Dental Hygienist Salary Overview

Dental hygienists work closely with dentists, much the same way a nurse does with a doctor in a private practice. The hygienist performs cleanings, administers preventive treatments like fluoride and may carry out some minor procedures, such as applying cavity-preventing sealants. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, becoming a hygienist requires completion of a licensing program, which takes up to two years and usually awards an associate's degree.