What is a Hygienist?
A hygienist is someone who cleans teeth, examines patients for oral conditions such as gingivitis, and provides other preventive dental care. It also educates patients on ways to improve and maintain good oral health. Almost all dental hygienists work in dental offices and work closely with dentists and dental assistants.
What does a hygienist do?
A hygienist uses many types of tools to do his job. They clean and polish teeth with hand and powered tools, as well as ultrasonic devices. In some cases, hygienists remove stains with a polishing device that sprays a combination of air, water, and baking soda. Also the use of X-ray machines to take photos to check for teeth or jaw problems.
Some other tasks of a hygienist:
- Removal of tartar, stains and plaque from the teeth.
- Application of sealants and fluorides to help protect teeth.
- Take and develop dental x-rays.
- Monitoring of patient care and treatment plans.
- Teach patients about oral hygiene, how to brush, and how to floss properly.
Hygienists help patients develop and maintain good oral health. They can explain the relationship between diet and oral health. They can also give advice to patients on how to select toothbrushes and other oral care devices.
Sometimes patients are in extreme pain or mental stress, and the hygienist must be sensitive to their emotions. Hygienists must follow specific rules and protocols to help diagnose and treat a patient. In rare cases, dental hygienists work without the direct supervision of a dentist.
Hygienists must be good at working with their hands. They usually work in rooms using very precise tools on a small part of the body. Dental hygienists must be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as bending over patients for a long time. They must also understand how to operate complex machinery, including X-ray machines and other instruments.
What is the workplace of a hygienist like?
Almost all hygienists work in offices with dentists, in clean, well-lit places. They work closely with dentists and dental assistants.