A dental hygienist works primarily in preventative dental care, although their job presents a big range of responsibilities. Their job first and foremost is to improve the overall dental health of their patients of all ages.
Dental hygienists are important because they help patients maintain good oral health, which in turn prevents disease. Dental hygienists play an essential role in preventative dental care. In fact, it is proven that patients who regularly see a dental hygienist have to visit the dentist less (which also costs less money!).
What does a Dental Hygienist do?
Dental hygienists serve one of the most important roles in modern dental care. A word commonly used in relation to the job of a dental hygienist is ‘prophylaxis’. That means preventative measures. A dental hygienist seeks to promote better oral health by doing the following:
- Checking the teeth and surrounding gum tissue
- Identifying tooth decay, tooth loss, and other health conditions
- Counseling and educating patients on proper at-home oral hygiene
- Helping advise patients on how to change unhealthy habits (smoking, diet, etc.)
- Conduct examinations, diagnostics, and treat certain diseases
- Scrapes, cleans and polishes teeth
- Making risk assessments of gum disease, gingivitis, and cavities
- Perform saliva and bacterial tests
Why is it important to see a Dental Hygienist?
Going in for regular appointments with a dental hygienist helps increase the likelihood that your dental results will be positive. Going in for routine dental cleanings and checkups minimizes the chances that someone will develop oral disease, tooth loss (periodontitis), and cavities (or, at the very least, help take care of it sooner).
What tests do dental hygienists perform?
Some important duties carried out by dental hygienists include:
Prophylaxis (preventative care)
A dental hygienist’s job duty is primarily prophylaxis. They run tests of saliva and bacteria, perform teeth cleaning and tartar removal, and give dietary advice for better oral health.
Investigation and diagnoses
Dental hygienists are often credentialled enough to diagnose cavities, gum disease, and gingivitis and conduct risk assessments of each. They also are trained to take routine x-rays of the mouth, which is how many mouth ailments are detected.
Tooth whitening treatments
Cosmetic tooth polishing and whitening treatments are used to create a brighter smile and remove tooth discoloration. Dental hygienists are qualified to give these treatments to those who have tooth discoloration. Tooth whitening treatments are typically used on individuals who have tooth discoloration from food, drinks, and tobacco. Learn more about whitening treatments at Swedish Dental.
Many tooth whitening treatments require that an imprint be made of the patients’ teeth. The dental hygienist will conduct an exam of the mouth to determine if teeth are fit for a whitening treatment. Then, they will take a mold of the teeth, which is sent off to create an imprint for teeth whitening.
Now that you know why Dental hygienists are important, and you know what a dental hygienist does, it may be time to schedule that dental checkup! Contact us here and book your appointment today.