Meeting the Dental Hygienist: More Than Cleaning

Up until a few years ago, there was little awareness to the role of a dental hygienist. Since then, awareness has been on the rise and dental hygienists have become an inseparable part of our lives. The patient must book an appointment in advance and plan the next one before he leaves the clinic, much like at the hair salon and beautician’s office.

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The meeting with the dental hygienist consists of 3 stages:

1. Data collections and diagnosis – The dental hygienist should be informed of your general health, medication you’re taking, dental history, surgeries or transplants and any other unusual detail requiring some precaution. The dental hygienist may also look into the patient’s dental x-rays if any exist.

The dental hygienist will point out some important points requiring attention, such as teeth mobility and damaged tissue. It is also recommended to inform the hygienist of any unusual phenomena in the mouth.

2. The treatment – after rinsing the mouth, the dental hygienist will begin cleaning the entire mouth with an ultrasonic utensil. This will be accompanied by a thorough cleaning with a scaler. The dental hygienist will polish the teeth to eliminate roughness and decrease sensitivity. This is usually accomplished with a special brush and paste and, or by spraying sodium bicarbonate to remove stains. A special polishing dental floss can complete the cleaning. The dental hygienist will decide whether fluoride should also be applied, especially in young patients.

3. The doctor’s examination – The dentist examines the teeth, but a periodontist examines the gums as well. If periodontal disease is present, the periodontist will suggest a preventative treatment, depending on the disease’s progression. Every two years the patient is required to undergo “status” x-rays to examine bone resorption. In our clinic, the doctor will perform a tissue test in the mouth, to rule out “suspicious” wounds and early detection of oral cancer. After the treatment has ended it is crucial to make a new appointment before leaving the clinic. These appointments will ensure your dental health, with no unnecessary pain and expenses.