A dental hygienist is a licensed health care professional who works with the dentist, providing preventive, educational, and therapeutic services for the control of oral diseases and the promotion of both oral and overall health.

A dental hygienist (DH) has graduated from a two or four-year college program that includes classroom studies and extensive supervised clinical experience. A dental hygienist also must pass a national written exam and a comprehensive state clinical exam to earn the RDH license. Generally, the dental hygienist may work in general and specialty oral health practices. Other areas of employment include programs for research, professional education, and community health; hospital and institutional care of disabled persons; federal programs, such as the armed services; or other health service locations as specified in statute or as authorized by the state board of dentistry.

Click here for more information about dental hygiene careers.