What is a dental hygienist?
Dental hygienists work as part as the dental team to give specific care to patients. They are primarily concerned with preventing gum disease, showing you the correct home care and helping keep your teeth and gums healthy.
What do hygienists do in the dental practice?
The hygienist's responsibility is to prevent and treat gum disease, including professionally cleaning teeth. They additionally show you the best way to keep your teeth free of plaque. If this is not brushed away properly, it hardens and become tartar which you cannot remove yourself. Dietary advice may also be a part of this, working alongside your dentist to cater to your tailored needs.
Is there anything else hygienists can do?
On occasion, dental hygienists can take x-rays to help diagnose problems and suggest the best possible treatment. To be able to do this, hygienists must be trained and hold certification.
Procedures such as fissure sealants, tooth whitening or fluoride varnishes can be carried out by hygienists under prescription of your dentist.
Does every dental practice have a hygienist?
Even though not every practice has a hygienist, most offer this as part of their service to patients. Hygienists see patients directly as well as under prescription of the dentist. If the practice does not have a hygienist on site, they tend to have recommended contacts for you to visit.
Why is this dental treatment important?
Regular dental cleaning, combined with looking after your teeth and gums at home will ensure you have a healthy mouth. A clean mouth will help improve your appearance, give you fresh breath and maintain your general health.