CLACKAMAS COUNTY

CLASSIFICATION NO.  557
Established:  06/98
FLSA:  Non-Exempt
EEO:  2

DENTAL HYGIENIST

CLASS CHARACTERISTICS

Under general supervision, to perform administrative support and coordination functions for the dental programs; to provide clinical dental hygiene services and treatment; and to do other work as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

The Public Health Division within the Department of Human Services promotes and protects the health of County residents.  The division’s services include health care treatment and referral, immunizations, prenatal care, family planning, nutrition education and counseling, emergency medical services, animal control, medical examiner, vital records, inspection/licensing of restaurants and monitoring communicable diseases.

The Dental Hygienist acts as the dental programs liaison to volunteer dentists and dental assistants, schools and social service/public health providers, and accepts referrals for children with dental health needs.  The incumbent provides administrative support to the dental programs by maintaining dental records, scheduling client’s appointments and maintaining adequate office and dental service supplies and materials.  The Dental Hygienist also performs clinical dental hygiene services, including preventative instruction and placement of dental sealants.

The Dental Hygienist differs from the Dental Assistant which performs routine tasks related to patient care and assistance to professional dentists.

TYPICAL TASKS

Duties may include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Recruits and corresponds with volunteer dentists, dental hygienists, assistants and students, and schools; plans and coordinates schedules, and notifies volunteers; coordinates training for volunteers; provides program information to the public, community groups and agencies; promotes awareness of community public dental health services provided by the County.
  2. Schedules clients to appropriate dentists according to dental service needs; acts as liaison to and accepts referrals for children with dental health needs from school nurses and personnel, public health providers, dentists and other social services agencies; provides assistance, including referrals to patients in accessing urgent dental care; telephones confirmations to parents and dentists; arranges transportation for clients as needed; maintains on-call waiting list of dental patients; provides support to migrant/seasonal farmworkers dental program.
  3. Provides clinical dental hygiene services; performs prophylaxis, scaling, fluoride application, sealant placements and polish restorations; assists dentists with dental screening; instructs and demonstrates proper oral hygiene and dental health; promotes interest in the prevention of dental disease; takes, develops, mounts, and files dental x-rays; maintains dark room, changes developing and fixing solution as needed.
  4. Coordinates dental sealant program; identifies and introduces program to school principals; schedules education presentations, screening and sealant dates; reviews authorization forms and checks medical histories; transports and sets up dental sealant equipment and supplies.
  5. Maintains dental program and patient records, files and charts; forwards report of sealants placed and screening findings to parents with necessary referrals; maintains list of dentists, programs and facilities who will provide emergency dental care for dental program patients; collects and generates program activity/statistics and demographic data reports; reviews dental programs protocols, policies and procedures for compliance and effectiveness.
  6. Orders, stores and maintains office and dental supplies and equipment; sharpens, cleans and sterilizes dental instruments and portable dental sealant equipment; maintains dental equipment; ensures dental rooms are orderly and clean.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS

Working knowledge of:  Standard office procedures, techniques, and equipment; materials, instruments, tools and support dental processes used in the field of dentistry and oral hygiene; accepted practices, procedures and techniques of preventative dentistry and oral hygiene; dental equipment sterilization practices and procedures and relevant O.H.S.A. regulations and guidelines.

Some knowledge of:  Dental laboratory techniques and the use and purpose of lab equipment; oral anatomy; nutrition as it relates to oral hygiene; public health and community health principles, concepts and practices.

Skill to:  Instruct patients of different ages and socioeconomic backgrounds in the techniques, practices, and methods of promoting and maintaining good oral hygiene; implement standard office procedures and use modern office equipment effectively; maintain and sterilize dental instruments and equipment; develop, review, update and recommend dental programs protocols, polices and procedures, ensuring compliance with regulations and guidelines; attend dental and public health conferences, workshops and continuing education and training seminars to maintain currency with dental practices and techniques; maintain effective working relationships with the public, other health care professionals and patients/clients; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

Registration as Dental Hygienist.  

CPR certification.

Must successfully pass a criminal history check which may include national or state fingerprint records check.

Must pass a pre-employment drug test.

Driving may be necessary for County business.  For position(s) with occasional/incidental driving, incumbents must possess a valid driver's license.  Accommodation requests for an acceptable alternative method of transportation will be reviewed on an individual basis in compliance with State and Federal legislation.  For position(s) with regular driving, incumbent(s) must also possess and maintain an acceptable driving record throughout the course of employment.

MINIMUM RECRUITING STANDARDS

Any satisfactory combination of experience and training that demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and skills.