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Many students have paid employment while studying. In the Netherlands, the Individual Health Care Professions Act (IHCP Act) allows dental hygiene students to work under certain conditions in a dental practice. The aim of the study was to determine how many dental hygiene students have part-time job employment in dental practice and which professional tasks they carry out. We also asked the dental hygiene students their opinion of the IHCP Act.All the enrolled dental hygiene students (n = 341) at a School of Health in the Netherlands received a questionnaire by email.The response was 52% (176 students). Of the responding students, 75% had paid employment in addition to their study. A proportion of the students (35%) worked in a dental practice. The median number of hours worked per week was eight. Study year, age and prior education were positively related to working part-time in dental practice. Activities frequently performed were giving oral hygiene instruction, fluoride applications, scaling and root planning, providing chair side assistance and giving local anaesthesia. Although the self-reported knowledge about the IHCP Act was high, almost half of the students expressed the need for more detailed legal information.Many dental hygiene students work in a dental practice, taking over a number of tasks usually performed by the dentist. More information in the dental hygiene curriculum about the requirements of the IHCP Act seems desirable.