Dental Oral Hygienist



OFO No: 325102





Other name for Dental Hygienist:

  • Oral Hygienist


Youtube clip – A look at the career of a Dental Hygienist

For training options in South Africa – scroll down


What is a Dental Hygienist?

A Dental Hygienist or Oral Hygienist (in a nutshell) cleans teeth and gums and promotes general oral health care. 

They perform non-invasive dental procedures to prevent cavities and tooth decay. 

They usually work alongside or in collaboration with dentists. 

What does a Dental Hygienist do?

  • consults with patients
  • scales teeth to remove plaque, stains and tartar
  • polishes teeth
  • checks  teeth for cavities
  • applies fluoride treatments or other preventative solutions to teeth and gums
  • inserts temporary fillings
  • takes impressions or moulds of patient’s teeth
  • informs patients of appropriate methods of cleaning and other preventative measures
  • takes X-rays and interprets them
  • assists dentists during operations
  • keeps patient’s records

Are you . . . ?

  • a peoples’ person?
  • empathic?
  • interested in dentistry?
  • gentle?
  • thorough and meticulous?
  • observant?
  • patient
  • neat and tidy?
  • good with your hands?
  • calm?

How do I become a Dental Hygienist?


National Diploma in Oral Hygiene

  • University of Limpopo
  • University of Pretoria
  • University of Stellenbosch
  • University of Western Cape
  • University of the Witwatersrand


Advanced Diploma in Oral Hygiene

  • University of Pretora
  • University of Stellenbosch


Bachelor of Oral Hygiene degree

  • University of Western Cape


  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Dental Assistant or Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologist

Is becoming a Dental Hygienist the right career choice for me?