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Keywords:

  • dental hygienists;
  • United States;
  • systemic disease;
  • access to care;
  • licensure

Abstract In the US, dental hygienists are an integral part of the health care workforce. Dental hygienists are prevention specialists who understand that recognising the association between oral and total health can prevent disease. In the US, they also consider it as a part of their job to detect the presence of systemic illnesses. Although they cannot make a medical diagnosis, they can explain their findings to the patients and urge them to see a physician. This report explains the educational requirements for a dental hygienist, barriers and access-to-care issues, some oral health preventive methods, among other things.