeted students; places sealants on permanent molars of re-examined students; rechecks 10% of students to check on sealant retention; etc.
Plans and conducts a fluoride varnish program: performs toothbrush prophylaxis and applies fluoride varnish to students, with parental permission, at Solano County Child Start, Inc., and at selected pre-schools and elementary schools; prepares reports; etc.
Instructs parent groups and students on maintaining proper oral health and recommends measures for prevention of dental disease.
Coordinates and/or performs school visits for students’ dental screening of oral disease; provides plaque control and nutritional instruction in pre-school, elementary, junior and senior high schools, and special education/developmental centers/schools.
Evaluates and distributes dental health education materials; develops grade level appropriate dental health education lessons for classroom presentations.
Performs patient services that promotes clients’ oral health, dependant upon clinical setting, such as the removal of deposits and plaque from teeth, and the application of sealants and fluoride to prevent decay; and, under the general supervision of a dentist, performs oralprophylaxis, scaling, and root planning, applies topical, therapeutic and subgingival agents used for the control of caries and periodontal disease, and takes impressions for bleaching trays and application and activation of agents with non-laser, light-curing devices.
Under direct supervision of a dentist, performs soft-tissue curettage, administers local anesthesia, and administers nitrous oxide and/or oxygen.
Supervises subordinate dental health personnel assigned to programs.
Collects data, maintains records and prepares reports of activities pertaining to dental health programs.
Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with outside agencies, schools, parents, dentists and other County departments.
Keeps informed of developments in dental health through the required continuing education state requirement and any additional available educational opportunities.
Performs other duties of a similar nature or level as assigned.
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
Modern principles, practices and techniques of dental hygiene
Dental health education materials, methods, principles and practices
The theories, methods and procedures for the prevention of dental diseases and the required preventive and corrective measures and treatment
Care and use of common dental equipment, instruments, and materials
Current materials, practices, and methods used in dental health education programs
Principles and practices of supervision
Knowledge of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Infection Control in a dental setting
Completing clinical procedures such as plaque removal, application of sealants, fluoride varnish and suture removal
Planning and conducting oral health in-service trainings
Instructing individuals and groups in the proper techniques of oral hygiene
Providing dental services in a culturally sensitive manner
Providing customer service
Keeping records and making clear, concise reports
Addressing an audience effectively
Communicating with community groups in motivating them in the prevention of dental disease
Providing work direction to others
Establishing and maintaining constructive and cooperative working relationships with those contacted in the course of work demonstrating tact, diplomacy, patience, and compassion
Education and Experience
Possession of a valid license as a Registered Dental Hygienist issued by the California State Board of Dental Examiners.
One year of experience performing the duties of a Registered Dental Hygienist in a school, community, or public health department setting or related dental health program.
Driver’s License Class C
May be subject to fumes, odors, blood and other bodily fluids, communicable diseases, and threatening environments including disruptive or aggressive behaviors from others.
May require shift and holiday work.
Independent travel required.
Positions in this class typically require climbing, stooping, kneeling, reaching, standing, walking, pushing, pulling, lifting, fingering, grasping, feeling, talking, hearing, seeing and repetitive motion.
Light Work: Exerting up to 20 pounds of force occasionally and/or up to 10 pounds of force frequently, and/or a negligible amount of force constantly to move objects. If the use of arm and/or leg controls requires exertion of forces greater than that for Sedentary Work and the worker sits most of the time, the job is rated for Light Work. May lift heavier items such as portable dental equipment, with assistance.