One of the most important roles at the dentist’s office is the dental hygienist. This individual is responsible for performing many of the key tasks in supporting patients. Some of these responsibilities include deep cleanings, help in the prevention and spotting of cavities, and preparing patients for procedures with the dentist. The main priority of a dental hygienist is to aid in maintaining a patient’s oral health.
What is a Dental Hygienist?
According to the American Dental Hygienists’ Associate (ADHA), a dental hygienist is a “licensed oral health professional who focuses on preventing and treating oral diseases”. They continue in saying their duties are to “both to protect teeth and gums, and also to protect patients’ total health.” These professionals have to graduate from educational programs in the dental hygienist field at accredited universities and colleges. This is followed by taking a written exam administered by the national board and a clinical exam before receiving their approval to practice. After obtaining their license, alongside being hygienists, they can become administrators, educators and researchers as well.
What Do Dental Hygienists Do?
A dentist does not have to be present because a dental hygienist is licensed. They allows for them to work independently. This is unlike a dental assistant, where they must be under the guidance of a dentist. Each state has its regulations under which dental hygienists are allowed to perform different services. These services include:
- Evaluate patients’ records, dental charting, cancer screenings, and history of gum disease (comprehensive assessment)
- Taking, processing, and analyzing x-rays
- Inform patients on the correct ways to care for their teeth to have optimal oral health
- Administer local anesthesia and/or nitrous oxide analgesia as necessary
- Use dental instruments in the removal of tartar and plaque
- Utilize fluorides, sealants and other cavity precautionary agents on the teeth
- Developing at-home care oral health care regimens with patients
The Difference Between a Dental Hygienist and Dentist
While dental hygienists are able to complete many of the tasks a dentist can do, there still is a significant difference between the two. With the ability of being independent, there may be a curiosity of what actually separates the two roles. The dental hygienist allows for the dentist to do more complex procedures like fillings and extractions. They can focus on doing more general dental procedures like cleanings. Dental hygienists have more time to speak to patients about their specific needs regarding their health care. They are able to analyze a patient’s mouth thoroughly and inform the dentist of any concerns that they may spot.
Dental hygienists are a vital role at the dentist’s office. They perform most general dental procedures to assist patients, and can provide tips to help in the improvement of patients’ oral health. If you would like to visit our office to speak to a dental professional, call us at (844) 979-EASY.
Your Dental Health
When it comes to your health, trust in the dentists at Dental Made Easy. Dental Made Easy has the best dental practices in New York City and we are open on Sundays as well as late evenings. All of our dental offices are open and accepting new patients at this time. We are rated among the top dental practices in New York, NY with numerous 5-star reviews on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. For a teeth cleaning or exam, we recommend calling or booking an appointment online with one of our talented dental professionals. All new patients may also take advantage of our $149 Cleaning Special that includes an exam and x-rays of our Free Dental Implant Consultation Special.
To set up your appointment give us a call at (844) 979-EASY (3279). We have offices in Forest Hills, Queens, Little Caribbean, Brooklyn and Garden City, Long Island. Walk-ins welcomed, we take emergencies and we are open on late nights to accommodate patients with a busy schedule. We hope to see you soon!