What is a Dental Hygienist?

Dental hygienist jobs involve preventative work. They evaluate patients’ dental health, focusing on finding and treating any gum diseases. Dental hygienists are specialists 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 style.

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 qualified, registered dental professionals.


What Does a Dental Hygienist Do? 

A routine dental appointment usually consists of the same stages. Your dentist 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. They will then examine each tooth individually. This is known as a basic periodontal examination. This consists of your hygienist examining your teeth to test how it will go under the gum next to each of your teeth. Each sextant of your mouth will receive a score. Your mouth is split into 6 sections; upper right, upper front, upper left, lower right, lower front and lower left.

The scores for each section of your mouth are determined as follows:

  1. No pockets over 3.5 mm, no calculus, no bleeding after probing
  2.  No pockets over 3.5 mm, no calculus, but bleeding after probing
  3.  No pockets over 3.5 mm, but some calculus
  4.  Probing depth 3.5 mm – 5.5 mm
  5.  Probing depth over 5.5 mm

Your score will help your hygienist determine the progress of your dental health and oral health. By comparing scores from previous appointments, they can see whether your oral health is improving or declining.

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 aesthetic 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 

Most dental hygienists perform oral health assessments. Here they will evaluate the current health of your teeth and gums. Dental hygienists also expose, process and interpret dental radiographs, remove calculus and stain from the teeth, remove plaque, apply preventative materials such as sealants and fluoride, guide patients on optimal oral health and teach patients oral hygiene techniques. Your dental hygienist will also be able to provide advice on improving your oral hygiene, and possible treatment. This may include repeat appointments, surgical techniques or a detailed clean 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 usually, dental hygienists will have both this and a hygiene qualification. They will be trained at a dental school to complete many dental procedures including most types of fillings. A lot of practices now have Dental Therapists performing some of the more routine tasks freeing up the dentists to complete more specialist work.


Is Dental Hygiene Worth It? 

Dental hygiene appointments are crucial for maintaining good oral and dental health. Your dental hygienist can clean your teeth better than you can. 90% of people do not brush or floss their teeth correctly. Teeth 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 should spend a lot of their time educating people in the correct way 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

How Is Staining Removed From Teeth? 

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.

Is it Painful to Get Your Teeth Cleaned? 

Getting your teeth cleaned professionally should be a comfortable experience. Some methods and technologies can be used to prevent pain. If there is any gum disease present, then a scale and polish may become slightly uncomfortable. Levels of pain will depend on any disease present or the condition of the individual’s mouth and teeth. If for any reason your treatment becomes uncomfortable, you should let your dentist or hygienist know. 

How Often Should You Get Your Teeth Professionally Cleaned? 

We recommend getting your teeth professionally cleaned anytime between every 3 months to once a year depending on your current oral and dental hygiene. Every person is different, every mouth is different so it depends on how healthy or unhealthy your mouth is and how well you are doing with your home care. Bleeding gums when brushing flossing or eating or pain in the teeth are a good sign that it might be time to book a hygiene appointment.

Can Tartar be Removed From Teeth? 

Yes, but only by trained professionals. Tartar needs to be removed with specialist instrumentation and equipment. A deep clean of your teeth should remove all built-up tartar.

What Type of Toothbrush Works Best? Manual or Electric? 

There has been much debate over the best type of toothbrush. We recommend using an electric toothbrush as they are more reliable to give an effective clean.




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