What is a dental hygienist?
Dental hygienists are licensed dental health professionals who specialize in educational, preventive, and therapeutic oral health care for the public. In Indiana, dental hygienists are required to complete a minimum of one year of prerequisite college courses and two years of dental hygiene courses at an accredited college or university. At IUFW, we offer a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene (BSDH), with 2 concentration tracks—community dental hygiene and dental hygiene health care administration.
Most dental hygienists are employed in private dental offices where their duties include:
- cleaning teeth
- taking and processing x-rays
- applying fluoride treatments and sealants
- teaching correct oral health care techniques to patients
- examining teeth and surrounding tissues
- screening for hypertension and oral cancer
- providing nutritional counseling to dental patients