All careers
Dental Hygienist

Dental Hygienist

Treat and prevent a range of oral diseases and provide guidance to people on matters of dental hygiene.

What's it like to be a Dental Hygienist?

Dental Hygienists treat and prevent oral diseases. They educate patients on how to achieve and maintain the best possible oral health and prevent and treat a range of oral diseases. They offer tooth cleaning, whitening and plaque control services and strategies to patients.

Tasks and duties

  • Removing plaque deposits from teeth.
  • Providing educational guidance and instruction to people of all ages in matters relating to oral health, dental hygiene, plaque control and nutrition.
  • Providing fluoride therapy.
  • Assessing and recording oral health conditions and plan treatments.
  • Removing deposits and stains from teeth by scaling, root debridement and tooth polishing.
  • Identifying and applying prevention strategies and control mechanisms for tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Applying professional tooth whitening agents.
Dental Hygienists interact with members of the public daily and most commonly work in private practices, under the direction of a Dentist. Some Dental Hygienists may also work in community health centres, schools, childcare centres, aged care facilities and supported residential facilities.

What can I earn as a Dental Hygienist?

The most common salary  for a Dental Hygienist is between $55k and $70k
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How to become a Dental Hygienist

SEEK Learning
To become a registered Dental Hygienist, you need to complete a qualification in Oral Health. After graduating, you need to follow the application process to register with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
  1. Complete a qualification in Oral Health in an accredited program. This could be an Advanced Diploma of Oral Health (Dental Hygiene) or a Bachelor degree majoring in Oral Health.
  2. Achieve AHPRA registration via the application process.
  3. Renew AHPRA registration every 12 months by demonstrating the mandatory CPD, professional indemnity insurance, and recency of practice.

Explore oral health qualifications

Prepare to work as a Dental Hygienist with a qualification in oral health.

Duration 3 yrs - 6 yrs
4 institutions offering this qualification
Choose an institution
Institution logoInstitution logoInstitution logoInstitution logo
Duration -
1 institutions offering this qualification
Choose an institution
Institution logo
Powered bySEEK Learning
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

What skills are employers looking for?

Employers want:

  • Communication skills
  • Australian health practitioner regulation agency (ahpra)
  • Thoroughness
  • People skills
  • Time management

Shortlisted applicants:

  • Autonomy
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Time management
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How do Dental Hygienists rate their role?

Latest reviews from 14 Dental Hygienists surveyed on SEEK

Latest reviews

2 out of 5Nov 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Oral Health
Experience
1 – 4 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Dental
The good things
If you are passionate about oral health and disease prevention then this career can be rewarding. You can make a difference if you truly care.
The challenges
Finding a full time position with benefits is almost none existing. It took a couple bad jobs (ie poor pay and being taken advantage of by dentists and/practice owners) before I found a reasonable wor...
5 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Associate degree in dental hygiene
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Dental hygiene
The good things
As a dental hygienist I get to work in a close team environment but have an equal say in decision making about patients healthcare. I get to treat happy healthy people and care for those that need mor...
The challenges
It can be challenging when it is very busy, stressful and can give you a few aches and pains if you are not conscious of your posture whilst providing treatment.
5 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Advanced Diploma of Oral Health (Dental Hygiene)
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Dental Hygiene
The good things
Ability to help people and make a difference for them. Empowering people. Good pay.
The challenges
Job security Finding a job Physical side effects
5 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Advanced Diploma of Oral Health (Dental Hygiene)
Experience
1 – 4 years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Dental Hygienist
The good things
All the skills and knowledge I learnt while training be a hygienist I put to use every day, it’s rewarding and the a very satisfying thing about this role is the feeling that your helping maintain a g...
The challenges
Like every job- you are faved with challenges, as a dental hygienist the biggest challenge is ensuring you have time management throughout your day. Being organised is a key part of considering this a...
5 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Diploma of Dental Hygiene
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Hygiene
The good things
The role of a dental hygienist is a very important part of dental health care. I find job satisfaction very high. I love meeting new patients and enjoy that over the years I have formed wonderful and ...
The challenges
Dealing with patients anxiety and fears. This takes patience, using your time to discuss what your doing and I have found that being gentle is my greatest quality
5 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Advanced Diploma of Oral Health (Dental Hygiene)
Experience
Less than a year
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Preventative oral care
The good things
Meeting a variety of patients every day and being able to impact their life through helping their oral health
The challenges
Very different personalities of patients which can be challenging at times
5 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Diploma of Dental Hygiene
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
General practice
The good things
You can decide wether you want to work full time, part time. You can decide the hours you want to work. Always will have a job - in a first world country and a third world country. Get to meet amaz...
The challenges
Really hard on your body especially your neck and back and hands. The negativity of some patients
4 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Advanced Diploma of Oral Health (Dental Hygiene)
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Dental Hygienist
The good things
Dental Hygiene is a very rewarding career. It’s an opportunity to see your hard work return and it will give you great satisfaction. You are having a hand in helping people keep their teeth for life.
The challenges
You must be s people person and be passionate about your job.
5 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
BOH
Experience
5 – 9 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
The good things
Ability to contribute to patients overall care
The challenges
Often required to utilise multiple skills ie: reception, sterilisation ect
5 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Advanced Diploma in Oral health
Experience
5 – 9 years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Dental hygienist
The good things
Able to help people to have good dental health and be able have their teeth and smile all their life.
The challenges
hard balance between being gentle and able to do good job.
Source: SEEK Role Reviews

What are the job opportunities for Dental Hygienists?

Find out how the job market is trending

Job opportunities

Dental Hygienist jobs on SEEK
Source: SEEK

Projected job growth

National increase over next 5 years
2.7%
2018
2023
Source: LMIP. Dental Hygienists, Technicians and Therapists
Latest Dental Hygienist jobs on SEEK
Prime Practice HR Solutions
Perth > Eastern Suburbs
Australian qualified Dental Hygienist for a Part Time Role.
Gullotta Orthodontics
Gold Coast
We are looking for a part-time Dental Hygienist, working 3 days a week (7.30am to 5.30pm) to join our fun and supportive team at Gullotta Orthodontics
Private Advertiser
Melbourne > Western Suburbs
Dental Hygienist / Therapist
Private Advertiser
South West Coast VIC
Opportunity for a qualified full time or part time dental hygienist/therapist to join our busy dental practice.
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

Explore similar roles

Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

Articles related to this career

Read more from SEEK