Top 25
Dental Hygienist Interview Questions

1. If dentistry didn't exist, what would you do?
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  Dental Hygienist

A dental hygienist is a licensed dental professional who specializes in preventive oral health, typically focusing on techniques in oral hygiene. Local dental regulations determine the scope of practice of dental hygienists. In most jurisdictions, hygienists work for a dentist, and some are licensed to administer local anesthesia. Common procedures performed by hygienists include cleanings known as prophylaxis, scaling and root planing for patients with periodontal disease, taking of prescribed radiographs, dental sealants, administration of...

Description Source: wikipedia.org/wiki/Dental_h...

Interview Questions and Answers List

1. If dentistry didn't exist, what would you do?

Top Answer

If dentistry did not exist, I would still pursue a career somewhere in the medical field. I was born to make people smile and take care of them, and if I was not able to care for their teeth, I would care for them in other ways by either being a nurse or maybe a radiologist.

Second Best

If dentistry didn't exist i would still want to do somethng in the medical field affiliated with cosmetology. ive always had a passion for working with my hands and if dentistry didnt exist i would probably be a cosmetic plastic surgeon.

3.

Make sure i take care of my teth.

4.

Work in the health field still. Probably in community health- promoting healthy lifestyles and educating the public

5.

I would work in agriculture.

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2. What if you aren't accepted into Hygienist school?

Top Answer

I would be saddened but I would try again at the next possibility.

Second Best

Then I would try again next year and continue practising as an assistant, looking to further my assisting career by volunteering in Costa Rica and taking the orthodontic module.

3.

I will continue my job as a surgical assistant and will apply again for the following year!

4.

I would study no more.

5.

I will all I can to be accepted into Hygienist school because this is something I am extremely passionate about.

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3. How would you describe your overall academic performance?

Top Answer

I would say i have been successful at some things and others things i've had to try things and work things out.

Second Best

Im am strongly dedicated to my education. With difficult classes I studied longer to get where I needed to be.

3.

I have really gotten into the school groove since my second semester of college. High school i noticed did not prepare me for college so my first semester I struggled. However, ever since then I have become very stable with my academics and it has became my top priority.

4.

Considering the rigorous courses and having to make tough choices along with the personal search, I believe I did fairly well, of course it could have been better. Overall, in the end, it was a tremendous learning experience which I am thankful to have gone through.

5.

Overall I'm pleased with my academic performance. There are a few classes that I think I could have pulled an A in if I had pushed myself harder but for the most part I'm proud of how I've done.

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4. Will you keep a client, even if they had the worst hygiene imagineable?

Top Answer

Yes absolutely.

Second Best

Yes, they are the people that need the help and education the most.

3.

Yes. These are the clients that need are help most. If the periodontal disease is above my level of expertise I may have them alternate between us and the periodontist but yes, these are the people that most need our help.

4.

Yes they clearly need help and education about good dental hygiene.

5.

YES! Everyone deserves the best oral care that can be provided, no matter how bad their teeth are. And if they do have bad oral hygiene, they need to be taught how to properly take care of their teeth.

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5. What has been the highlight of your academic years?

Top Answer

I can think of a few really tough semesters where I was taking many difficult classes and working. In the beginning it looked like too much for me to handle but I worked hard, stayed focused, and took advantage of various resources such as study groups and instructors and I was able to succeed in all my courses. It was hard work but it payed off and was very rewarding.

Second Best

I would have to say the highlight of my academic years was being able to work hands on with various patients and learn through doing so.

3.

After my second semester here I had attempted that largest class load I've ever tried to take on before. It was hard work and a lot of sacrifices but at the end of the semester I had an A in every class and had made the Dean's list. It was a huge personal accomplishment to know I had taken on so much, done my best and the hard work had paid off.

4.

ghlight of my academic career was recieving the Excelence award from the state ADHA chapter at the yearly meeting. I felt that my hard work and professionalism hadn't gone unnoticed, and helped me feel confident in my work.

5.

The highlight of my academic years would be maintaining a 3.5 or higher in college.

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6. How did you manage your time among school, work, and or other activities?

Top Answer

Thankfully, my parents are very supportive of me and they let me make school my number one priority. They tell me not to work while im in school so besides school, I am always with my family and I love spending time with them.

Second Best

I have a weekly schedule that I follow and this routine allows me the ability to complete all of the tasks that I need to accomplish. There are a lot of tasks with a husband and 3 kids.

3.

School and work always came first before other activities I am pretty good at multi-tasking.

4.

I am blessed to have a great family support system. I've been married for three years and my husband has given me an opportunity to make school my number one priority. Truthfully, I don't have many activities outside of school, family and work, which I will be resigning from the clinic next semester.

5.

I had to prioritize my time and I used my spare time to study and get caught up on work.

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7. What type of learner are you?

Top Answer

visual and hands on

Second Best

I am a very hands on learner. I need to physically have something in my hands like models of human organs or dental tools to really get the feel for what I am learning and to fully understand it.

3.

Visual.

4.

Hands on learner.

5.

I'm a visual learner, I like to supplement readings and lectures with pictures and models when I can.

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8. Are you involved in any pre-dental groups?

Top Answer

Apart from working at a Pediatric Dental office for 19 months, I have not been involved in any other pre dental groups.

Second Best

I am a dental assistant.

3.

I plan to be involved in the club this year as well as continue my obsevation.

4.

I have been volunteering with a non profit organization that goes around to local elementary schools and provides kids with free dental care who are not able to afford it. Aside from that and doing dental office observations, I am not involved in any pre-dental groups

5.

I am not involved in any groups per say but I have been shadowing at various dental offices and I am in an intro course to get further information on the profession.

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9. Describe the people you work with best.

Top Answer

Someone that has high work ethics like I do, someone that is willing to cooperate and lend a helping hand if needed.

Second Best

There is no one type of person I work with better than the next. I am friendly and outgoing and work well and get along with pretty much everyone. I can be a leader or a follower if necessary. I enjoy working with people that are easy going.

3.

I enjoy a variety of people to work with.

4.

I enjoy being around upbeat, happy people.

5.

Non-dramatic.

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10. What do you think you will dislike the most about being a hygienist?

Top Answer

may have nerve problem in hands, arms, and back in the future due to repititive hand work.

Second Best

Honestly, not being able to control the cost of cleanings or the ability to financially work with low income patients.

3.

I cant think of anyhting i would dislike. there are many reasons i wanted to become a hygienist. i care for pateints and i love my job. i know i am going to have difficult days but i think i am prepared for it.

4.

Seeing patients with oral cavity problems beyond fixing hygienically which could have been prevented earlier by someone like myself with a proper hygiene advice.

5.

Getting back achs and neck pain.

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11. What exposures have you had to the dental industry?

Top Answer

I took a summer internship with my family dentist after graduating high school and assisted the doctor with routine check ups, cleanings, root canals, and fillings. Also, I worked with a dental hygieniest this past winter at mission grove dentistry and learned the proper ways to measure teeth, detect dental caries, gingivititis and periodontial diseases.

Second Best

I had a shadowing experience my senior year of high school and I was able to ask the hygienist questions and watch her go through her daily routene.

3.

I have worked as a dental assistant for almost 5 years after graduating college, I have volunteered at the dental clinic in town and I have helped organize and participated in two dental/medical missions trips, one to Kenya and one to Chile.

4.

The dental industry has been a part of my life since I can remember. My grandpa was a respected dentist in Independence for years and my aunt was a dental hygienist before she had children, actually a former graduate from this program. I have shadowed at a few different dental offices and had extensive conversations with my dentist about the dental field.

5.

No.

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12. A patient has AIDs, would you still treat them as a hygienist?

Top Answer

yes..not everyone's truthful about their medical health so you treat everyone the same ie that includes those with AIDS

Second Best

if a patient has AIDS i will still treat them as a hygienist because that is part of my job discription. i am in no position to discrimant agianst anyont because of their condition or background. i would make it my duty to perform the job careful and cautiously.

3.

Yes of course, in a profession like this everyone is treated the same. In Dental assisting class I was taught to always treat each patient as they carry a deadly disease regardless of their health history. Therefore universal precautions should be used. As a hygienist I will never discriminate against anyone because of their health history or their background.

4.

Yes of course, as a hygienist you should treat all your. Patients as if they are infected. You never knowing if a patient is with holding important changes in there medical history.

5.

Thankfully in todays world of Denistry and the general medical world, each individual who is exposed to any type of open wounds or blood exposure has the propper equipment to keep them safe. with the propper PPE no hygienist should ever be exposed to AIDs or any other disease. With this being said, the answer is yes, you should treat every patient as if they have AIDs so you keep yourself protected and the patient protected.

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13. Are you aware of options in the profession?

Top Answer

Reseaechers, educators.

Second Best

Yes. I can go into education, research, travel to northern remote communities and I can also work in an ortho, private or public work setting.

3.

Yes, I am aware that there is a master's program.

4.

Yes, you can work in private practices, clinics, hospitals, vets, or even as educators.

