Preventive dentistry includes a series of services designed to reduce the likelihood of contracting oral health conditions. Oral exams, dental X-rays, teeth cleanings, fluoride treatments, and sealants are some of the most popular forms of preventive dentistry. These essential dental services are generally delivered by a professional dental hygienist.
In honor of National Dental Hygienist Week that runs from April 11th to the 17th, we’d like to celebrate our dental hygienists and all that they do.
Responsibilities of a Dental Hygienist
Dental hygienists do much more than just clean patients’ teeth. They are responsible for a series of tasks that help patients achieve better dental health and wellbeing. Hygienists also assist dentists with treatments and ensure that they have everything they need to efficiently perform procedures. Some of the most common responsibilities performed by a dental hygienist include the following:
Tracking Patient Histories
Collecting a medical and dental history prior to performing any treatment is a critical aspect of every dental visit and your Clermont dentist will want to know your risk for certain hereditary diseases and disorders. They will want to keep track of your medications to prevent medical emergencies. Dental hygienists are often tasked with asking questions about medical history, updating, and making observations in patients’ charts.
Maintaining Pristine Conditions
Dental professionals and patients may come into contact with infectious materials during their day-to-day jobs. A clean dental office can help boost patients’ impression of a practice and help ensure that everyone remains healthy. Dental hygienists, along with dental technicians and other team members, work hard to maintain a clean and sanitary work environment. This involves sterilizing dental equipment and tools, sharpening blades, and ensuring that all surfaces are properly disinfected after each patient.
Administering Dental X-Rays
Radiographs, or X-rays, allow local dentists to see your mouth in more detail. A dental X-ray can show small areas of decay between teeth, bone loss in the jaw caused by periodontal disease, decay beneath fillings, the position of teeth, abscesses, and cysts and other types of tumors. It is often the responsibility of a dental hygienist to administer dental X-rays and provide the dentist with any findings. X-rays may be taken as frequently as every six months or as infrequently as every couple of years.
Conducting Teeth Cleanings
Dental cleanings offer a wide range of benefits to patients. While patients can help keep their teeth healthy at home by brushing and flossing regularly, routine visits to the dentist are needed to remove stubborn plaque, tartar, and stains from the teeth. Having your teeth professionally cleaned can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease which can lead to premature tooth loss. Dental hygienists use tools like mirrors, scalers, and polishers to examine the teeth and gums for signs of decay or disease. Any findings are reported to your dentist in Clermont.
Providing Preventive Treatments
Dental hygienists may recommend a variety of preventive dental treatments that help to prevent tooth decay and protect teeth. Some of the most common treatments offered during routine exams and cleanings include fluoride treatments and sealants. Fluoride treatments help repair weakened tooth enamel by replenishing lost phosphate and calcium which make the teeth more resistant to decay. Sealants are often used on the back teeth to fill in fissures and create a barrier between bacteria and your teeth.
Assisting Dentists with Daily Tasks
Dentists depend heavily on their hygienists to assist with a variety of tasks each day. Dental offices can be a busy place and hygienists help ensure that everything goes smoothly and that dentists have all the materials, tools, and equipment that they need to do their job. Additionally, they provide dentists with information and findings about patients so that each patient receives the personalized treatment that they deserve.
Contact Our Clermont Family Dentistry Practice
Patients are advised to see a dental hygienist every six to 12 months for a comprehensive teeth cleaning and oral exam. For more information about what a dental hygienist does or to schedule an appointment with a dental professional, contact Hancock Village Dental today.