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Who Is a Dental Hygienist?

By: | Tags: , , | Comments: 0 | February 28th, 2018

Have you heard of a dental hygienist? If you have heard of a dental hygienist, you may have heard of it as a career, but do you know what a dental hygienist does? You may be surprised. If you have had any dental appointments, you have already come in contact with a dental hygienist and didn’t notice. A dental hygienist plays an important part of oral health care. They are a vital part of the staff at a dentist office. They are the people who make routine checkups easy for your dentist whom they work hand in hand with. Now on to the question: what does a dental hygienist do? A dental hygienist does many things such as screen patients, take x-rays or radiographs of teeth, basic teeth cleanings, intake procedures, assist with dental procedures, apply substances for tooth decay prevention, and educating patients on oral care.

You can openly talk with a dental hygienist about proper oral care, treatment of oral diseases, and even prevention of gum diseases. They are extremely knowledgeable on these topics. If they don’t have an answer to your question, they usually refer you to someone who does: your dentist, orthodontist, or dental specialist. Aside from assisting your dentists during your appointment, you can find a hygienist in the office doing research or paperwork. Do you remember the first face you saw when you walked into the dentist office? That face was more than likely the hygienist you were looking at.

The Difference Between a Dentist and Hygienist:

At times it can be hard to tell whether the person you are speaking to is your dentist or the hygienist. A hygienist does a lot of work just as your dentist does, but they contribute oral care, procedures, and treatment differently. The easiest way to tell the difference between them is by paying attention to the care you are getting and the complexity of the treatment. If general care is being provided, then you can bet your last dollar, which the person administering the care is the hygienist. General care can be defined as procedures that are not common, simple and can be done with any patient. These things can range from teeth cleaning to general education on how to take care of your teeth.

When dealing with more complicated matters, you can be sure that you are speaking to a dentist. Complicated matters are defined as diagnosing issues and providing teeth fillings. Another difference between a hygienist and a dentist is the fact that dentists undergo more schooling than a hygienist as well as education backgrounds are concerned. A hygienist does have a good amount of schooling under his or her belt, but a dentist must have more being in the position they are in. One thing they have in common is that they both required a license to have a legitimate practice.

Do you remember your experience with the hygienist now? If not, be on the lookout for the hygienist the next time you go to your dentist’s office. Got a question for the dental hygienist at Houston Cosmetic Dentistry? Call or contact by filling out the form on our site.

How to Become a Dental Hygienist:

Becoming a dental hygienist is as easy as attending college and acquiring an associate’s degree. Afterwards, you are required to obtain two years of training so that you can become a licensed hygienist. The two-year training period consists of classroom time, lab time, and clinical experience in a legitimate practice. The clinical experience may be in the form of an internship or apprenticeship that counts as an additional credit. The training period is to ensure professionalism, hands-on practice, and exceptional knowledge. Think you want to be a dental hygienist? There are currently over 230 programs that you can be trained in, and they are all accredited. There are more than 200,000 practitioners in practice today. The dental healthcare field is growing more rapidly with each passing year. If you have a passion for helping others, educating people others, and the ability to multitask dental hygienist might be the career option for you.

Fun Facts: Did you know that some hygienists are qualified to administer local anesthesia and some other things that a regular orthodontist does like sizing for braces?

Did you know that the time spent getting care from a dental hygienist is saving you money? Seeing a dentist the whole time you are at a dentist office will end up costing you more money because of their hourly rate. A hygienist takes care of the simple things to start with so that it will save you money overall.

Did you know that the practice of dental hygienist has been around for more than 100 years? The first meeting was held in 1923 by the American Dental Hygienist Association.