Dentists and Dental Hygienists

The Ins and Outs of Being a Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienists are in huge demand these days, due to their specialized skillset. Hygienists routinely support and work with dentists to ensure that the patient gets the best treatments possible. These men and women are true medical professionals -- learned, regulated, and licensed. But hygienists and dentists, as you have probably noticed yourself, have different roles and responsibilities in your care. So what's the difference?

They Carry Out Teeth Cleanings

While your dentist can clean your teeth, you should also know that your dental hygienist is also qualified and most definitely skilled at cleaning your teeth, and will likely complete most of your regular cleanings themselves, using their tools and training to do what your brushing and flossing can't.

Help in Treating Gum Disease

They can also help with your gum disease by carrying out root planning and scaling exercises on you. They are trained to identify and determine possible future scenarios from your treatment, and work in conjunction with your dentist or periodontist to advise the best possible treatment protocol for you. In terms of periodontal disease, this may even include a recommending a consult with a cardiologist, as studies have shown a correlation with cardiovascular issues.

Help Educate Patients

How do you brush properly? What’s the best flossing material? How can you keep your teeth stain-free? What’s the best over-the-counter teeth whitening kit to use? What’s the best way to maintain optimum oral health? 

These and many more are what your dental hygienist will educate you about. This is important because education is a key aspect of excellent oral health. Knowing what to do, when you should do it and how will go a long way in helping patients minimize the risk of oral disease. 

Research for the Purpose of Improving Patient’s Dental Care

Not all dental hygienists work in government hospitals or private clinics. There are some who choose the path of research. These dental hygiene researchers do a lot of research determining what patients can do to improve their oral health. Like those who go into dental practice, they are highly skilled at collecting and interpreting data.

In fact, something else you might not know is that when new oral products are released or about to be released into the market, they’re the ones who determine their efficacy. You can often see this result in the form of toothpaste and dental care recommendations. When your dentist recommends something in particular, it might be through their own experience. But more often, they are espousing the recommendations of people in research.

Part of Your Personal Medical Team

Dental hygienists are important to the success of every dental clinic. They are part of the team that makes great dental clinics like Premier Smile Center in Ft. Lauderdale run smoothly, and keeps your mouth healthy and happy. If you have ever wondered what they do, now you know. And if you’re thinking of becoming one, it’s not too late. You can get the required education from one of the many dental schools in your state.