What Does a Dental Hygienist Do?
The American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) defines dental hygienists as “licensed oral health professionals who focus on preventing and treating oral diseases-both to protect teeth and gums, and also to protect patients’ total health.” The role of dental hygienists has changed over the years. When the profession was first developed, the purpose of a dental hygienist was to provide preventive dental cleanings for patients. While dental hygienists still provide preventive dental care, they also have many more responsibilities.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer screening is an examination performed by a dental hygienist to look for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in your mouth. The goal of oral cancer screening is to identify mouth cancer early when there is a greater chance for a cure. Here at Smile Design Studios, our dental hygienists use an additional examination on top of our standard one utilizing a tool called VELscope. VELscope allows dental hygienists to screen for oral cancer in a non-invasive manner.
Periodontal Health Education
Dental Hygienists help to promote better periodontal health in patients. An important role the dental hygienist provides is to teach you how to properly clean and take care of your teeth. They teach you the proper way to brush your teeth and floss and even teach you how to use special tools like interdental brushes to help with those hard-to-reach areas. They also can teach you dietary advice and how your diet affects your teeth. Hygienists also do deep cleanings of your teeth to remove all traces of tartar and plaque, which are major causes of gum disease, decay, and even tooth loss.
Cleaning of the Teeth
Dental Hygienists also do routine cleanings of the teeth that keep our teeth healthy. Routine cleaning of your teeth is very important to maintain your oral health, especially because dental hygienists can clean areas that you can’t. During a regular cleaning, the surfaces of the teeth and between the teeth are cleaned and the teeth are also polished. Sometimes we may require deeper cleaning, such as scaling or root planing. Scaling and root planning are needed to remove tartar, bacteria, and debris that has collected under the gum line. Tartar under the gum line cannot be removed by brushing, flossing, or with regular cleaning. If left untreated, your gums can become infected and inflamed, eventually resulting in teeth and bone loss.
Come and See Your Dental Hygienist
Here at Smile Design Studios, we believe we have the best dental hygienist in the world. They’re friendly, positive, detail-oriented, and very patient and understanding. Our dental hygienists go above and beyond to make sure your oral health is at its optimum level. To schedule an appointment with one of our dental hygienists, call us at (832) 539-3036 today!