You may know your dental hygienist as simply the one who gives you dental hygiene advice and hands off the bag with your free toothpaste and toothbrush at the end of your appointment. In actuality, their jobs are so much more. Dental hygienists have one of the most important jobs at any dental clinic, providing patients with preventative care and so much more.
Here’s everything a dental hygienist does in a typical appointment.
One of the first things a hygienist will do during your appointment is a basic assessment of your overall health as it relates to your dental health. This includes a review of your medical history, a cancer screening, and and inspection of both your head and neck. This gives us a better idea of the treatment you might need, as well as any important information to relay to the dentist when they examine you.
Next, the dental hygienist is the one who will typically perform your biannual teeth cleaning. Hygienists can perform both routine cleanings, as well as deep cleanings to treat gum disease.
Your hygienist will also be the one applying most treatments, from fluoride to whitening. Your hygienist is highly skilled in applying each treatment to secure the results you want.
X-rays are a normal part of a comprehensive dental exam and are commonly performed by your hygienist. X-rays help give your hygienist and dentist a better look at your teeth and any decay or damage there might be.
While your dentist will do all diagnosing and outline any treatment plans, your hygienist is a wealth of knowledge as well and will be there to provide any advice they may have. From diet to brushing hacks, your hygienist will have plenty of information to relay during your exam.