What is a dental hygienist?
They are specially trained members of the dental team who work together with the dentists to provide fully integrated dental care. They play an important role in oral health, by providing individualised preventive treatment and demonstrating correct home care to patients to prevent dental disease and tooth wear.
With individually taught home care techniques and regular maintenance our hygienist will assist you to maintain oral health for the rest of your life.
What is their role?
– Dental hygiene education according to the patient’s needs. This includes care for your gums and teeth, and information on dietary habits and health conditions affecting your oral health.
– They work with your dentist to plan an oral health maintenance program, including assessment of your periodontal (gum) health, evaluation of radiographs and review your medical history.
– They remove calculus deposits and stains from your teeth.
– They apply decay preventing agents and recommend products for home use.
Can treatment be effective at any age?
Dental disease occurs at any age, therefore treatment and advice from a Dental Hygienist will benefit all. Patients are taught how dental disease including tooth wear occurs, and how it can be prevented.
For many children, the application of dental fissure sealants to the grooves of the back teeth will prevent decay for life. In the ageing population changes to the general health and medications can have direct impact on the oral health of a person.
It is important that everyone establishes correct home care techniques.
Will I feel discomfort?
Usually dental hygiene treatment is free of pain. If you find treatment uncomfortable it is important that you discuss this with your hygienist. Various techniques are available to help.
Will it be expensive?
Any preventive care will eventually lead to savings. Depending on the type of treatment carried out and the length of the appointment, costs may vary. Agree and confirm your costs before the treatment.
Why doesn’t the dentist do the work?
Dental Hygienists are specially trained to perform preventive treatment and maintenance of the mouth, teeth and gums. Your dentist will refer you to the hygienist for more specialised oral care, while they provide complex restorative or cosmetic care.
With thanks: We acknowledge the DHAA & ORAL-B for this information excerpt from their brochure “The Dental Hygienist”