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Training and development
Once you are on an approved training programme, you will spend time on clinical work placements, and at college or university studying subjects such as:
- anatomy and physiology
- preventive dentistry
- diet and nutrition
- dental health promotion
- dental radiography.
When you have completed the diploma or degree, you will need to register with the General Dental Council (GDC). See the GDC website for details.
- General Dental Council
You will need to keep your skills up to date throughout your career and complete around 150 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) activity during every five years. You can do this in a number of ways, for example by going to conferences, courses, workshops and meetings. See the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) for further details.
- British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy
Skills, interests and qualities
To be a dental hygienist, you should have:
- an interest and ability in science, anatomy and physiology
- the ability to motivate clients to improve their dental hygiene
- excellent communication skills to explain treatments and put patients at ease
- the confidence to handle equipment
- good eyesight and steady hands for carrying out precision work
- the ability to concentrate for long periods
- good teamwork skills.