What is a Dental Hygienist?
Dental Hygienists are dental care professionals and work as part of the dental team. While dentists concentrate on treating tooth and gum conditions, the dental hygienist has a vital role in helping to prevent problems from arising.
What does a Dental Hygienist do?
Dental hygienists predominantly work to treat gum problems and maintain oral health. This is essential to the long term stability of teeth and prevention of dental diseases such as gingivitis, periodontitis (a more advanced gum disease) and caries (tooth decay).
They have both clinical and health promotional responsibilities. Clinically they help to treat and prevent dental disease by scaling and polishing teeth, applying prophylactic and antimicrobial materials. They can also take dental radiographs and undertake monitoring and screening procedures.
Dental hygienists are also permitted to use local anaesthetics to make treatment more comfortable, apply topical fluorides and fissure sealants in order to reduce dental caries (tooth decay).
Their health promotional role includes motivating and encouraging adults and children with oral hygiene and dietary advice. They also provide advice on stopping smoking which greatly improves dental and general health. oral hygiene and dietary advice.