What does a Dental Hygienist do?
Clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop x rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.
- Clean calcareous deposits, accretions, and stains from teeth and beneath margins of gums, using dental instruments.
- Feel and visually examine gums for sores and signs of disease.
- Chart conditions of decay and disease for diagnosis and treatment by dentist.
- Feel lymph nodes under patient's chin to detect swelling or tenderness that could indicate presence of oral cancer.
- Apply fluorides or other cavity preventing agents to arrest dental decay.
- Examine gums, using probes, to locate periodontal recessed gums and signs of gum disease.
- Expose and develop x-ray film.
- Remove excess cement from coronal surfaces of teeth.
- Make impressions for study casts.
- Administer local anesthetic agents.
- Conduct dental health clinics for community groups to augment services of dentist.
- Remove sutures and dressings.
- Place and remove rubber dams, matrices, and temporary restorations.
- Record and review patient medical histories.
- Provide clinical services or health education to improve and maintain the oral health of patients or the general public.
- Maintain dental equipment and sharpen and sterilize dental instruments.
- Maintain patient recall system.