A dental hygienist is a licensed dental professional who helps patients maintain and improve their oral health. While a dental hygienist’s primary job is to clean teeth, their expertise includes all aspects of good oral health.
Poor oral hygiene can lead to a number of problems, including bad breath, bleeding teeth, receding gums, and swollen and inflamed gums. Some of these can lead to extremely serious diseases if left untreated.
Dental hygienists examine the patient to check for any signs of disease. They then perform basic cleaning procedures by removing calculus and plaque. Advanced cleaning procedures are performed as needed.
Dental hygienists educate patients on how to achieve and maintain optimal oral health. They advise on the use of hygiene equipment such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss and electronic care appliances.
Dental hygienists work in collaboration with dentists, dental assistants and other professionals. Dental hygienists care for both pediatric and adult patients.
Dental hygienists mostly work in dental clinics. They can also work in hospitals, health centers, schools, child care centers and elderly care facilities.
The dental hygienist examines the patient, offers oral care tips and plans oral health care. It is recommended to visit a dental hygienist twice a year to make sure that teeth and gums are healthy.
A dental hygienist must have earned at least an associate’s degree through an accredited program. After completing the training, written and practical exams are required to qualify as a dental hygienist. The educational content and licensing requirements are different in each country.
Dental hygienists help provide dental care for patients of all ages with a comprehensive approach. Dental hygienists work with dentists to improve the overall patient experience.
Dental hygienists are not authorized and licensed to perform all tasks related to dentistry. A dental hygienist cannot diagnose and treat dental diseases. They cannot perform dental fillings, tooth extractions and other treatment procedures that require a degree in dentistry.
None of the dental hygienists’ practices are independent of the dentist. Because it is the dentist who supervises the dental hygienist.
When a patient goes for a dental examination, the first person they see is usually a dental hygienist. Dental hygienists play an important role in preventive care and in helping patients develop oral care habits.