Understanding the Role & Responsibilities of Dental Hygienists

Understanding the Role & Responsibilities of Dental Hygienists

December 1, 2022

When you visit your dentist for treatment or routine dental check-ups, you might have spent some time with a dental hygienist before seeing the dentist. A dental hygienist works with other dental professionals like dentists to improve and promote excellent oral health to dental patients. They also help with various tasks to facilitate the efficient running of dental clinics or offices.

Some of the day-to-day roles and responsibilities of a dental hygienist include:

  • Educating dental patients on good oral hygiene
  • Reviewing patients’ medical history
  • Screening patients’ oral health
  • Dental cleanings
  • Preventive care
  • Patients follow-up
  • Preparing patients for dental treatments like dental fillings and tooth extraction
  • Creating and maintaining patients’ records and file

When you visit a dental office, the hygienists will begin by reviewing your medical history. It is essential to evaluate your oral health and potential oral risks and know how best to help you maintain a healthier mouth. Next, they will examine your teeth, gums, mouth, head, neck, and throat for signs of potential oral problems like tooth decay, gum disease, tooth damage, poor bite, and oral cancer.

Early diagnosis of oral problems allows for early treatment, preventing oral problems from progressing. If left undetected and untreated for a long time, they can lead to long-term damage like tooth loss and bone loss. Dental x-rays may include dental x-rays and oral cancer screenings.

After the exam, the hygienist cleans your mouth to prevent the accumulation of bacterial plaque and tartar. It reduces your risk of oral issues like gum disease and tooth decay. They can also provide preventive care services like fluoride treatments and dental sealants.

The hygienist will also take a few minutes to educate you on effective strategies and tips to improve oral health and prevent oral issues. They can demonstrate how to brush and floss and emphasize its importance. They can also help you choose the right oral products like toothbrushes and toothpaste.

The hygienist will share the findings of the exam with the dentist. If they identify any oral issues, the dentist will create a personalized treatment to address them and improve your oral health, function, and appearance. Before leaving the office, be sure you schedule your next dental checkup.

The value of regular dental exams

If you’re still not convinced about the importance of dental hygienists, below are several benefits you can reap from routine dental checkups:

  • Prevent oral problems: The hygienist eliminates bacterial plaque and calculus from your teeth and gums, reducing your risk of gum disease, tooth decay, bad breath, tooth loss, jawbone damage, and teeth discoloration.
  • Early diagnosis and treatments of oral issues: Oral issues can develop unnoticed for many years, eventually progressing to advanced stages that result in severe and long-term complications like tooth loss, jaw disorders, and bone loss. A hygienist can identify symptoms of potential oral issues during routine dental exams, ensuring that you get treatment on time.
  • Protects your oral and overall health: Removing bacterial buildup and diagnosing and treating oral issues early helps improves your oral health. Good oral hygiene and health improve overall health by reducing your risk of serious health issues like diabetes and heart disease.
  • Freshens breath: Bacterial buildup in the mouth can cause a foul mouth taste or breath. Removing these bacteria deposits gives you a fresh breath.
  • Brightens teeth: Bacterial plaque and calculus can give your teeth a yellow-brownish or dull appearance. Professional cleanings and polishing can help remove deposits and other stains, giving you a brighter and more natural smile.
  • Saves money and time: Routine dental exams and cleaning keep your mouth and body healthy by preventing serious oral and health issues. If not prevented, these issues would cause the need for restorative and cosmetic treatments in the future. These treatments can be invasive, lengthy, uncomfortable, and pricey. The cost of routine exams is cheaper than addressing potential issues. Your dental insurance might cover them.

Schedule a consultation with our dental hygienist in Calgary

Are you interested in hygiene therapy in Calgary, AB? Contact Sunridge Dental Clinic to book a consultation with our dentist near you.

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