5.

Yes, because in my intro to dental hygiene course, we discussed all the different career paths one can take in dental hygiene. For example, you could work in the dental office or as an educator teaching students about dental hygiene.

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14. Favorite thing you observed or highlights of your observation experience?

Top Answer

interaction with people and making them feel confident and aware of their dental issues if any and giving them right advise.

Second Best

I enjoyed watching the dentist cut and pull wisdom teeth out. I thought it was so neat. It looked like it would hurt the patient. Good thing they numbed her up!

3.

My favorite aspect during my observation hours were the deep cleanings. It was an intense and impressive procedure.

4.

Watching the patient's satisfaction after a service was the most enjoyable part of observing.

5.

The highlight is that i get to ask questions, meet new people, and get to absorb everything.

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15. What hobbies do you have that require hand skills?

Top Answer

I actually took an art class at TXCC and it was all about being gentle with your hands and I took up that skill very quickly and I think that it will help me as I start doing clinical work in hygiene school

Second Best

I paint and draw and have obtained a degree in dental technology last year which requires excellent dexterity skills.

3.

I like to paint, draw and do anything artistic and constructive

4.

I enjoy knitting and crocheting. I have also spent some time learning the violin.

5.

Crafts - Made my own mukluks including beading. Nails - nail art, complicated small designs that take a lot of patience and a steady hand. Cooking.

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16. Why do you want to be a dental hygienist?

Top Answer

To help educate people about prevention of decay and disease of their teeth.

Second Best

Its the next step to take in my career.

3.

I am seen my family suffer from not taking good care of their dental health. I would love to help them and my community to be aware of the various issues that lead to dental problems.

4.

I know how important oral hygiene is but I also know that is is not considered that important by most individuals. I see how oral hygiene affects the big picture. It can be so simple an yet individuals neglect their mouths. I want to educate individuals on the proper ways to care for their mouths.

5.

An interest in biological science, helping people, and personal hygiene.

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17. When did you discover you want to be a hygienist?

Top Answer

I discovered i wanted to be a dental hygienist when i was in high school.

Second Best

I originally thought I wanted to be a dentist. But after working as a dental assistant for 5 years, I discovered that I did not want the responsibilities of a dentist but would rather help individuals with oral help by becoming a dental hygienist. I have a love for teeth and working with my hands so being a hygienist is a perfect fit.

3.

Upon completion of my dental assisting school and after having worked in a dental setting. Being an assistant was wonderful, but I feel I would prevail in a DH setting. I would like to work one on one with patients and be an educator, not just an assistant to a a dentist.

4.

Upon speaking with my dental hygienist about how much she loves her job.

5.

Freshman year of college.

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18. If you could do anything different in your education, what would you do?

Top Answer

I wish I would have started school earlier. I feel as though I am alittle bit behind in my life plans because of returning to school later. But this also provides me with an advantage in knowing what I truly want to do and having work experience which provides me with more drive to reach my goals.

Second Best

If not a dental hygienist than something for sure relating to medical field.

3.

I would do nothing different. I love where I am at. I love my school and the comfortable atmosphere that is here and I would not change anything about it

4.

Take multiple years of Spanish.

5.

I might have been a little more proactive when I was deciding upon schools and degrees while in highschool.

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19. Do you enjoy working with your hands?

Top Answer

I enjoy working with my hands. It is one of the ways that I learn

Second Best

Yes, i find it very rewarding.

3.

Yes, very much so.

4.

I have always been a hands on person, which is on of the reason why I wanted to go into hygiene, so yes I love working with my hands.

5.

Yes. I enjoy the fine motor skills.

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20. If you are stressed, what signs occur and what do you do about it?

Top Answer

I deal with stress very well.

Second Best

Sleep deprived and seek advice.

3.

I usually get really frustrated when in a stressful situation. Usually I just step back and take a deep breath. Then I think about what is a priority in what I need to get done. I feel much better after I take the time to think and plan rather than get everything done at once.

4.

if i am stressed i get quiet. and i like discussing my probelems with my husband.

5.

I sometimes can feel my immune system start to weaken and I have to get rest and take a supplement to help me bounce back.

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21. After hygienist school, and a few years experience, will you be applying to dental school?

Top Answer

no, hygiene and dentistry are two separate entities and hygiene is my main interest no dentistry!.

Second Best

No, If I were I would go to dental school.

3.

Being on the preventative side of dentistry is where i want to be as i feel it is much more rewarding than providing generic restorations to patients oral cavity. I always promote keeping natural teeth as long as possible. Nothing can compare to it.

