With dentists and dental hygienists working together, patients can now receive the highest quality oral health care possible. Here are a few ways dental hygienists play a significant role in the oral health of patients.
What is a Dental Hygienist?
In modern times, the term “dental hygienist” is still used, but it originally meant dentists who specialized in oral hygiene because they didn’t have the training or experience needed for surgery. Although some dentists have attempted to rename dental hygienists as “dental therapists” or “dental assistants,” the antiquated term has now become part of contemporary vocabulary.
In dental offices, dental hygienists provide quality patient care. Aside from helping patients feel relaxed and comfortable with their bedside manners, they also provide basic dentistry services such as cleaning teeth, administering oral care, and preparing patients for oral surgery procedures.
Additionally, dental hygienists conduct patient screening procedures, such as radiographs; instruct patients on how to care for their teeth effectively; apply preventive materials like fluoride and sealants, and educate patients on the importance of healthy nutrition.
The Basic Duties of a Dental Hygienist
The dental hygienist is the backbone of the dental team. They are responsible for a dental cleaning and performing other tasks related to oral hygiene. In dental offices, this profession is becoming increasingly popular as it provides a variety of services for patients, from basic to complex.
A dental hygienist can perform a variety of essential dental work.
For instance, this healthcare professional:
* Cleans gums and teeth
* Removes stains and plaque
* Records observations about a patient’s oral health
* Provides patient education on oral hygiene
* Administers fluoride treatments
5 Benefits of Hiring Dental Hygienists
A dental hygienist can provide many benefits to a dental practice, making them indispensable.
1. They can provide care and service to enhance patient satisfaction.
2. They can improve workflow since they have a comprehensive education in dentistry and have learned invaluable oral health skills. In addition to obtaining undergraduate degrees in oral hygiene, they must also pass an exam to become licensed.
3. They can assist dentists with complex clinical work. Dentists rely on hygienists much like surgeons rely on perioperative nurses.
4. They can provide personalized care to patients. Since dental hygienists are excellent communicators, they easily build rapport with patients and provide reassurance and support during their dental visits.
5. They can assist with customer service. In addition to answering questions about appointments and procedures, they welcome patients.
How Dental Hygienists Improve Oral Health
Dental assistants are an invaluable part of the dental team for many reasons. Here, for example, are three ways a dental office can improve oral health.
1. They assist dental hygienists by cleaning teeth, taking x-rays, and answering patient questions.
2. They improve oral health by caring for a patient’s teeth and gums.
3. They educate patients about the benefits of oral health habits to keep them healthy and reduce the need for additional dental treatments.
How Dental Hygienists’ Unique Personality Traits Improve Dental Practices
Certain people are more suited to certain fields. Dental hygienists are some of the most sought-after employees in the dental field because of their unique personality traits. For instance, most people in this line of work not only have a high degree of technical proficiency but also love their job. They also enjoy meeting new patients and interacting with their coworkers.
Besides their gregarious nature, many people who train to become dental hygienists have a curious blend of high emotional intelligence as well as astute intellectual abilities.
For instance, these healthcare professionals tend to have an empathic personality and are usually highly compassionate people. They care about making sure their patients get what they need and understand why bedside manners are so crucial.
However, they are also excellent at analytical work. Their skill at analyzing data helps dental offices maintain accurate medical records. Their meticulously updated documentation streamlines workflow and helps dentists create individualized treatment plans. Patients, in turn, get to see how their treatment is progressing.
The Future of Dental Hygienists
Modern dentistry has changed significantly as technology advances. The role of dental hygienists in innovative dentistry is also likely to grow in the future. It is entirely possible that they will be hired for 3D printing to create dental appliances and prosthetics.
Currently, dentists must outsource all artificial teeth molding work to labs, but, in the future, they might be able to manufacture customized dentures or dental implants for their patients at their clinics.
Dental Hygienist’s Role in Modern Dentistry
In summary, dental hygienists improve the quality of patient care in the field of dentistry. They are responsible for preventing, diagnosing, and treating oral diseases, such as tooth decay, gum disease, and other related problems. In addition to dental cleaning to remove plaque from the teeth with instruments, they also fluoridate teeth to prevent tooth decay.
Modern dentistry has always emphasized maintaining proper oral hygiene, and hiring several dental hygienists can benefit a dental practice in the following ways:
* By providing accurate information to patients on maintaining healthy oral health and preventing disease, these professionals improve the quality of care.
* By delivering excellent customer service, educating patients about oral health habits, and performing many routine tasks competently, these professionals increase productivity and efficiency in dental offices.
* By offering online consultations, these professionals facilitate communication between the dentist and the patient.
* By creating excellent patient documentation for personalized treatment plans, these professionals ensure customer satisfaction, ensure higher levels of compliance, and improve treatment outcomes.
What to Look for When Choosing a Dental Office
Finding the most qualified dental practice in your area on denTEL will not only allow you to learn more about your dentist but also about the professional backgrounds of key staff members who play a vital role in patient care and customer service.