What is the difference between a general dentist and a dental hygienist? This question is usually asked regularly. The truth is, the dental hygienist should be considered a general dentist. This is because a hygienist plays a big role in maintaining positive oral health, exactly like a general dentist would. A hygienist’s expertise is in preventative dentistry and ensures the overall care of your oral health and general health.
It can be confusing to understand what a dental hygienist does. Here are some of the more common responsibilities of a dental hygienist:
- Perform pre-medical examinations of your teeth
- Administering Dental check-ups and clean procedures and hygienic treatments, including dental repairs, cleaning stains in teeth, removing plaque and tartar and reducing cavity.
- Plan and discuss oral hygiene routines
- Apply fluoride and other topical treatments
- Perform oral cancer screenings
A hygienist appointment is not carried out like a normal dentist appointment. Here’s a breakdown of a typical dental appointment:
The Preparation Stage
Before the hygienist can even begin to work on your teeth, they must understand the state of your teeth. Your medical history is reviewed before a medical examination is performed of your teeth. This is to help the hygienist understand your condition and determine any dental problems. A medical examination involves understanding your home-oral routine, whether dental work has been undertaken in the past, and any medications you are taking.
As a patient, you must raise any issues you may have experienced with your mouth or teeth recently. The hygienist will be able to help and address them to prevent them from occurring again.
The Cleaning Process
The medical examination is now complete. It is now time to get to work on your teeth. The hygienist may first perform an oral cancer screening to ensure you’re not in danger of developing cancer. After, your teeth are then in the process of being cleaned. Any hard stains, plaque and tartar, are removed from the teeth. They will be inspected for any signs of cavity, decay and bleeding.
Finally, the professional scale-and-polish procedure begins. Scaling is important for the areas of your teeth that you cannot reach with a normal toothbrush. This reduces any bacteria forming within these areas. Polishing the teeth is more of a cosmetic treatment that helps smooth out your teeth and remove stains.
Your teeth will feel as good as new after the procedure is complete.
Final Advice and Recommendations
After the scale-and-polish is complete, expect the hygienist to offer you recommendations for positive home-oral health routines. This also includes lifestyle changes you could make to ensure your teeth remain as clean and healthy as possible.
Appointment Time and Costs
A hygienist appointment should always be booked every six months. Three months is only necessary if the medical results of your teeth determine that extra care is needed. The procedure can be split into two appointments if necessary upon agreement with the hygienist. The cost of the appointment will cost between $250 to $270.
Book your first dental appointment with Hills Dental Group today?