Public Health Dental Hygienist

Provide dental care through a public health program.
picture of Public Health Dental Hygienist

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$45,000 – $94,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Public Health Dental Hygienists do?

Open up and say, “Ahh!” for the Public Health Dental Hygienist. Working for a public health organization, a Public Health Dental Hygienist provides dental care through government-sponsored programs. These programs are typically designed to aid in health care for underserved populations, such as children or Native Americans.

Employment as a Public Health Dental Hygienist means you take your hygiene skills to the people. Rather than practicing in a dental office, you likely travel to various locations to provide your services. After completing an accredited Dental Hygienist program, you work with Dentists, Oral Surgeons, and Oral Facial Myologists.

Courses in health, biology, psychology, chemistry, and mathematics prepare you for the Dental Hygienist program. All of these classes provide the basis of your knowledge on the mouth, teeth, and gums and caring for each of them.

For example, you’re trained to evaluate the patient’s mouth for signs of gingivitis, decay, periodontal disease, and plaque buildup. Once the evaluation is complete, you begin your duties of removing plaque and tartar buildup using specialized tools. The procedure finishes with a thorough cleaning of all the teeth in preparation for the Dentist’s exam.

A positive attitude, great communication skills, and a caring nature are all required for a Public Health Dental Hygienist. In addition, you must have the ability to work with a diverse clientele, as you’re likely to meet and work with a variety of people.

For some, this may be their first experience with dental care. Not knowing what to expect, your patients are likely to be worried about the pain involved or the possibility of bad news. Putting their worries to rest and allaying their fears are all part of your job.

Should I be a Public Health Dental Hygienist?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Public Health Dental Hygiene Practitioner

    How to Become a
    Public Health Dental Hygienist

    Most Public Health Dental Hygienists have an Associate's degree. Chart?chd=s:aa9cab&chl=||associate%27s+%2867%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2831%25%29||doctorate+%282%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,67
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