J Dent Hyg Sci.  2020 Dec;20(4):187-199. 10.17135/jdhs.2020.20.4.187.

Korean Dental Hygienists’ Job Description Based on Systematic Review

  • 1Department of Dental Hygiene, Wonkwang Health Science University, Iksan 54538, Korea
  • 2Department of Dental Hygiene, Daejeon Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon 35408, Korea
  • 3Department of Dental Hygiene, College of Medical Science, Konyang University, Daejeon 35365, Korea
  • 4Department of Dental Hygiene & Institute of Basic Science for Well-Aging, Youngsan University, Yangsan 50510, Korea
  • 5Department of Dental Hygiene, College of Medical and Health Sciences, Cheongju University, Cheongju 28503, Korea
  • 6Department of Dental Hygiene, Suwon Science College, Hwaseong 18516, Korea


Korean dental hygienists perform various tasks under the supervision of dentists in addition to the tasks listed in the law. Many meaningful studies have been conducted to determine the actual tasks of dental hygienists, but these studies did not show common results due to the differences in research methods or designs. Hence, this study aimed to review the reported data on the tasks of dental hygienists in Korea and to clarify them based on a systematic literature review.
For the literature search, the COre, Standard, and Ideal model presented by the National Library of Medicine was referenced. Seven databases were searched for literatures published in Korea, including PubMed, and Google Scholar. Of the 352 studies found using key words, titles, and abstracts, 46 were finally extracted based on the first and second exclusion criteria. After confirming the tasks of Korean dental hygienists in 46 literatures, 136 tasks were listed and calculated as appearance rate in the literature.
The most common tasks in 46 studies were fluoride application (67.2%), radiography (65.4%), scaling (65.4%), sealant (60.7%), patient management and counseling (56.7%), tooth-brushing education (52.2%), impression taking with alginate (50.1%), and making temporary crowns (47.9%). The most mentioned tasks of dental hygienists in public health centers were fluoride application (100%), sealant (100%), oral health education (71.4%), public oral health program evaluation (71.4%), school fluoride mouth-rinsing program (71.4%), water fluoridation (57.1%), tooth-brushing education (57.1%), school oral health programs (57.1%), and public elderly oral health programs (57.1%).
This study showed that Korean dental hygienists had 136 tasks by reviewing 46 related studies and that the main job of Korean dental hygienists was oral disease prevention including scaling, sealant, and fluoride application.


Dental hygienists; Job description; Systematic review
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