There is a widespread belief that dental hygienists only focus on cleaning teeth, however, the duties of a dental hygienist cover a lot of areas.- Roles of Dental Hygienist
Primarily, hygienists focus on the care of patients and the after-care treatment performed by the dentist while teaching each patient the best way to care for their teeth at home. Brushing and flossing are not enough. Accordingly, hygienists work closely with dentists to treat patients in multiple areas.
What exactly does a roles of dental hygienist do?
Dental hygienists play a pivotal role in the health and well-being of patients. They perform supporting duties to the dentist like the ones we’ve outlined below while providing preventative dental care to patients. They also educate patients on many ways that we can improve and maintain excellent oral health. Here are some of their main roles broken down:
Reviewing Health and Dental History Of Patients – Roles of Dental Hygienist
Before a patient arrives for an appointment or any treatment begins the hygienist performs medical and dental history research. This is a critical step for every hygienist as it gives them an estimated time frame of how long the patient will be in the chair for and what areas of the mouth may need more attention. It also helps the hygienist to:
- Understand the patient’s previous medical conditions and dental issues
- Assess the health risks relating to the patients oral care
- Evaluate health changes, allergies and prescription medications to prevent any medical emergencies
These details allow the hygienist and the dentist to create a personalized approach for the patient’s individual treatment plan.
The screening process for patients typically takes a few minutes to complete, and it is a vital aspect of the process. The screening process complements the collection of the dental health history of the patients to have accurate data required to treat a specific oral disease before they are out of control.
Dental X-ray and Scans
The first step to treating a disease or infection is to prevent it, hence the importance of dental x-rays. Dental hygienists run these x-rays to spot problems early on before they develop into serious issues. Tooth cavities, gum disease, oral infections, and tumors are some anomalies that can be spotted and addressed early on. Your hygienist will scrape the tartar and plaque away from the teeth and polish them to ward off cavities and give a clear way for any further treatment.
Applying Flouride Treatments
After the cleaning routine, the hygienist takes active steps to educate the patient on methods of preventive oral care. Such treatment includes fluoride and sealant application. This helps in promoting safe and healthy dental care.
Particularly for children, sealants help address decay around certain areas of the tooth and mouth.
A hygienist is a bridge between the patient, dental assistant and dentist.
Dental hygienists play a pivotal role in managing dental reports for patients. After cleaning, deep polishing and screening for other recommended treatment and diseases, the hygienist provides the reports to the dentist.
Understanding the Difference Between Your Dental Hygienist and Your Dentist
On your visit to the dentist, the first person that attends to you is typically the dental hygienist.
Similar to the settings in the hospital where there are doctors and nurses, in the dental practice; there are dentists and dental hygienists.
Having a clearly defined understanding of the duties will help you feel a lot more comfortable at your next dental appointment. Now, we will look at the contrast between a dental hygienist and a dentist and what you should expect.
Dentists are physicians who major in the field of dentistry. They provide many treatment options to maintain every patient’s oral health. This includes dental exams, general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry and much more.
It’s factual that the health of the mouth is just as important as the overall health of the body, and as a result, people are encouraged to maintain a healthy mouth through regular clean-up and dental check-ups by dental professionals.
Dentists require additional training after completing dental school that allows them to specialize in providing medical services for certain dental conditions in patients.
A hygienist is hired and required to educate patients on their every day oral care routine. They are responsible for preventing and treating oral disease. Along with that they perform much of their work independently whereas a dentist will most likely always have the assistance of a dental assistant. They are an important part of every dental team and their work removes a huge burden from dentists work load allowing them to perform more advanced procedure
In conclusion, oral health is not something to neglect. Good oral health should not be underrated and your prefered dental hygienist will teach you all the tips and tricks for staying on top of your routine at home which can actually save you money in the long run.