Dental News

What are Dental Hygienists?

May 15, 2019

What are Dental Hygienists?

A dental hygienist is a licensed professional healthcare member who works along with your dentist to provide dental care and assist in developing your dental care plan. A dental hygienist will have completed two or four years of college before completing their clinical and board exams. Once professionally licensed, a dental hygienist’s work will focus primarily on preventive dental care. However, the range of dental services performed by a dental hygienist can vary by the state they practice. Each state has specific practice regulations detailing the role and functions a hygienist can perform. They have the training and education that focus on prevention and specialized treatment of many oral diseases.

Jobs dental hygienists performs

Dental hygienists’ services are primarily concerned with the preventative care of your teeth and treating gum disease. The type of dental services they perform can include the following:

  • Review a patient’s oral history and evaluate the conditions of patient’s oral health when visiting the dentist.
  • Taking X-rays and developing for interpretation by a dentist.
  • Counseling patients on proper dental hygiene and questions patients may have when undergoing a dental procedure.
  • Applying dental sealants to the teeth.
  • Making dental impressions of patient’s teeth and mouth.

A significant role a hygienist performs is non-surgical periodontal therapy. Periodontal therapy involves periodontal charting to check the health of teeth for signs of decay, scaling, and root planning to remove plaque and tartar build up. Scaling and root planning cleans the teeth’s root surfaces to remove plaque and tartar from deep within the periodontal pockets to clean bacterial toxins. Scaling and root planning will help slow down and prevent the disease from spreading. Routine visits with your dental hygienist will keep your smile healthy.

Job differences of dentists vs dental hygienists

Your dentist is highly trained in all aspects of general dentistry and may also specialize in other dental procedures. However, the dentist relies on a dental hygienist to perform preventative care, so that your dentist can focus on complex and specialize dental procedures that hygienist cannot. Dental hygienists are specially trained to carry out preventative care, routine dental scaling, and they can spend more time with you.

Regular appointments with your dentist and schedule cleaning by a professional dental hygienist will help identify dental problems before they become significant. Be sure to contact California Dental Group at (800) 407-0161 for your appointment.

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