Position Classification Description

Position Class Code / Title: S0037 / Dental Hygienist
Recruitment Tier: Tier 1
FLSA: Exempt
Grade: 13

This is a description of a Staff Position Classification. It is not an announcement of a position opening. To view descriptions of current openings, please go to UNMJobs and Search Postings to view positions that are currently accepting applications.

The following statements are intended to describe, in broad terms, the general functions and responsibility levels characteristic of positions assigned to this classification. They should not be viewed as an exhaustive list of the specific duties and prerequisites applicable to individual positions that have been so classified.


Assesses patient needs, plans and delivers direct dental hygiene care and associated services to patients. Utilizes established dental hygiene protocol and procedures.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Assesses dental condition and needs of patient; uses patient screening procedures, to include medical history review, dental charting, periodontal charting and oral cancer screenings; takes patient vital signs as required.
  2. Delivers direct dental hygiene patient care to patients as assigned, using established dental hygienist procedures; performs routine treatment procedures, such as cleaning, polishing, radiographs, application of sealants and fluorides, fabrication of appliances, teeth whitening and related procedures.
  3. Provides local anesthesia to dental hygiene and dental patients as needed.
  4. Develops and implements individualized dental care plans for patients; performs patient education, discharge planning, and patient/family teaching under the supervision of a dentist.
  5. Provides chair-side assistance to dentist in the performance of special tests, procedures, and complex treatments.
  6. Makes impressions of patients' teeth for study casts, mouth guards or trays.
  7. Documents dental history or chief complaint; educates patients on dental needs;records and reports pertinent observations and patient reactions to dental staff, as appropriate; documents lab procedures and ensures follow up on results;.
  8. Assists with or institutes emergency measures for sudden adverse developments during treatment of patients.
  9. Performs patient triage and initiates patient care as appropriate for walk-in patients.
  10. Assists in preparation of patient care areas, and in the patient admission, transfer, and discharge process, as required; prepares reports and assists as required with patient reception, telephone calls, routine triage, and other office duties.
  11. Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Job Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree; no previous experience required. Certification/Licensure Current licensure as a Dental Hygienist in the State of New Mexico. Certificate to provide local anesthesia in New Mexico.
  • Completed degree(s) from an accredited institution that are above the minimum education requirement may be substituted for experience on a year for year basis.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required

  • Knowledge of Federal, State, and institutional regulations and guidelines for the provision of dental outpatient services.
  • Ability to analyze medical records and prescribed protocol to formulate effective therapeutic treatment plans.
  • Ability to independently assess the nature and extent of dental, periodontic, and associated conditions and pathology in dental outpatients.
  • Ability to perform a full range of established dental hygienist protocol and procedures
  • Knowledge of patient screening, charting, and medical history procedures and documentation.
  • Knowledge and understanding of dental surgery and associated procedures, terminology, and techniques.
  • Ability to set up and prepare dental equipment and instrumentation in accordance with established regulations and guidelines.
  • Ability to communicate technical information to non-technical personnel.
  • Ability to independently perform emergency dental procedures.
  • Knowledge of patient admission, triage, transfer, and discharge procedures and documentation.

Conditions of Employment

  • UNM will provide Hepatitis vaccination, candidate may decline vaccination through declination form or may provide record of vaccination from previous employer.
  • Successful candidate must submit to post-offer, pre-employment physical examination and medical history check.
  • Required to submit to annual TB and rubella screening.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

  • Work is performed in an interior medical/clinical environment.
  • Moderate physical activity. Requires handling of average-weight objects up to 25 pounds or standing and/or walking for more than four (4) hours per day.
  • Work environment involves some exposure to hazards or physical risks, which require following basic safety precautions.
  • Will work with blood or blood-borne pathogens and will require OSHA training.

The University of New Mexico provides all training required by OSHA to ensure employee safety.

Revised Date: 03/20/2017