A dental hygienist carries out preventive dental checks and provides support and advice with regard to oral hygiene and oral care.
Dental care and oral hygiene include brushing your teeth more than twice a day and going to the dentist every six months. More and more people nowadays also visit a dental hygienist. They often do this to support their dental hygiene and to supplement their half-yearly dental appointment.
A dental hygienist usually works at a dental practice so that the dentist can refer you directly if necessary. In addition, it is becoming increasingly common for a dental hygienist to start a practice himself. There are therefore plenty of choices in this area to select a good dental hygienist. A dental hygienist offers help and treatments in the prevention of gum disease, gum disease and the development of cavities, and is also certified to perform minor procedures. A large number of tasks in the field of oral care can, therefore, be performed by a dental hygienist.
History of dental hygienist
During the late 1800s, methods for the prevention of dental disease became popular among dentist and dental nurses, with dentist being educated on how to carry out routine prophylaxis therapy in the fight to combat oral diseases. In the same period, D. D. Smith of Philadelphia showed the methods of prophylactic to the patients and his colleagues and the approval of his idea became very popular. During the year 1898 Smith did a talk on his periodic oral prophylaxis idea, which asks patients to pay regular visits for prophylactic treatment and a group gathering to educate them on oral home care.
In 1906 one of his students Alfred C. Fones developed an interest into Smith’s theories and started to tutor his cousin, Irene Newman, to work as an apprentice, scaling and polishing teeth as well as providing instructions to the patients on keeping their mouths clean with daily home care practices. She later became recognized as the first dental hygienist.
The phrase “Dental Hygienist” was formed in 1913 and the first school for dental hygienists was opened in Connecticut by Alfred Fones.
Difference between dentist and dental hygienist
During your last visit to the dentist, you may have noticed the absence of it, except at the very end. Indeed, the majority of your routine appointment at the dentist is actually spent in the company of the dental hygienist. It is to explain the difference between these two health professionals.
The dental hygienist
The dental hygienist, as his name suggests, deals with all matters relating to the maintenance of health and hygiene of the teeth. He answers questions from patients about brushing or flossing. In addition, the dental hygienist can establish a prevention program following an examination of your teeth and gums. It explains the steps you can take to maintain or improve your oral health. Also, under the supervision of the dentist, the dental hygienist can advise patients to help prevent oral infections. The dentist can also delegate some of his tasks.
The role of the dentist goes further than that of the dental hygienist. Indeed, the dentist is the one who performs an operation such as the extraction of a decayed tooth or the restoration of a damaged tooth. The dentist can also perform minor dental surgeries such as remove a decay or repair a tooth. When the procedures are more complex, the dentist will refer you to the right specialist (orthodontist, prosthodontist, oral surgeon, etc.).
Then, when a patient requires a dental prosthesis, it is the dentist who takes the fingerprints of the teeth and measures to tailor the prosthesis. He will also be responsible for making the fit in the patient’s mouth.
Finally, a dentist can administer anesthetics and write prescriptions for antibiotics or other medications just like a doctor.