The Dental Hygienist’s Role
The dental hygienist plays a key role in a dental practice by providing preventative care for its practice. They perform much of the oral maintenance a typical patient will need, thereby freeing the practice’s dentist to take care of the more serious dental cases and treatments like extractions, implants, repairs, and surgeries.
Perhaps most importantly, a dental hygienist is an educator. They will advise adult and child patients how to best look after their own teeth and gums when the patients are at home.
Here are some clinical tasks a dental hygienist typically perform for their dental practice:
- Scaling (or cleaning) teeth(sometimes under local anaesthetic)
- Polishing teeth
- Applying topical fluoride and fissure sealants
- Provide advanced periodontal therapy
- Apply prophylactic and antimicrobial materials
- Image the teeth with x-rays or digital impressions
- Provide detailed oral hygiene advice
- Carry out fissure sealants
- Limited emergency care
As you can see, a dental hygienist does a lot!
When will you see a dental hygienist during a visit?
A dental hygienist will probably be one of the first people you will see once you sit down in the dentist chair whether you’re visiting for a routine cleaning or for an initial consultation.