Dental Tips Blog

Nov
5

Who Is Cleaning My Teeth?

When you visit your Roswell Dentists twice each year for a cleaning, you’re used to one of the friendly team members cleaning your teeth before you have an exam by the dentist. What some people don’t realize though, is the difference between the person cleaning your teeth, and the other team in the back of the office. This person is a Registered Dental Hygienist, and has quite a different education and training background than some of the other people that care for you while you’re in the office.

A Dental Hygienist has either a bachelor or associate’s degree in dental hygiene, with no less than 2 years of formal dental hygiene education and clinical training. Hygienists specialize in preventive oral health care as well as treating periodontal disease through clinical methods. Behind the dentist, your hygienist is the only other dental care provider that can perform cleanings, prophylactic procedures and periodontal treatments in the dental office. Most states also allow them to administer local anesthetics. Every hygienist must complete a written and clinical national board exam to be able to have a license to practice in their state, renewing their license annually by completing the necessary hourly requirements of continuing educational training.

Including in their general health education is also the focalized training of physiology, anatomy, and pathology of the teeth, head and neck. A licensed dental hygienist is trained not only to screen for dental related diseases, but also pathologies such as cancer in the tissues of the head and neck as well as recognizing signs of systemic disease conditions.

The next time you sit down to have your teeth cleaned, know that you’re in the hands of a professional health care expert that not only cleans your teeth, but has the knowledge behind the skills to keep you smiling for years to come.

Posted on behalf of Mitzi Morris, DMD

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