Are you wondering if you have the skills it takes to be a dental hygienist? Dental hygienists need a mix of soft and hard skills to succeed.
Here are 5 soft skills and 5 hard skills you will need to do well as a dental hygienist.
1. Oral Communication
To treat patients, you will need to talk to them. You will need to take patient histories, speak with them about their oral hygiene habits and routine, and explain what you are doing during treatments. If you struggle to communicate or are not confident, this task would be challenging for you.
2. Attention to Detail
Being detail-oriented is another crucial skill for dental hygienists. To complete treatments, you will need to carefully pay attention to what you and the dentist are doing. You will need to be able to focus on small details of patients’ teeth or gums.
When you work in dental hygiene role, you will encounter people who are afraid to go to the dentist. When patients start weeping in the dental chair because they are afraid of dentists, you will have to comfort them, and for that, you need to be a compassionate person.
4. Problem Solving
Every patient is different. You will encounter unique challenges with each patient, and you will need to be a good problem solver to handle these challenges. For instance, if you have terrified patients, you will need to figure out how to ease them and complete their treatments.
5. Manual Dexterity
As a dental hygienist, you will work with sharp tools inside patients’ mouths. For that, you need to have excellent control of your hands to complete treatments safely.
6. Conducting Initial Dental Assessments
One of the hard skills required to become a dental hygiene professional is completing initial dental assessments. You will examine patients’ mouths first, and then the dentist will provide the necessary treatments.
7. Removing Deposits from Teeth
Cleaning patients’ teeth is an integral part of the dental hygienist’s job. Dental hygienists use tools to carefully remove tartar, plaque, and food debris from patients’ teeth. They also clean under the gum line to help gum disease prevention.
8. Applying Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent cavities. Patients receive fluoride treatments in the dental office to keep their teeth healthy. You will need to know how to perform fluoride treatments professionally.
9. Taking X-Rays
As a dental hygienist, you will be responsible for taking x-rays of patients. Since x-rays use radiation, you will need to learn how to operate them properly. You also need training for how to position the x-ray machine to get the desired images.
10. Assisting with Restorative Procedures
Hygiene professionals may also assist dentists with restorative procedures. Restorative dentistry includes fillings, root canals, or crowns. You will need to learn how these procedures are performed to be a useful dental assistant.