Dentists and dental hygienists are both in charge of thing care of our oral health. We all know what a general dentist does, but what does a dental hygienist do? In simpler terms, dental hygienists are typically the professionals to run to before meeting an actual dentist. The dental team of Advanced Dental Care Dubbo has a dental hygienist that provides health care and professional dental cleaning.
Difference Between Dentists and Dental Hygienists
Dentists are professionals that can cater to a wide range of dental problems. They can perform surgical operations for tooth decay, impacted wisdom teeth, and root canals. These are some of the things that a dental hygienist cannot do.
In short, the dentist will be the one to perform procedures. On the other hand, the dental hygienist is responsible for providing patient care by educating them on proper oral health care. Dentists are the ones ordering X-rays and other dental examinations to diagnose a patient’s condition. They are also the one who determines which kind of treatment is needed.
What Does A Dental Hygienist Do
A dental hygienist is generally responsible for patient care. They do procedures for gum care and oral health care. Their job description usually includes the following:
- dental and physical examination of a new dental patient
- professional dental cleaning which includes stain, plaque, and tartar removal
- overall patient care including gum care and oral health advice
- fluoride and sealant application for extra teeth protection
- taking X-ray examination and providing the results to the dentist
- administer anesthetics on the patient
- communicate with the dentist with regards to their findings during the oral and physical examination
- educate patients on how to properly brush their teeth, techniques in cleaning the mouth, and proper oral care
- providing advice to clients regarding healthy diet and nutrition
- administrative tasks such as filing medical documents
What a dental hygienist do is important to allow the dentist to perform their job smoothly. In conclusion, a dental hygienist is a dentist’s right hand when it comes to assisting dental patients. They play a vital role in keeping the clinic in order as well as promptly servicing patients while the dentist is still doing some works.
Importance Of A Dental Hygienist
Dental hygienists do not just clean their patient’s teeth and provide oral care. Their job is much more complex when it comes to ensuring that patients get high-quality services. If you are going to visit a dental hygienist, it’s important for you to be completely honest about your oral care routine as well as your lifestyle and your habits. Remember that a dental hygienist will typically know if you are sugarcoating things as it will show up in the condition of your teeth.
Moreover, think of it as your way to help them have an easier job. Inform your dental hygienist if you are a smoker and if you have habits that you think might affect your oral health. These things might seem unimportant but these are essential in achieving optimum results.
What To Expect
Do not be surprised if your dental hygienist does the following things during your appointment:
- review your medical and dental history
- take your vital signs
- talk about the concerning matters about your dental health
- monitor your gums, teeth, tongue, face, and cheek through several methods
- take dental X-rays
- perform an oral cancer screening
- check for abnormalities
- do dental cleaning procedures
- teeth polishing measurements
- professional flossing of teeth
- educate you about proper oral care, brushing techniques, tips on taking care of your teeth and gums
- relay the gathered information to the dentist
- answer your concerns regarding your oral health
- update your dental records
- write down notes for you to follow
A Dental Hygienist’s Main Role
Dentists are essential in treating dental problems such as cavities and tooth decay. They are basically the professionals to run to if your teeth are suffering from several issues. But a dental hygienist will ensure that you don’t suffer due to poor oral care. They are the ones who will push you to keep your teeth clean and healthy to avoid the unpleasant effects of cavities and gum disease.
Their main role is to help individuals be safe from bacterial infection and provide knowledge as to why dental problems occur in the first place. Because of them, a lot of patients save themselves from expensive dental procedures.
Important Traits of A Dental Hygienist
All medical professionals are expected to have compassion. But dental hygienists are very much loved because of their common traits which are as follows:
- Patience and understanding. Let’s be honest here, not all patients are easy to deal with. Sometimes, they even think that they are better than clinic staff. But it’s a great thing that dental hygienists are understanding in nature. They cater to all of their patients with genuine care even though there are days where they are treated less than they deserve.
- Detail-oriented. A good dental clinic, like the one on this page, typically receives plenty of patients in one day. This makes the filing and organization a critical task to do. One of the great traits of dental hygienists is that they are detail-oriented. They know which patient is in need of extensive oral care and who does not.
- Passionate. Not all employees are passionate about the daily things that they do. However, that is not the case for dental hygienists. They spent years of training to become a dental hygienist because it is in their hearts to provide patient care.
- Strong and healthy. The demanding field of dentistry often requires its workers to stay physically healthy for various reasons. First of all, how ironic it would be if they treat a person when they are physically weak themselves? Second, their job would require them to sit, stand, walk, and make movements while on duty. This is important so that they can do their job well.
- Positive outlook. A dental hygienist needs to have a positive personality. This helps is encouraging patients to always look on the brighter side even though they are suffering from a dental crisis.
- Friendly and approachable. The profession allows them to directly have a friendly relationship with their patients. Hence, the need for being friendly and approachable. These traits would also help the patient become more comfortable and at ease.
Pros and Cons Of Being A Dental Hygienist
For many dental hygienists, their profession is rewarding as it enables them to help many people. While there are plenty of advantages to being a dental hygienist, there are also some drawbacks that concern most of them.
- Growing employment. As of this writing, the need for dental hygienists is expected to rise by 40 percent.
- Above-average salary. The average annual salary of dental hygienists is usually starting from $68,000.
- Requires minimal training. Dental hygienists only need to get a certificate as a primary requirement.
- Flexible work. Most clinics offer part-time and full-time employment for dental hygienists.
- Limited career growth. Not unless they decide to pursue dentistry or other career paths, a dental hygienist will basically have to do the same type of job for years.
- Repetitive tasks. Since their job description specifically says that their main role is to provide patient care, that will be what they will be doing during their entire career as dental hygienists.
- Unpleasant experiences with patients. This is a common denominator for all medical workers. Most of them have experienced being humiliated and ridiculed by ungrateful patients.