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Practical Dental Therapist

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Basic Function

The Practical Dental Therapist (PDT) performs basic preventive dental services to individual patient’s field wide.


The Practical Dental Therapist (PDT) will work in the Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare Dental Service Department (JHAH DSD) of and will be responsible for performing direct preventive clinical services on all patients as allocated by JHAH DSD field wide.  The PDT will also give oral health instruction for individuals and groups that includes, but is not limited to, intra-oral clinical services such as screening for disease, application of preventive regimens, and development of oral health preventive programs. He/She will work independently with minimal supervision to provide preventive dental services as allocated by JHAH DSD in dental clinics field wide.  Clinically the PDT receives direct supervision from the supervising clinician or an assigned Dental Therapist mentor. The PDT provides preventative dental services within his or her scope of practice, experience and clinical privileges.

Principal Contacts

  • The PDT has direct contact daily with employees and their dependents and other eligible patients for the purpose of providing routine preventive dental care, caries prevention, periodontal disease assessments and oral health education to maintain the overall oral health of the patient.
  • The PDT will have frequent contact with other Dental Therapists as well as Supervising Therapists and schedulers while having occasional contact with General Dentists and Specialists as needed.

Principal Duties

Duties include but are not necessarily limited to the following:

Clinical Duties:

Can perform clinical duties and educator functionalities.

  1. Thoroughly assess patient’s previous dental and medical history prior to treatment as well as updating any changes and recording vital signs as needed.
  2. Examine the patient’s dentition and surrounding soft tissues, screen for oral diseases, record existing caries, restorations, missing teeth and soft tissue pathology in the dental record.
  3. Expose, develop and mount intra- and extra- oral radiographs as prescribed by a dentist.
  4. Prepare and take impressions for diagnostic casts as well as taking digital intra- and extra- oral photographs to assist the dentist in treatment planning and case documentation.
  5. Collect and culture saliva samples. Record the variety and count of the harmful pathogens for the purpose of developing an effective course of therapy as prescribed by a dentist.
  6. Perform gross debridement and fine removal of supra and subgingival calculus, plaque, stains and other deposits from teeth using ultrasonic, rotary, air abrasive and hand instruments.
  7. Polish the patient’s teeth, restorations and fixed or removable prosthesis using a dental hand piece and polishing agents or a dental lathe.
  8. Apply pit and fissure sealants to susceptible teeth as prescribed by a dentist to prevent dental caries.
  9. Apply topical fluoride to teeth in the form of gels and varnishes to prevent dental caries and to promote re-mineralization of incipient carious lesions as prescribed by a dentist.
  10. Apply desensitizing agents to tooth surfaces to reduce pulpal sensitivity as prescribed by a dentist.
  11. Request and maintain an inventory of supplies and instruments for personal use. Have the ability to sharpen hand instruments and a working knowledge of dental hand pieces and operatory equipment.

Educator Functions:

Can provide basic dental concepts to individual patient such as:

  1. Introduce basic dental concepts, such as parts of the mouth and the importance of the teeth.
  2. Teach the importance of good nutrition and diet to dental health.
  3. Explain relation of dental health to general health.
  4. Explain the function and application of sealants and fluoride.  Provide oral hygiene instructions and demonstration to explain home care and how it should be implemented. Discuss the etiology of diseases of the oral cavity and limited nutritional counseling.
  5. Evaluate effectiveness of the patient's plaque control and oral hygiene by examination and disclosing agents. Review the use of oral hygiene aids.

Can provide basic dental concepts to group of patients, children and their parents such as:

  1. Can introduce basic dental concepts mentioned No. B.1.to community groups, such as students, parents.
  2. Provide in-service training to other professionals such as teachers and nursing personnel.
  3. Prepare educational programs including the planning of the audio- visual method appropriate for audience.
  4. Formulate new strategies to introduce prevention to patients and groups.
  5. Keep records of all operations, instructions, and evaluations performed.
  6. Determine the methods of applying new preventive procedures to different Aramco populations. Inform supervisor of patient attitudes, suggestions and concerns related to preventive dentistry procedures.
  7. Act as preventive dentistry liaison with the preventive dentistry coordinator.
  8. Makes recommendations concerning the need to up-date or eliminate dental health education literature in both Arabic and English.

Perform additional duties as requested by Clinic Supervisor or assigned work director.


  • Bachelor's degree in Dental Therapy/Hygiene obtained from KSA, or
  • Associate degree from U.S.A. or U.K. or any other country acceptable to JHAH DSD.
  • Training programs accredited by the Saudi Ministry of Health would be accepted.


  • Up to one year of satisfactory clinical experience as a PDT
  • Up to one year internship for Saudi Nationals will be considered as experience.

Certifications/Other requirements as applicable

  • Fulfill the requirements to be licensed to practice Dental Hygiene in Saudi Arabia.
  • Current CPR certification.
  • Fluent in written and spoken English. Basic knowledge of conversational Arabic is desirable.  
  • Good work ethic and job performance while employed in a multinational healthcare environment.
  • Demonstrate competent communication skills and work well with fellow colleagues.