Dentist vs Dental Hygienist – What Does a Dental Hygienist Do?

Dentist vs Dental Hygienist – What Does a Dental Hygienist Do?

What Is A Dental Hygienist?

A dental hygienist’s job involves preventative work. They evaluate patients’ dental health, focusing on finding and treating gum diseases. Dental hygienists are trained in taking care of teeth and gums by removing tartar and plaque. 

Hygienists can also offer valuable advice on maintaining a healthy diet. Patients can use this advice to avoid dental issues such as tooth decay and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The main difference between a dentist and a dental hygienist is that a dental hygienist specialises in cleaning, scaling and polishing teeth. A dentist has a broader range of skills to treat and restore teeth and gums. Dental hygienists and dentists are both registered dental professionals. 


What Does a Dental Hygienist Do?

A dental hygienist will begin by completing a visual scan of your mouth, gums and teeth for any areas of concern. They will then carry out an oral cancer screening then examine each tooth individually. This is known as a basic periodontal examination. Once your basic periodontal examination is completed, your dentist will then remove any plaque from your teeth. 

Advice on improving your dental health and a possible treatment plan will then be provided. To fix severe issues with your teeth, cleaning may not be substantial. Once your teeth are in good health your dentist may suggest a smile makeover, teeth whitening or composite bonding to achieve the beautiful smile you desire. 

Dental Hygienist Procedures

a man sitting on the dental chair smiling through the mirror

Most dental hygienists perform oral health assessments. Dental hygienists process and interpret dental radiographs, remove calculus and stains from the teeth, and remove plaque. 

They also apply preventative materials such as dental sealants (plastic coatings on the surface of back teeth) and fluoride to guide patients on optimal oral health and teach patients oral hygiene techniques. This may include repeat appointments, surgical techniques or a detailed cleaning of each tooth.

Can Hygienists Do Fillings?

If your dental hygienist is trained to do so, they may complete fillings under the dentist’s advice. Dental therapy is a separate qualification, but dental hygienists usually have both this and a hygiene qualification. They will be trained to complete many dental procedures, including most fillings.

How Important Is Dental Hygiene? 

Tooth decay and gum disease are the leading causes of tooth loss. Gum disease takes years to develop and is mostly painless. It is crucial to book regular hygiene appointments to stay on top of concerns such as gum disease that can only be noticed by a trained professional. A good hygienist spends a lot of their time correctly educating patients to brush and floss. 

Dental Hygienist Appointment 

To book a hygienist appointment with a highly trained and experienced oral hygiene professional, contact Manor House Dental today! Our dentists and hygienists are excellent at what they do and have generated a wealth of success stories. Visit our smile gallery today to see our amazing results. 



 Dental Hygiene FAQ’s

Staining teeth can be caused by many things. Food and drinks such as red wine, coffee and curry are some of the main culprits. These stains are removed by hygienists with special instruments used to scrape, debride and polish away any stains. Teeth are then polished back to their natural shine.
Getting your teeth cleaned professionally should be a comfortable and painless experience. If there is any gum disease present, then a scale and polish may become slightly uncomfortable. Levels of pain will depend on any disease or the condition of the mouth and teeth. If your treatment becomes uncomfortable, you should let your dentist or hygienist know.
We recommend getting your teeth professionally cleaned anytime between every 6 months to a year. Every person is different, and every mouth is different, so it depends on how healthy or unhealthy your mouth is and how well you look after your teeth at home. Bleeding gums when brushing flossing or eating or pain in the teeth are a good indicator that it might be time to book a hygiene appointment.
Yes, but only by trained dentists. The tartar needs to be removed with specialist instrumentation and equipment. A deep clean of your teeth should remove all built-up tartar.
We recommend using an electric toothbrush as they are more reliable to give an effective clean.
It can take as little as two weeks to notice good results with proper oral hygiene and regular visits to a dentist for check ups and cleanings.

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