If you have any type of toothache or a problem with your oral cavity, now is a good time to see your dental hygienist. While your dental hygienist can identify possible problems with your teeth and gums, you can't make an official diagnosis in which your dentist intervenes. Your appointment with a dental hygienist may coincide with treatments provided by your general dentist. Often, your dentist may even refer you to a hygienist so that the two professionals can work together to ensure that your mouth is generally healthy.
When you go to the dentist, the first person you go to is usually the dental hygienist. Just as there are doctors and nurses in hospitals, in dental offices there are dentists and dental hygienists. Understanding what each person is doing can help you feel more comfortable during your next appointment. We look at the difference between the dentist and the dental hygienist and what you should expect from both.
When you go to the dentist every six months, you'll spend most of your appointment time with a hygienist. But, ultimately, the dentist is the one who dictates your treatment. Therefore, it makes sense to have face-to-face time with the person who will make treatment recommendations and decisions. After completing a bachelor's degree program, an aspiring hygienist must pass an exam to obtain a license to practice in their state.
Dental hygienists can perform some tasks similar to those of a dentist to help evaluate and treat oral diseases. A hygienist, on the other hand, is there to maintain preventive care and help you avoid any major problems. At your dental cleaning appointment, your hygienist will work with you to provide a cleaning program that fits the needs of your mouth and will explain the importance of maintaining oral health at home. But generally, the amount of training a person needs to become a hygienist is less than the training required to be a dentist.
Dental hygienists do much of their work independently, only with the general supervision of a licensed dentist. The hygienist will also discuss ways to care for your teeth and general health at home, and offer advice on ways to brush and floss your teeth, and on the foods you should avoid or eat for a healthy mouth. As a dental hygienist, I graduated with a degree in oral health that trains me as a dental hygiene professional responsible for caring for the oral health of my patients. Therefore, it's quite common for dental hygienists to perform many preventive dental procedures in an office, such as cleaning teeth, screening patients for oral diseases, and other preventive dental care.