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About Dental Hygienist jobs in Australia

Find Dental Hygienist jobs, careers and vacancies in Australia. Search from permanent, part-time, casual and locum jobs.


Purpose and Mission

Dental hygienists are healthcare professionals who work on a dental team at a dentist’s office. They are trained in the latest preventive, educational and therapeutic methods to help control oral diseases and help patients achieve and maintain oral health. One of the primary tasks of a dental hygienist is to perform cleaning-related clinical procedures such as removal of plaque and tartar from teeth and gums to prevent dental disease.

Reports To
Dental hygienists are typically supervised in clinical practice by a dentist. Hygienists may, however, report directly to an administrative manager for non-clinical issues.

Supervisory Responsibilities
Most dental hygienists do not have notable supervisory responsibilities, although senior or more experienced hygienists may be responsible for training or oversight of less experienced colleagues.

Qualifications
The minimum qualifications to become a dental hygienist in Australia are a two-year Advanced Diploma of Oral Health in Dental Hygiene or a three-year Bachelor of Oral Health (offered at several major universities across Australia).

Note that dental hygiene training programs are very competitive and most have limited quotas. Candidates already having college credits in biology and chemistry, and Certificates III and IV in Dental Assisting, may be preferred.

Responsibilities of a Dental Hygienist
The responsibilities of a dental hygienist include a range duties focused on diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive techniques to support total health and minimize oral diseases. The specific procedures that a dental hygienist can perform are regulated by state laws.

The primary duties of dental hygienists include:

  • Undertaking oral health assessments including taking a health history, creating and maintaining dental charts, oral cancer screening, and taking blood pressure, pulse, blood glucose, respiration rate, etc.
  • Taking, processing and interpreting dental X-rays
  • Making impressions of teeth for plaster study models and mouthguards
  • Taking pictures of exterior and interior oral structures in order to document stages of treatment and outcomes
  • Give anaesthetic injections to numb the teeth and gums before dental procedures
  • Mechanically remove plaque and calculus (tartar) from above and below the gum line
  • Polish teeth and dentures
  • Undertake root planing for non-surgical periodontal therapy
  • Put on and take off post-surgical dressings and take out sutures
  • Choose/size orthodontic bands, prepare teeth for braces and remove wires and other orthodontic appliances
  • Apply agents including fluorides, varnishes and sealants to the teeth as required
  • Teach oral hygiene techniques to help people maintain healthy teeth and gums, as well as counsel patients on plaque control, nutrition, quitting smoking and living a healthier lifestyle.

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