15+ Pros And Cons Of Dental Hygienists (Explained)

One of the most crucial elements of a dental team is a dental hygienist. They collaborate closely with dentists, dental assistants, and technicians to deliver top-notch patient care.

The success of dental practices is greatly influenced by dental hygienists. Their job is crucial to obtaining x-rays, making imprints for research models, fitting patients for braces and dentures, screening for oral cancer, removing sutures, and much more.

They also remove plaque and tartar from teeth.

Pros Of Dental HygienistCons Of Dental Hygienist
Growth in professionMonotonous
High competitive salaryRun-in with unpleasant patients
Flexible scheduleLess scope for a full-time job
PrestigeHampers physical as well as mental health
Minimum schoolingWorkload
Positive job outlookRecertification 
Work holidaysLimitation of benefits
Work availability in different settingsExposure to bodily fluids


Responsibilities of a dental hygienist

  • Reviews the dental history of the patients
  • Screens and examines dental health to look for underlying problems
  • Remove plaque, tartar, and stains from teeth.
  • Performing dental x-rays.
  • Apply fluorides and sealants.
  • Educate patients on dental hygiene.
  • Assist patients in taking care of their dental health

Advantages Of Dental Hygienist

Growth in Employment

A dental hygienist offers more job chances than other occupations compared to other career alternatives in the healthcare sector.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that until the year 2029, there will be an estimated growth in employment possibilities in this professional sector of more than 20%.

This rate is approximately twice as high as the national median for all job options.

High Salary

Almost every dental clinic will engage at least one dental hygienist to assist with the services that patients need. You may make a very competitive income in the United States since you have to undergo specialized training to provide the services that are in demand.

Flexible schedule

Being able to work flexible hours to schedule time for family and friends is one of the benefits of being a dental hygienist. You will have much more freedom if you work part-time.

You may arrange your appointments and day according to what works best for you. Since you may plan according to your availability, you won’t have to deal with last-minute cancellations.

Minimum Schooling

Being a dental hygienist requires less schooling than other healthcare professions, which is one of the benefits of the job.

The education required to become a dental hygienist in the USA normally lasts two to three years, which is less than the time required to become a dentist or nurse. You may now start working and making money right now as a result.

Positive Job Outlook

As the baby boomer cohort ages, we are starting to notice that an increasing number of them are moving toward needing full-time dental care. As a result, there will be a rise in the need for dental hygienists.

As a result, by 2030, 11% more jobs are anticipated to be created. Additionally, the Affordable Care Act will put dental hygienists in high demand. More individuals are getting access to healthcare, especially in the field of preventative care.

Work Holidays

You are not required to work on holidays as a dental hygienist. Since most healthcare occupations need their employees to work on holidays, this may be a surprise. You’ll never have to skip a holiday celebration.

Cons Of Dental Hygienist


The only option to make changes in your life as a dental hygienist is to go to a new practice because there aren’t many opportunities accessible to you.

You’ll still be doing the same things every day, even then. With this professional path, even though you could treat new patients every day, you will always be doing the same exercises.

Run-In With Unpleasant Patients

People dislike coming to the dentist for a variety of reasons, such as their dread of drilling or the difficulty and discomfort that various procedures bring on. The expense of services is the main reason why individuals put off visiting the dentist.

That implies that when patients ultimately come in for treatment, their dental health might not be in the finest condition.

While they are sitting in your chair and contemplating the fees, they will have to pay for the service you are performing, and you will also run into a lot of unhappy people.

Less Scope For A Full-Time Job

Many dental hygienists are part-time employees. This is because there are no open full-time opportunities. Dental hygienists are not frequently employed full-time by dentists. This is due to how affordable it is for the dental office to employ a dental hygienist on a part-time basis.

Hampers Physical And Mental Well-Being

Your physical, as well as mental health as a dental hygienist may be in jeopardy because of your work. The physical demands of dental hygiene might result in physical harm and even chronic illnesses like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Many dental hygienists risk their health each day by working through discomfort and ignoring warning signals of these workplace dangers.


Being a dental hygienist may come with a tremendous burden that you must complete each day, which is one of the drawbacks. Due to this intense pressure, you could take a few breaks, work several days in a row with little rest, and have even less time to yourself.


Simply having a dental hygienist license in one state does not entitle you to employment as a dental hygienist in another state.

Dental hygienists who hold a license and wish to work within their state’s boundaries must adhere to that state’s laws and regulations.

Dental hygienists find it challenging to work across state boundaries due to the lack of reciprocity between states and the unique rules that each state has.


Things to consider before choosing a dental hygiene program

  • The location is highly important; opt for a program within a city so that you can set up and not run out of patients
  • Accreditations are a must as an accredited program is of high value and helps in landing jobs easily
  • Understanding the duration of the dental hygiene programs is a must
  • Understand whether the program that you have chosen is online/offline; go for online programs as this profession requires practicals
  • Ensure that you are aware of the reputation of the dental hygiene program; take feedback from ex-dental hygienists
  • Ensure that you know the price of the course and you are comfortable paying that
  • Do not forget to check the graduation and employment rate before enrolling

Limitation Of Benefits

Because you cannot work full-time as a dental hygienist, you cannot be qualified for benefits. In such a situation, you won’t be qualified for benefits like health insurance, retirement, or paid time off.

Benefits are essential because they allow you to access things like time off or medical care if you ever need it.

Exposure To Bodily Fluids

Being exposed to body fluids is one of the biggest drawbacks of working as a dental hygienist. You will be exposed to blood, saliva, and other bodily fluids when dealing with patients.

You can acquire an infection as a result. You’ll probably have personal protective equipment at work, such as gloves and a face mask, to lower the possibility of contracting an infection from a patient’s body fluids.

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