A Dental Hygienist works as a member of the dental team, in all sectors of dentistry. A flexible team approach, high levels of manual dexterity and professionalism are required at all times. Good communication skills and a caring, sympathetic attitude are essential in this role.
Dental Hygienists provide dental health education, treatment for patients with periodontal (gum) conditions, and have a preventive role within dentistry.
As a Dental Hygienist you will:
For further details on the role of a Dental Hygienist, please visit the General Dental Council web site.
The Hygiene Diploma Course is a full-time programme completed over two years. Required attendance is 45 academic weeks per year, 8.45 am to 5.00 pm Monday – Friday.
In the first week, pre-clinical training starts on simulator heads, in our newly refurbished Clinical Skills Laboratory. This develops the instrumentation techniques required before ‘real-life’ patients are seen. An intensive academic course continues throughout the programme.
You will also treat a varied range of patients with diverse backgrounds, ages, cultures and languages. We use different clinics in and around Bristol to teach a community-based approach to dental care, often at the newly opened South Bristol Community Hospital.
Dental Health Promotion is a vital role. During the programme, you will be asked to participate in teaching specific dental health messages to selected target groups at South Bristol schools/colleges and community centres.
To encourage learning based on personal curiosity and exploration, you will be asked to research and write a project (relevant to dental hygiene). You will present your conclusions to peers, tutors and examiners.
A variety of assessments are used throughout the programme to ensure safe practice and competency in all subject areas/clinical skills.
For full details visit the course prospectus. You may then apply by downloading and printing a Dental Hygiene Diploma application form (Word, 368Kb), or complete and return via email. To be considered for September entry, applications must be received by 31st August for the following years' intake i.e. 13 months prior to the start of the course.
If you are offered a training place, you may be eligible for an NHS Bursary. The Student Grant Unit will automatically send you an application pack. For more information please visit NHS Bursary web site.
Also, student loans may be available to help with your living costs. If you have previously studied in Higher Education, your Local Authority will advise you of your eligibility. Please contact the Student Loans Company, freephone 0800 40 50 10.
Another useful link is to the Student Funding office.
A Dental Hygienist must complete continuing professional development. This may include reflective practice, peer review, self-audit and professional seminars. This is required throughout your career to ensure high levels of patient care are maintained.
Dental Hygienists can work in: