Hygienists are heroes. Everybody knows they’re the beating heart of every great dental practice. They spend quality time with patients young and old, support dentists, deep clean your teeth, and ensure every patient gets what they need. As dentists, there’s just no way we could do it without them. While you may spend more time with your hygienist at routine appointments, your dentist is the decision-maker, a trained expert ensuring every patient gets the care they need.
What Does My Dental Hygienist Do?
Ask your kiddo who their favorite person in the dentist’s office is: there’s a strong chance they’ll say the hygienist. Hygienists are licensed oral health team members who play an essential role in patient care. They’re vital to helping patients feel secure and comfortable in an environment that can be intimidating for many folks–adults and kids alike. Hygienists connect with patients and play a unique role in helping children feel at ease. These stellar team members often spend more time with patients than the dentist at routine checkups.
When we go to the dentist, the hygienist is usually the first provider we see. In addition to helping us feel welcome and comfortable, they offer essential oral healthcare, including dental screenings, cleanings to remove plaque and tartar, fluoride treatments, and sealants. Hygienists are an excellent resource for basic questions and have a wealth of knowledge about caring for your teeth at home, from oral hygiene to nutrition tips. They can show you how to skillfully manage an unruly strand of dental floss and recommend just the right toothbrush. They help keep track of your health history by maintaining charts and records. They can also take or assist with X-rays. With special training, they can administer local anesthetics and nitrous oxide. Hygienists also play an essential role in supporting dentists when performing more complex procedures.
Why Do I Need to See the Dentist Too?
We’ve established that hygienists are amazing. They do so much to create a comfortable atmosphere for patients, care for our gums, and get our teeth sparkling clean. However, they can’t take the place of your family dentist. Your dentist goes through years of medical training to provide qualified treatment for you and your family. Your dentist is the only one in the practice who can diagnose and treat dental problems, read X-rays, identify and treat cavities, perform extractions, and design and place crowns and other restorations. More and more, family dentists are also becoming experts in cosmetic procedures. Family dentists help patients achieve the smile of their dreams with professional teeth whitening. They help patients straighten their teeth with Invisalign clear aligners, avoiding the need for traditional braces and orthodontist visits. Of course, hygienists play a valuable role in assisting the dentist with these procedures. But there’s no substitute for a trained dentist. Even at a routine checkup, your dentist plays an essential role, reviewing X-rays and checking for other warning signs of potential problems.
Excellent Oral Health Care Takes a Dream Team
In a family dentistry office, the atmosphere of teamwork is the foundation of our practice. Every team member plays a vital role, from our reception and administrative staff to our beloved hygienists to our top-notch dentists who diagnose and treat. At Greenhill Family Dental Care, our hygienists are rock stars, beloved by patients and staff. Our dentists are the experts who wrap up appointments with knowledge and expertise. It’s a team effort to make patients feel secure and comfortable while providing the very best oral healthcare.