Interviews for dental hygienist positions are designed to judge your enthusiasm and skills. Questions like the following ones are asked to determine how quickly you think on your feet.
- Why have you been out of work for so long?
- How did you prepare for this interview?
- Do you know anyone who works for us?
- What makes you angry about coworkers and bosses?
But, as a matter of fact, these are situational interview questions that you can probably prepare for yourself. For the common Dental Hygienist Interview Questions and Answers, refer to the set below:
12 Common Interview Questions and Answers for Dental Hygienist
1. Tell us the detail about the specific duties of a dental hygienist?
The first and foremost duty of a dental hygienist is to perform patient screening procedures. These include assessing oral health conditions, reviewing health histories, oral cancer screenings, dental charting, and inspecting the head and neck of the patient.
A dental hygienist is also responsible for taking and developing radiographs, removing calculus and plaque, applying preventative materials to teeth, and ensuring that patients are aware of proper dental hygiene procedures.
2. How important is patient education and what is the role of a dental hygienist in providing education to patients?
Patient education is of great importance in any medical field. It is especially essential when dental hygiene is concerned as this is something that most patients take for granted.
It is one of the prime responsibilities of a dental hygienist to provide education to patients so that they keep their dental hygiene in perspective. It is imperative for dental hygienists to teach appropriate strategies to patients to maintain oral health, including tooth brushing and flossing.
3. As far as nutritional counseling is concerned, what is the role of a dental hygienist?
Nutritional counseling is also part of patient education. What we eat and drink has a substantial effect on our oral health. A dental hygienist must ensure that patients are made aware of the right things to eat, and how the wrong stuff will adversely affect their oral health.
4. Have you ever treated patients whose oral health has been compromised because of a disease? What is your experience?
Yes, I have been treating patients whose oral health has been compromised by illnesses such as SLE and diabetes. Many of my patients have diabetes, and the only way that I can help them is by providing them with nutritional information so that their diabetes stays under control and does not affect their oral health.
Some of the patients under my care, who have SLE have already been given steroids to keep their symptoms under control, so their dental health is usually not as compromised.
5. What do you know about study casts?
A significant part of my job includes making impressions of patients’ teeth for study casts. These are then used by dentists to evaluate patient’s oral treatment needs.
6. Can you perform the work of a dentist?
Theoretically, I know all there is to know about the work of a dentist. Practically, it is not my place to perform any of the duties of a dentist.
7. As far as assisting dentists is concerned, how do you contribute?
As a dental hygienist, it is my responsibility to prepare treatment rooms for patients, making patients ready for treatments by welcoming them and soothing their fears, and providing information/education regarding specific dental procedures.
Additionally, it is my responsibility as a dental hygienist to assist the dentist by providing accurate information and support on an as and when needed basis. Typically, a dentist and a dental hygienist working in tandem and as part of a team of professionals to meet each patient’s specific requirements to maintain oral health.
8. If we asked you to tell us the specifics of your work as a dental hygienist, how would you satisfy us that you are the right person to hire?
Getting into the technical nitty-gritty of it all, I have the knowledge required to administer oral prophylactic and dental hygiene treatment to patients. Performing supra-gingival and subgingival scaling, and root planning with and without local anesthesia are also my specialty and skill.
Examining teeth and surrounding tissues for evidence of cavities and periodontal disease, and recording findings is also my strong point. I am confident that with all this expertise (and more), I am the right person to hire at your dental facility.
9. Have you ever been involved in an incident where a lawsuit became a cause for concern for you?
While I have not been directly involved in any lawsuit, the facility where I worked was sued for dental malpractice because one of the dentists ended up using a contaminated instrument on a patient, who then succumbed to an infection.
It was quite a difficult time for all of us other professionals working there. But the court decided that the facility wasn’t to blame, and the dentist in question was given the sack.
10. What has been your most significant achievement as a dental hygienist?
At my present place of work, I introduced the Oral Disease and Risk Management Program, which was deemed the best program of its sort in within the state. The facility won many accolades for the implementation of the program, and I was given my due regard as well! This achievement, I believe has been the most significant so far.
11. Can you work in a team environment?
A dental hygienist cannot possibly work as a one-person show. It is all how a dental team works that provide for the proper execution of services. I like working in a team environment – in fact, I encourage team environments.
12. What is your stance on getting familiar with your patients on a personal level?
I believe that a certain level of familiarity with patients is crucial if you are working as their dental hygienist. That is because most people are more scared of dentists and dental hygienists than they are of open-heart surgeries!
Putting their fears at rest by talking to them about unrelated topics, and walking them through oral hygiene procedures is essential. Hence, a little familiarity goes a long way in helping patients feel comfortable.