What is a Dental Hygienist? Accordion Closed
Job Description According to the ADA
A career as a dental hygienist offers a wide range of challenges. In the dental office, the dentist and the dental hygienist work together to meet the oral health needs of patients. Since each state has its own specific regulations regarding their responsibilities, the range of services performed by hygienists varies from state to state. Some of the services provided by dental hygienists may include:
patient screening procedures; such as assessment of oral health conditions, review of the health history, oral cancer screening, head and neck inspection, dental charting and taking blood pressure and pulse
taking and developing dental radiographs (x-rays)
removing calculus and plaque (hard and soft deposits) from all surfaces of the teeth
applying preventive materials to the teeth (e.g., sealants and fluorides)
teaching patients appropriate oral hygiene strategies to maintain oral health;
(e.g., tooth brushing, flossing and nutritional counseling)
counseling patients about good nutrition and its impact on oral health
making impressions of patients’ teeth for study casts (models of teeth used by dentists to evaluate patient treatment needs)
performing documentation and office management activities
WREB/NDHBE Exam Information Accordion Closed
The NAU Dental Hygiene Clinic is a WREB testing location for Local Anesthesia Clinical & Dental Hygiene Clinical.
POLICY ON AUTHORIZATION FOR STATE, REGIONAL, AND NATIONAL BOARD EXAMINATIONS (WREB / NDHBE) – The Dental Hygiene Department has an obligation to withhold recommending a student to take a board examination if a student is considered to be an unsafe or unethical practitioner. Graduation from an accredited dental hygiene program does not guarantee a graduate will perform at a passing level in a stressful board environment. Students are responsible for all exam registration fees and for finding an appropriate patient for the clinical board examination. AFTER graduation and the student has taken the clinical board, the instruments used can be sterilized during the 5 weeks of summer school. The graduated student CANNOT use NAU facilities for ANY procedures e.g. screenings, radiographs, etc. due to legal implications resulting from the graduate not being covered under NAU student statutes.
WREB / NDHBE – Each student is responsible for contacting the state board of dentistry in the state they wish to practice. Additional courses and/or fees may be required depending upon the state’s regulations.
In the event a student fails the clinical board and has to remediate:
1. Student is responsible for submitting paperwork from WREB/ NDHBE Board Examiners to NAU.
2. Student must reapply to NAU.
3. Student must enroll in and complete DH 313 (Didactic and Clinic)
4. If they fail to meet summer deadline the student must enroll in and complete Fall DH 411 (Clinic and Didactic)
5. The student is responsible for all fees associated with enrollment at NAU and in DH courses.
STUDENTS’ RESPONSIBILITY TO MOCK BOARD PATIENTS
Dental hygiene students are responsible for completing all treatment for their mock board patient. Under no circumstances should patients used for mock boards be abandoned after student has completed requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate to patient the recommended treatment plan, obtain informed consent for patient to participate in the capacity of mock board patient, and ensure the patients are scheduled for completion of care if the student is unable to complete treatment plan in its entirety for mock board patients.
Professional Licensure by State Accordion Closed
State Licensure Information Accordion Closed
Licensure is granted by each individual state. Dental hygienists practice in accordance with requirements of individual state dental practice acts. For more information regarding program licensure in other states, please visit https://www.adha.org/licensure.
DISCLAIMER: STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Students enrolled at NAU who wish to practice in the state of California must take an additional ANE/CURETTAGE/NITROUS OXIDE course because CA does not recognize AZ dental hygiene anesthesia courses. More info can be found here: http://www.swccd.edu/index.aspx?page=3822 or