4.

It is definitely something that has been in the back of my head. I like to take on one thing on at a time so it isn't something that I have looked into, but I figure when I get through they hygiene program, if I decide I would like to go on then I will start to look into it then. However, for now my main focus is dental hygiene!

5.

Possibly but it depends on where I am at as far as my personal life goes.

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22. How would you rate your previous college education?

Top Answer

From a scale from one to ten i would say an eight.

Second Best

I worked all throughout college and it has been difficult, but it has taught me how to manage my time and to prioritize. I have always liked school, but I like school even more when I get to learn about things that I am interested in.

3.

my previous college, are alright to a certain extent but it would be best if i attained better grades

4.

I would say that I have successfully been able to correct any of my previous mistakes and drastically improve my GPA which has shown me that I literally can do anything I want to if I sincerely try.

5.

My previous education was at Dental school , this helped me to understand and communicate with people from different socio economic background & different cultures.

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23. What do you feel are the most important qualities in being a good hygienist?

Top Answer

Manual dexterity, an at ease personality, being personable.

Second Best

Being knowledgeable in your field, passing it onto your clients, being organized, team worker, have good clinical skills, proper ergonomics, friendly, and having a great attitude towards the day.

3.

Patience, outgoing, personable, good team work, responsible, organized, helpful, caring.

4.

Thouroughness, dedication, approachability.

5.

Patient care. Performing good clinical skills while keeping the patient comfortable.

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24. What do you think will be your greatest challenge in completing hygienist school?

Top Answer

Balancing my family time and school time, and making sure everyone's needs are met. I know going to school with three kids is tough, but I'll have the family support I need, and we'll be fine. We're tough.

Second Best

I know that is is a tough program but I know that when I am focused on a goal I will do whatever it takes to reach it.

3.

Having a baby while studying.

4.

Being focused enough to continue with my degree instead of entering the work force after two years once becoming an hygienist.

5.

I am aware that it is a tough course and i have prepared myself for it. However i may find the start of the course challenging but once i know the volume of work required i can adapt to the situation.

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25. Describe the people you find most difficult to work with.

Top Answer

I am very much a team player. I want to know that I've been heard, not necessarily that you agree but that you listened. I am very big on mutual respect, making sure everyone feels their opinion is valued and then coming to a group consensus about what the best course to take is. Having said that, traits that undermine that philosophy can present a challenge to work with.

Second Best

People who nit-pick every detail that is not exactly right, someone who talks down to you instead of to you, someone who does not have a good sense of humor.

3.

I dont have difficulty working with anyone. I am very adaptable

4.

Just someone who is not a team player. If they are not willing to work together to get a job done I find it difficult to work alongside them.

5.

The people I find most difficult to work with are the ones who do not show good team work skills.

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Career Field
Job Satisfaction
Interview Difficulty
Healthcare
Vacation
Hours per Week
Health
75%
Easy
Not Provided
One Week
38 Hrs/Wk

Education Requirements

Dental hygienists typically need an associate’s degree in dental hygiene. Bachelor's degrees in dental hygiene are also available, but are less common. A bachelor's or master's degree is usually required for research, teaching, or clinical practice in public or school health programs.

Work Environment

Almost all dental hygienists work in dentists’ offices. They work closely with dentists and dental assistants. Dental hygienists wear safety glasses, surgical masks, and gloves to protect themselves and patients from infectious diseases. When taking x rays, they follow strict procedures to protect themselves and patients. They may spend long periods bending over to work on patients.

Dental Hygienist Career Pros
Pro #1:
The hours are very flexible, you get to improve the oral health of other, and it is such a rewarding career
May 30, 2012
Pro #2:
dental hygienists get to work with different kinds of people with different needs. Therefore every patient they see will be their learning experience.
May 30, 2012
Pro #3:
In my eyes I see only pros; the ability to help people with their dental health, a job where I am making a difference, hands on work that is interesting and exciting as well as self fufilling.
Jul 19, 2012
Pro #4:
You get to be part of the preventative side of dentistry preventing further damage to patients teeth through oral health maintenance. It is truly rewarding to be able to have the power to help patients keep their natural teeth without extensive restorations.
May 30, 2012
Pro #5:
Improving the dental health and opinions of a patient.
May 30, 2012
Pro #6:
Being able to help people recognize how important their oral health is and always have a beautiful smile.
May 30, 2012
Pro #7:
You get to change paitients ideas of oral health care and their providers at the source. If you take the time to listen to your patient and act with kindness they will gain your trust and you will have a returning patient!
May 30, 2012