Clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop x rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.Number of Jobs in 2010: 1,060
Number of Jobs in 2020: 1,207
Yearly Job Growth Rate: 13.9
Annual Openings: 36
Entry Wage: $28.10
Median Wage: $33.09
Education Requirement: Associate's degree
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- Clean calcareous deposits, accretions, and stains from teeth and beneath margins of gums, using dental instruments.
- Record and review patient medical histories.
- Examine gums, using probes, to locate periodontal recessed gums and signs of gum disease.
- Feel and visually examine gums for sores and signs of disease.
- Expose and develop x-ray film.
- Chart conditions of decay and disease for diagnosis and treatment by dentist.
- Maintain dental equipment and sharpen and sterilize dental instruments.
- Feel lymph nodes under patient's chin to detect swelling or tenderness that could indicate presence of oral cancer.
- Provide clinical services or health education to improve and maintain the oral health of patients or the general public.
- Apply fluorides or other cavity preventing agents to arrest dental decay.
- Maintain patient recall system.
- Administer local anesthetic agents.
- Remove excess cement from coronal surfaces of teeth.
- Conduct dental health clinics for community groups to augment services of dentist.
- Remove sutures and dressings.
- Place and remove rubber dams, matrices, and temporary restorations.
- Make impressions for study casts.
Indivduals currently working as Dental Hygienists can easily transition into any of the occupations lisated below.
- Dental Assistants*
- Radiologic Technologists
- Medical Assistants
- Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses*
- Radiologic Technicians
- Nuclear Medicine Technologists
- Physical Therapist Assistants
- Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
- Pharmacy Technicians
- Respiratory Therapy Technicians
* The occupation mentioned is in demand in the state of Maine, and is projected to employ new workers each year.
Occupational data obtained from the Maine Department of Labor and O*NET
Last updated on January 29, 2013