The fact is, however, being one means bearing bigger responsibilities that involve more than providing administrative support that an assistant is usually limited to.
Listed below are the different duties, responsibilities and qualifications of a dental hygienist:
1. A dental hygienist have completed a training course and has earned a license. In order to perform different duties for a patient’s oral care, he must have some formal training and education in dental medicine.
Most dental schools have a two-year degree program for hygienists that may include subjects like nutrition, periodontology, pharmacology and oral anatomy. This is what makes hygienist far superior than dental assistants, because they have to go to school to get proper training.
Some take a two year course and elect to proceed with getting a dental degree later on, as dental school is quite expensive.
2. Because they are licensed to perform dental duties, a hygienist can perform teeth cleaning professionally, as part of preventive care. This is one of the main duties of a dental hygienist, and some even take between 8 to 10 patients a day just to do cleaning procedures. They need to promote and encourage the correct way to do oral hygiene with patients.
3. A dental hygienist assists during oral procedures done by a dentist or an orthodontist. They can work with sealing, root canals and other treatments, such as the administration of anesthetics, with the supervision of the dentist.
This may actually be part of their training, if they intend to pursue specialization in school later on. Some clinics provide a wider range of duties to their hygienist, especially if they trust the person to perform this with precision and care.
This helps dentists and orthodontists free up their time for other, more crucial treatments with patients, since a hygienist can essentially perform the procedures basics to oral care.
4. Dental hygienists can also advance their knowledge and harness their expertise when they continue to undergo training for special procedures relating to cosmetic dentistry.
Although this is quite rare, hygienists can perform teeth alignment procedures, provided that they have undergone proper training and certification for this. The bright side to this actually benefits the patients as dental hygienists charge lower than orthodontists when it comes to cosmetic procedures.
5. Dental hygienists earn less than dentists and orthodontists. But with their training and knowledge, the do earn more than a regular clinic assistant. These days, however, it is not common to find an assistant, a hygienists and a dentist working in one clinic, since usually, many dentists are also hygienists, and some assistants are too.
Braces cleaning may sometimes be performed by a dental hygienist, especially when there are no adjustments and other treatments needed from the orthodontist. In fact, it is actually a good idea to visit a hygienist if you are a brace-wearer for maintence.
If you’re interested in becoming a dental hygienist or already are one and want some great tips, visit www.tipsfordentalhygienists.com.