They Help Save Your Teeth – Get To Know Dental Hygienists
- September 10, 2018
- 3 mins read
You always hear about dentists and how they help keep toothaches away. What you probably haven’t heard of before are dental hygienists – or even if you have, you might still be wondering what they actually do.
A dental hygienist has a very important role to play in your dental care. In fact, you might have worked closely with one without even realizing it. So what do these people do and how different are they from your regular dentists? Experts from Kyrene Family Dentistry are here to discuss what you need to know about these unsung tooth saviors.
What Does a Dental Hygienist Do?
The American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) describes dental hygienists as skilled healthcare workers who are responsible for preventing and treating oral diseases. They usually work under the supervision of a dentist, orthodontist, or another specialist. As licensed professionals, they can perform various tasks, including:
- Basic teeth cleaning
- Patient screening and intake procedures
- Educating patients on proper oral hygiene
- Assisting with cosmetic dentistry procedures
- Taking and developing x-rays of your teeth
- Applying fluorides, sealants, or other substances to prevent tooth decay
- Making impressions of your teeth for study casts
- Counseling about good nutrition and its impact on oral health
Depending on the state they are in, dental hygienists might be allowed to administer local anesthesia, do sizing for braces, and other orthodontic work. In other practices, hygienists can help out with office and research work. It is likely that the first person you interact with at the dental office is a hygienist!
How Is A Hygienist Different From A Dentist?
Given their contributions to your oral health care, it is natural to wonder how a hygienist differs from a dentist. One angle to look at is the difference between specialized procedures from general care. For example, your dental hygienist can do simple teeth cleaning because this process doesn’t vary much from person to person. However, if you are diagnosed with a cavity and need a filling, a dentist with specialization is the appropriate person for the job.
It all comes down to training and education because typically, dentists go through more years of these. All the same, both of them have to go through extensive training and must earn a license to practice. You can benefit from this division of labor because skilled dentists cost more per hour. If you only have to get some general care, a hygienist may just be enough to take care of it. This will lessen the overall cost of your visit.
Much of your interaction at the dentist’s office could be with a hygienist, so it’s good to know what distinguishes their profession. While dentists are normally there to supervise them, they are more than capable of performing dental tasks. Needless to say, they are all reliable, dedicated professionals in charge of taking care of your teeth.
Visit Us to Learn More
Schedule an appointment at our office in Chandler, AZ, to learn more about Kyrene Family Dentistry dentists and orthodontists. You may also call us at 480-705-9005 for questions and emergencies.