Depending on what your dental appointment is for, you could see either a dentist, a dental hygienist, or both of them. Everyone knows what a dentist is, but many know what a dental hygienist is or what they do. And even fewer people realise they are actually seen by a dental hygienist during their annual visit to the dental clinic.
Sure… they both wear masks, they both have great dental hygiene, and they both seem to enjoy poking around inside your mouth, but what exactly is a dental hygienist?
What Is A Dental Hygienist?
A dental hygienist is an oral health professional who is responsible for the treatment of a wide range of oral health conditions and diseases. And the main treatment received from a dental hygienist will usually be preventative. In other words, dental hygienists work side by side with dentists to help them provide patients with oral care at the dentist office, as well as helping patients take good care of their teeth everywhere else.
While dental hygienists provide dentists with expert assistance during patient surgeries and general appointments, they can also be seen separately as well. And as most duties performed by dental hygienists are done independently without supervision, the dentist can concentrate on the more advanced procedures.
As an integral part of any dental surgery, dental hygienists must have a qualification from an accredited university in either dental hygiene or oral health, which generally takes around 2 to 3 years. They also need to be registered with AHPRA (Australian Health Professional Regulation Authority) and approved by the Dental Board of Australia.
What Is Their Role In A Dental Clinic?
Basically, a dental hygienist is all about prevention. They review dental histories and provide oral assessments regarding the condition of teeth, gums, and mouth. Dental hygienists are then able to make educated decisions for the most effective plan to help with the treatment and prevention of oral diseases
An important aspect of a dental hygienist’s role is they’re also responsible for teaching patients, especially children, about the importance of maintaining good oral health. For example, they may provide tips on improving general dental health habits, or offer specific advice on how to clean and floss your teeth.
It is also pretty common for dental hygienists to conduct a wide range of dental procedures when you visit your dentist, such as teeth cleaning, plaque removal, oral examinations, taking x-rays, and other basic practices. Dental hygienists also assist with surgeries during emergency dentist appointments.
A dental hygienist may notice problematic teeth, poor gum health, signs of decay, or any other dental hygiene issues. When this happens, they can then ensure the dentist is aware of the problem, before assisting them with the diagnosis and discussing the best options for treatment.
A dental hygienist can also help patients determine the cause of their bad breath and then help provide them with a proactive solution to the problem. Plus they can perform dietary analyses before discussing the importance of a good diet with a healthy lifestyle and how they can affect dental hygiene.
By providing all of these services, dental hygienists can help patients reduce the chance of developing gum disease, prevent tooth decay, and other oral health issues. By avoiding these types of significant dental problems altogether, your dental hygienist can help ensure your mouth always stays as healthy as possible.
Why Choose Aesthetic Dental and Denture Clinic?
It’s simple really. At Aesthetic Dental and Denture Clinic, we put our patients first. This is why we have the best people working with us, from dentists to dental prosthetists and, of course, dental hygienists.