If you have ever been to see us here at Boutique Dental Care, chances are you have already met our dental hygienists.
At Boutique Dental Care, we are so lucky to have Anna and Jinous as part of our team.
However, often they are asked about their background and training.
So, how much do you really know about a dental hygienist?
Well, dental hygienists are actually highly skilled dental professionals.
At Boutique Dental Care, our dental hygienists have all completed tertiary education to be able to practice.
Dental hygienists are also registered dental healthcare practitioners and are required to be registered with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency and the Australian Dental Board. They are required to have professional indemnity insurance and maintain ongoing education by completing 60-hours of continuing professional development over a 3-year period… which is the same as dentists!
Now that all the technical stuff is out of the way, let’s see how much you really know about dental hygienists. Try answering the questions before you read the answer.
What’s a dental hygienist’s professional expertise?
Dental hygienists play a pivotal role in the dental team, as they focus on disease prevention and education. Hygienists work closely with the dentist to help deliver care tailored to your needs.
That is why when you see the hygienist, you still see your dentist!
What type of education and information can a dental hygienist give you?
A hygienist can advise and show you all the best ways to care for your mouth, from which toothpaste to use to the most effective ways to clean between your teeth.
Hygienists can also discuss with you your treatment plan and treatment options that your dentist may have recommended. But because oral health and general health is so intricately connected, they can also educate you on how the two interact with each other.
What does a day of a dental hygienist typically look like?
Most people assume that dental hygienists just clean teeth all day, and while they do most of the professional cleans in our practice, they also do far more than that!
No two days are ever the same for a dental hygienist, as they can:
- Assess the state of your gum and oral health
- Remove calculus (tartar), plaque, and stains from your teeth
- Perform root surface debridement to assist in the management of gum (gingivitis) and bone disease (periodontist)
- Polish your teeth
- Give tailored oral hygiene advice
- Provide Oral cancer and soft tissue screening
- Take dental radiographs (x-rays)
- Apply high fluoride treatments
- Administer and perform teeth whitening (bleaching) treatments
- Take dental impressions and models
- Do fissure sealants to protect teeth
- Provide dental health education and counselling, including for smoking cessation, diet and nutrition, and disease prevention and management
While this is a list of the few things that our hygienists do each day, they bring a lot more to the team. And at Boutique Dental Care, we wouldn’t be complete without them!
Can a dental hygienist give injections?
Yes, they can! Like a dentist, a hygienist can give local anaesthetic injections.
Some patients prefer to have anaesthetic before a clean to make it more comfortable for them, especially, if they are having a deep clean, to help in the management of gum and bone disease.
Can a dental hygienist have any other qualifications?
Yes, some dental hygienists are dual trained!
This means that they have studied to be a dental therapist as well. Often, though, if a dental hygienist is dually-trained, they are referred to as an oral health therapist.
Being an oral health therapist means that they are able to practice other aspects of dentistry, which is dependent on their scope of practice, while still performing the role of a dental hygienist. For example, an oral health therapist can do fillings and extractions too!
At Boutique Dental Care, Jinous is actually an oral health therapist!
What are the best qualities of a dental hygienist?
Generally, at Boutique Dental Care, we find that dental hygienists are very friendly, caring and compassionate.
They help put the most nervous and dentally-anxious patient at ease.
Hygienists seem to have a special way of being able to just talk to people. And people often quickly build rapport with them… Maybe it is also because they aren’t the ones doing the drilling!
What is a dental hygienists favourite saying?
“You only need to floss the teeth you want to keep!”
This is as cheesy as it sounds… and hygienists like it because it’s true!
You see, cleaning your teeth does not just help to reduce your risk of dental decay, it also helps to keep your gums and bone healthy. Which is really important if you want to keep your teeth.
If the gum and bone are not healthy, they can start to recede and eventually be lost. This means that the foundations for your teeth are compromised, and eventually your teeth may start to become wobbly or need to be extracted.
So, how well do you now know about dental hygienists?
Hopefully by now pretty well!
But if you have any other questions, just ask next time you are in or you can give the team at Boutique Dental Care a call at (02) 9054 5281.
They say teamwork makes the dream work and
at Boutique Dental Care, we couldn’t agree more.
By having a great team which works together, we ensure
that you always receive the highest level of care every time you come to see us.
The next time you are due for your routine dental check-up and clean,
make sure you book in to see Anna and Jinous!
Want to know more? Then have a look at the links below:
Australian Dental Association. Dental Hygienist. 2019. URL: ‘https://www.ada.org.au/Careers/Dental-Team/Hygenist’. Accessed 20 December 2019.
Dental Hygienist Association of Australia. The role of a dental hygienist. 2017. URL: ‘https://dhaa.info/DHAA_Web/Your-Oral-Health/Role-Hygienist.aspx’. Accessed 20 December 2019.