Dental hygienists are a crucial part of your oral health team. In fact, individuals who maintain good oral health tend to spend more time with the hygienist than the dentist. Hygienists work with you one on one during your regular exams, helping you keep your teeth and gums healthy. At Sensational Smiles in Wallington, hygiene services are a large portion of our preventative care.
What is a dental hygienist?
Dental hygienists perform a full range of oral health care services focusing on the prevention and treatment of oral diseases. Dental hygienists work closely with dentists, orthodontists, prosthodontists, and other types of dental specialists.
Some of the main services performed by a dental hygienist include:
- Patient intake and screening – This includes assessing the patient’s overall state of oral health, signs of periodontal disease, oral cancer screening, head and neck evaluation, reviewing the patient’s medical history, and dental charting.
- Patient education – This includes sharing information on effective oral hygiene (how to brush and floss properly), tips for preventing oral disease, and even help with proper nutrition.
- Oral imaging (x-rays)
- Professional cleaning of the teeth
- Various non-surgical services – This includes application of fluoride and sealants, non-surgical treatment for gingivitis (scaling and root planing, antibiotics, laser treatment)
- Assisting the dentist in restorative and cosmetic dental procedures
- Assisting in the development of treatment plans
The important role of a dental hygienists
Dental hygienists play a very valuable role in a dental office. They are responsible for providing crucial preventative care to patients, which allows dentists to focus their time on complex, specialized care. Working collaboratively with the rest of the dental team, hygienists add a layer of high quality, comprehensive oral care for patients.
Critical preventative dental care
Having a healthy mouth is a visual indicator of wellness to others. While brushing and flossing at home and eating a nutritious diet are important, professional cleanings are an essential component of maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
When you have a healthy mouth, you want to smile more and share it with the world, leading to an increase in confidence and self-esteem. Therefore, it’s important to maintain regular visits with the dental hygienist.
A professional cleaning can effectively remove built-up plaque that cannot be removed by brushing alone. These regular exams and cleanings are important to:
- Preventing bleeding gums, which is one of the first signs of gingivitis.
- Preventing decay by receiving proper information on nutrition and how to practice good oral hygiene at home.
- Eliminating chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis.
- Reducing the risk of advanced periodontal disease, which is linked to many serious health issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and low birth weight babies.
Dental Hygienist vs. Dentist
With the amount of work that dental hygienists do, it’s easy to contemplate how they differ from a dentist. The easy way to think about dental hygienists vs. dentists is that hygienists provide more generalized care while dentists provide highly specialized care. For example, dental hygienists perform routine teeth cleaning because this process is repeated very similarly on every patient. On the other hand, a dentist will be the person who diagnoses and treats an issue like cavities. Although in most cases, the hygienist will be the first to notice the potential cavity while the dentist will be the one to confirm and treat the cavity.
Dental Hygienist training
Dental hygienists go through extensive training and must receive special certification to perform their services.
At Sensational Smiles in Wallington, our team is composed of dentists, oral surgeons, lab technicians, nurses, dental hygienists, and office personnel to ensure that we deliver the highest level of care possible to our patients. Patients choose to visit Sensational Smiles because we utilize gentle, innovative techniques, and understand the factors of maintaining a healthy smile. If you would like to learn more about any of our services, please call us at 020 8629 1433 to schedule an appointment.