What does a dental hygienist do?
A dental hygienist provides treatments to clean and maintain healthy teeth. You’ll also give advice to children and adults on how best to keep their teeth and gums clean. You’ll use a variety of tools in treatments.
What do I need to do to become a dental hygienist?
Before you can work as a dental hygienist, you will need to take one of the following General Dental Council (GDC) approved courses:
- a foundation degree in oral health science
- a diploma of higher education (DipHE) in dental hygiene, or dental hygiene and dental therapy
- a degree in oral health science, or dental therapy and dental hygiene
To get on to a recognised degree course, you usually need at least two A levels or equivalent, with one in a science subject. You also need five GCSEs A-C, including maths, English and science.
Science-based level 3 vocational courses may also provide an alternative – check with universities.
- At least two A levels or equivalent, one in a science subject
- Science-based level 3 courses
- Foundation degree in oral health science
- Or DipHE in dental hygiene
- Or Degree in oral health science
- Or Degree in dental therapy and dental hygiene
Where could I be working?
You’ll work indoors, usually in a dental surgery or a dental hospital. You may be working privately or for the National Health Service (NHS).