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26 November 2021

What does a dental hygienist do

Have you always wondered what a dental hygienist does, what services they offer, and what to expect after booking an appointment? Within this blog, you will find the answers to all your pressing questions and will leave feeling confident in all aspects of preventative dental hygiene.

What is a Dental Hygienist?

A dental hygienist is a dental professional who examines your mouth and gums for signs of issues such as gum disease and oral cancer. They focus on implementing preventative cleaning measures to combat future oral issues.

How do Dental Hygienists differ from Dentists?

Dental hygienists play a vitally different role than dentists in regard to your teeth. Dentists have the power to do things such as provide prescriptions, perform reconstructive and surgical work as well as provide local anesthetics. A dental hygienist focuses more on preventative work. This is focused on ensuring the cleanliness and hygiene of your teeth and gums by the removal of plaque and tartar build-up.

What to Expect When Visiting a Dental Hygienist?

When visiting a Dental Hygienist you should expect a thorough oral exam, focusing on the health of your gums as well as looking at the skin around them. They will further examine your teeth for signs of decay and if found, how advanced these issues are. They may offer a service that would benefit you as well as some advice to continue caring for your mouth.

What services does a Dental Hygienist offer?

Dental hygienist tools

  • Prophylaxis cleaning: This service is ideal for people who have a typically healthy mouth. If you visit the dentist regularly and maintain good dental hygiene then prophylaxis cleaning can help in removing the expected amount of plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums. It can also help remove any minor and unwanted stains from your teeth’s surface.
  • Scaling and root planning: This procedure is a deeper dental cleaning that focuses on the gums and gum line, as well as any other supporting structures. This is a very common hygienist procedure and is recommended every 6 months.
  • Gross Debridement: This service is an extreme deep clean and removal of all plaque and tartar within the patient’s mouth. This is recommended for those who haven’t visited the dentist or had a routine check-up in many years, as there will be a lot of build-up on the teeth and gums. This service will usually be carried out following an assessment and confirmation from the dentist.
  • Periodontal maintenance: Periodontal maintenance is a regular service that provides ongoing maintenance for patients who have suffered with gum disease. This can also be a treatment for those with periodontitis and gingivitis. In this service, the entire mouth is cleaned and is repeated for either a set period of time or until all the gum problems have been addressed and cleared.

Does Dental Hygiene Treatment Hurt?

Overall, dental hygiene treatment is not painful at all. Cleaning, scaling, and polishing are generally pain-free, as well as oral examinations. If any treatment was causing you pain you could ask your hygienist to administer some local anesthetic to combat this.

Is Dental Hygiene Expensive?

Dental hygiene can be expensive, especially when combined with the cost of regular dentistry work that you could be having simultaneously. However, paying for treatments that will then prevent damage in the future such as gum disease, tooth loss, and decay will prove cost-effective in the long run.

Does every Dental Practice have a Hygienist?

No, not every dental practice has a hygienist. Some may have their hygienists in house but if not you can find them through a referral from your dentist within your routine check-ups. You can also contact them directly yourself.

Why is a Dental Hygienist Important?

Dental hygienists hold an imperative role when ensuring the health and cleanliness of your mouth. Visiting your hygienist is important to keep your gums healthy and make sure your teeth are free of plaque buildup. Not only that but prevention is always preferred when it comes to your teeth. Visiting your dental hygienist is the best way to have a professional look for early indications of gum disease, cancer, tooth decay, and many other issues. They can then offer advice and a range of treatments to stop any issues worsening and overall keep your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy and happy.

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