While dentists frequently steal the spotlight, dental hygienists are the unsung heroes and heroines of the world of white molars. Dental hygienists work on their own, and frequently in collaboration with dentists, to ensure that your teeth stay the cleanest and healthiest they can be. If youa��ve got a curiosity about how to become a dental hygienist, a sneak peek into a day in the life could turn that desire into a stint in dental hygienist school.
So What Does a Dental Hygienist Do?
The main concern of a dental hygienist is pretty much exactly what their title tells you it is: promoting dental hygiene by keeping your teeth healthy and clean. Dental hygienists typically see around 8-10 patients a day, and are essential to keeping dental practices operating smoothly. Dental hygienists can be responsible for a multitude of tasks in a dental practice – everything from teeth cleaning to administering anaesthetic. The responsibilities of a dental hygienist can be broken down into five main categories.
A dental hygienist’s assessment consists of a full review of the patient’s medical history, determining if ita��s necessary to take x-rays, and performing a clinical exam that consists of probing and analyzing the patienta��s mouth. This is also the stage of the process where a dental hygienist will do a full cleaning of your teeth and gums. This involves cleaning plaque, tartar and stains from your teeth, and administering fluoride to keep cavities at bay.
After your clinical assessment, the dental hygienist will provide a detailed documentation of all the assessment’s findings, and order any necessary tests or diagnostics. The dental hygienist will then present the data to the dentist, who will make a formal diagnosis.
After a diagnosis of an oral or dental problem, the hygienist will then go about creating a treatment plan for the patient. This could be anything from simply telling them to increase their brushing and flossing to maintain good health of their teeth and gums, scheduling procedures for the implementation of filling, or even recommending oral surgery.
After the diagnosis and identification of an oral problem and the laying out of a treatment plan, the dental hygienist will then go about implementing the plan through repeat visits. Whether ita��s just dropping in for checkups to assess the state of your dental health or three successive visits to remove some teeth, dental hygienists will want to keep seeing you to assess how your treatment is coming along.
After the recommended treatment plan has run its course, a dental hygienist will perform a final evaluation to assess the level of success of the treatment. Depending on the results, the hygienist will either schedule another check-up later in the year to ensure everything is as it should be, or choose to change or extend the treatment plan if the results arena��t satisfactory.
If the exciting and rewarding world of clean teeth and flavoured fluoride is enticing to you, you can get started on the road to success by taking some dental hygienist training.