I want to learn about careers as a Dental Hygienist

Find out everything you need to know about becoming a Dental Hygienist.

Job Title – Dental Hygienist


A Dental Hygienist cleans teeth, examines patients for signs of oral diseases such as gingivitis, and provides other preventative dental care. They also educate patients on ways to improve and maintain good oral health. A dental hygienist work under the supervision of licensed dentists. They are not qualified to make the same kind of diagnostic decisions or perform the same procedures as dentists. 

Typical Job Activities

Removes tartar, stains, and plaque from teeth
Applies sealants and fluorides to help protect teeth
Takes and develops dental x rays
Keeps track of patient care and treatment plans
Teaches patients oral hygiene techniques, such as how to brush and floss correctly

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Related Occupations

Maxillo-facial and oral surgeon
Oral hygienist
Dental assistant

Educational Requirements

Senior Certificate with a matric Exception
Degree in Dental hygiene at a university

A dental hygienist must register with the Interim National Medical and Dental Council of South Africa after completion of the required training.

Compulsory subjects: Mathematics and Physical Science
Recommended subjects: Biology

What natural skills and/or aptitudes do I need for this occupation?

Have an interest in and an aptitude for science
Have good judgement and diagnostic skills
Be able to inspire confidence and trust
Be able to concentrate well
Have manual dexterity
Have three dimensional abilities (to judge space and shape)
Have good eyesight and visual memory

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Employment Opportunities 


Market Competitiveness


Income Potential


Self-Employment Opportunities


International Employment Opportunities


Possible Employers

Municipal clinics
Research Institutions

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Relevant Contact Details

The Dental Association of South Africa

Career Progress and Path 

Experience in specific field Work performance 

Possible Career Paths

Specialist career in the specific field

Employment Stability

Moderately stable

Reasons to consider this career

I can be of service to people
I can repair things
The need is determined by the customers
I can work with technology
I can create new things