What Does a Dental Hygienist Do?

If you spend twice a year visiting your Waxahachie family dentist then you most likely have also met our dental hygienists. Have you ever wondered what they do? Here’s a breakdown of this very important part of your dental team.
 
What Does a Dental Hygienist Do?
 
Hygienists are in charge of providing you full oral health care. This includes focusing on the prevention plus the treatment of oral diseases. They work closely with the dentist to perform several tasks. The most popular jobs include:
Taking x-rays 
Cleaning your teeth
Patient screening 
Applying sealants, fluorides, or any other substance that prevents tooth decay
Assisting the dentist with cosmetic dentistry procedures
Patient education
There are some specialized hygienists that can administer local anesthesia, but they must be licensed to do that. 
 
How Does Someone Become a Hygienist?
 
A hygienist is going to start with an associates’ degree and then they go through another two years of dental training. From there, they must take an exam to become licensed to practice. This training period is going to include some classroom time, some experience in the lab and even clinical experience inside a working practice. The training is what helps the hygienist get the real world experience they need to properly care for your teeth.
 
Differences between the Hygienist and Dentist
 
While they work very closely together, there are some differences between the two. Hygienists will handle the basic, everyday procedures such as dental cleanings. Dentists handle the more specialized procedures such as fillings. This division of labor is necessary based on the education differences between the dentist and hygienist. It also helps to keep the cost of services down when a hygienist can perform the tasks.
 
You can expect that a good portion of your routine dental visits will be with the dental hygienist. Unless there is a problem, there is really no reason for the dentist to get involved. If you have concerns about the quality of care you receive from a hygienist or their level of skill, don’t be afraid to speak up and discuss the options with your Waxahachie family dentist. It is important that you always feel comfortable with the dental care you are receiving.
 
To schedule your next appointment, please call our office at (469) 773-4075 or click here.
 

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