L&R Dental

What does a dental hygienist do?

June 8, 2021
Posted By: LR Dental
A young man is smiling after a checkup at his dental hygienist

Nothing beats the refreshed, just-cleaned feeling you have after your visit to the dental hygienist. But what does a dental hygienist do? That's a good question that we’ll be answering here!


What is a dental hygienist?

Put simply, a dental hygienist is a trained professional who can carry out a range of treatments and therapies for your teeth – from polishing your teeth for that smooth feeling to removing deposits from them to help your breath stay fresh, prevent teeth decay, and gum disease. 

Not only is a dental hygienist trained to treat patients, but they also educate and offer advice too. Whether it's dietary or hygiene advice that you need, they’ll help you maintain your dental routine outside of the practice.


How are dental hygienists different from dentists?

Although both dentists and hygienists work together for your oral health, there are several differences between them.

Dentists can write prescriptions, administer local anesthetics, and carry out surgical procedures.

On the other hand, dental hygienists focus primarily on helping you prevent gum disease and tooth decay and maintaining the hygiene of your mouth, gums, and teeth. They’re crucial in recognising and treating the earlier signs of gum disease.


Would like to know more about gum disease? Read our previous blog about gum disease and how to treat it.


What treatments can a dental hygienist carry out?

A dental hygienist can carry out a range of treatments and therapies for you. This includes the following:


  • Conduct a clinical examination

  • Interpret different forms of radiographs

  • Offer preventative oral care

  • Liaise with your dentist about the treatment of tooth wear and periodontal disease

  • Deep clean both above and below the gum margin

  • Manage oral diseases

  • Remove plaque, tartar, and stains from your teeth

  • Take impressions of your teeth

  • Undertake oral cancer screening

  • Offer care for dental implants


Why is it important for me to see a dental hygienist?


  1. For starters – fresh breath! At your dental hygienist appointment, you can be treated to a deep clean of your mouth, freeing it of bacteria that causes bad breath.
  2. Prevention: You shouldn’t wait for oral health problems to book an appointment with a dental hygienist. Not only will they spot issues earlier on, but it will cost a lot less long-term than having to undergo treatment. 
  3. Educate yourself: Whether it’s stress management, diet, or brushing technique, your dental hygienist will help you take the best care of your teeth.
  4. Whiter smile: Be it wine, tea, or coffee stains, you won’t be able to scrub those yellow stains off with a toothbrush. Your dental hygienist will have the tools and knowledge to bring back your natural, white teeth.


Here at L&R Dental, patients can be seen and treated by dental hygienists. If you haven’t been to the dentist for quite some time, we recommend you book an appointment for a full clinical examination. 


But, if you would prefer, you can also visit your dental hygienist separately too. Our expert and friendly dental hygienists can treat a range of gum diseases, and, if needed, can refer you to the dentist if you need further treatment.


Call our dental clinic to book an appointment with our dental hygienist today.