The technical career of dental hygienist, much like nursing, is a very high in demand position. The dental hygienist is a multifaceted and a highly skilled trained position. A dental hygienist must not only be able to multitask, but also to pay special attention to patients as well as detail.
This technical position starts at the very base of procedures.
- This includes preparation of the treatment room for the patient’s specific needs, whether it’s a routine cleaning or a root canal.
- Dental hygienists must also maintain the dental equipment; this includes tasks such as sterilizing and sharpening. X-ray machines and other technical equipment must be maintained along with functional knowledge and application of the machines.
- Dental hygienists are expected to be able to use and maintain this important equipment. From there a dental hygienist is expected to be able to meet with patients initially and be able to establish and/or continue a professional relationship with the patient.
- Dental hygienists are expected to effectively welcome, comfort, seat and prepare the patient for their visit. Within this process with the patient, dental hygienists are expected to be knowledgeable and competent.
- Questions about the procedure may arise and dental hygienists must be able to effectively communicate and provide information regarding the steps and effects of the patient’s procedure.
- Upon receiving the patient, the dental hygienist is expected to professionally and effectively evaluate the patient’s specific needs.
- A professional and concise record will need to be kept for each patient. The patient’s record is expected to be documented in such a way that not only can be understood by the patient’s current dentist but quite possibly future dentists.
- A dental hygienist will carefully inspect and document the oral cavity while meticulously cleaning each tooth.
- The dental hygienist will pay careful attention to each to the tooth by not only cleaning but removing stains that reach even below the gum line.
- In the unfortunate event of a cavity, it is the dental hygienist’s duty to apply fluoride and other cavities- hindering chemicals.
- Bridges and crowns are handled with special care with a dental hygienist. Inspection of the oral cavity includes much more than just the teeth. The entire mouth is up for inspection when a dental hygienist is involved.
- Dental hygienists are highly trained in the detection of oral diseases, including screening patients for oral cancer. With a skilled eye, precise use of instruments and sense of feel, dental hygienists will examine the oral cavity.
- It is of chief most importance that the dental hygienist provides an accurate reading of gum recession or overgrowth. Gum disease is a serious yet treatable disease and it is up to the dental hygienist to diagnose.
- Like most dental complications, prevention is key. It is up to the dental hygienist to convey not only the importance of proper dental hygiene but also to be able to teach the proper techniques to the patients.
Dental hygienists play many roles in the operation of a dentist’s office. Dental hygienists are in large part who patients will interact with the most. Highly educated, proficient and dedicated dental hygienists are needed to create a professional and courteous atmosphere for patients.