What Does A Dental Hygienist Do? And What They Can Do For You?

What Does A Dental Hygienist Do? And What They Can Do For You?
If you visit your dentist regularly for checkups, you might have heard the term “dental hygienist” very often. But have you ever wondered what a dental hygienist is and what they can do for you? If this is the first time you’ve heard about this, don’t worry; this blog will offer all the information you need to know about dental hygienists. So, read on to learn more!

What Does The Dentist/Hygienist Do At A Teeth Cleaning?

A dental hygienist is a dental professional, just like a dentist. However, their job description and responsibilities are different from dentists. According to the NHS, a dental hygienist is an important member of the dental team who assists dentists and helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease in patients. Dental hygienists are trained to perform professional teeth cleanings. They can also provide fluoride therapy which is very effective in preventing tooth decay. 

Why Do People Get Their Teeth Cleaned By A Dental Hygienist?

There are several reasons why many dental patients get their teeth cleaned by dental hygienists. First, dental hygienists are trained to provide teeth cleaning and other preventive dental services. If you wait to get a teeth cleaning appointment with general and specialist dentists, you may have to wait for a long time as they usually have a long queue. However, it is easier to get an appointment with your dental hygienist. Finally, teeth cleaning with a dental hygienist will cost you considerably less than a dentist. So, unless you have a complicated periodontal issue, you can visit a dental hygienist for preventive dental treatment.  

Are Dentists Trained To Do Hygienist Work?

Yes, dental professionals, whether general or specialist dentists are trained to perform all the procedures a hygienist does. However, since dentists have too many tasks and perform multiple procedures, they usually let dental hygienists perform procedures such as teeth cleaning or fluoride treatment. This allows them to focus on more specialised procedures such as tooth extractions, dental fillings, or root canal treatment

What Kind Of Tools Do Dental Hygienists Use?

Dental hygienists typically use a combination of manual and powered instruments. For example, one of the most commonly used dental instruments by hygienists is the dental scaler. A scaler is an instrument that allows hygienists to remove plaque and tartar deposits from one’s teeth. Dental scalers are of two types: manual and powered. A powered scaler has a tip that vibrates at an ultrasonic frequency and removes plaque and tartar deposits more effectively than hand scalers. That is why virtually all dentists in the UK use powered ultrasonic scalers for treating their patients. 

What Is The Job Of A Dental Hygienist?

According to the British National Careers Service, a hygienist is a dental professional who gives advice on preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Dental hygienists work alongside dentists and perform routine dental procedures such as:
  • Teeth cleaning and polishing to prevent gum disease 
  • Administer local anaesthesia under a dentist’s supervision 
  • Prevent tooth decay in susceptible children and adults through fluoride treatment 
  • Educate patients on the best practices involved in taking care of their teeth and gums, including the correct way of brushing and flossing 
  • Providing dietary advice to the patients so that they can retain optimal oral and physical health
  • Assist the dental team in maintaining dental records
  • Performing other administrative duties in the dental office 

Do Hygienist Teeth Cleaning Usually Hurt?

It is a common misconception that teeth cleaning is a painful procedure. However, this procedure will not be painful if performed by an experienced and qualified dentist. You may feel slight discomfort during and after the procedure, but it should go away soon. To further prevent discomfort, your hygienist will numb your gums by placing an anaesthetic-soaked gauze over them. In this way, you won’t feel pain during the procedure. However, it should be kept in mind that your teeth may transiently become sensitive to hot and cold drinks or foods. However, this is nothing to worry about; this sensitivity should disappear in a few days. So, you can rest assured that professional teeth cleaning done by a hygienist will not be painful. 

Should You Have Both A Dentist And A Dental Hygienist?

Yes, one must visit both their dentist and hygienist. Why? Because a hygienist will only give advice and perform basic preventive procedures. On the other hand, dentists are trained to diagnose underlying issues and provide treatment timely. For example, if your dentist identifies a decayed tooth, they will immediately restore it with a suitable filling material to prevent further damage. Similarly, if they observe an infection in one of your teeth, they will perform root canal treatment to save the tooth. So, dental hygienists can only perform preventive procedures, while dentists can treat active dental issues.  If you are looking for a dental practice that offers dental hygiene and specialised dental services under one roof in Rotherham, your best option is to visit Fitzwilliam Street Dental. We offer high-quality dental and dental hygiene services to our esteemed clients under one roof and at affordable rates. So, you don’t have to go to two different places for your treatment or preventive dental services. So, what are you waiting for? Book your routine dental hygienist appointment with us today, and let us take care of your entire family’s dental problems. We look forwards to serving you!   
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