Dental Hygiene

What is a Dental Hygienist?  The American Dental Association defines a Dental Hygienist as an oral health care professional who is responsible for preventing and treating oral diseases.  Dental Hygienists are required to be licensed by the state in which they practice. This requires that they graduate from a college Dental Hygiene program and pass national and state boards.  

Dental Hygienists are an integral part of dentist-led offices.  Dental Hygienists perform many services within a dental practice.  Some of these services include: Removing calculus (tartar) and plaque from teeth, taking and developing radiographs (x-rays), screening patients, keeping records, and teaching patients oral hygiene practices to maintain oral health.

Removing calculus (tartar) and plaque can be achieved many ways.  Our office uses two methods, hand scaling and through the use of a Newtron tooth scaler.  The objective for periodontal scaling and root planing is to remove dental plaque and calculus (tartar), which house bacteria that release toxins which cause inflammation to the gum tissue and surrounding bone. ... A prophylaxis refers to scaling and polishing of the teeth in order to prevent oral diseases.

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Hand Scaling

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Newtron tooth scaler

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X-rays, also known as radiographs, are an essential part of any dental care treatment plan. ... An extraoral X-ray is taken outside of the mouth. Intraoral X-rays are the most common type of radiograph taken in dentistry. They give a high level of detail of the tooth, bone and supporting tissues of the mouth. These allow the dental professional to determine if there are problems with the teeth that are not apparent to the naked eye.

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Proper oral care by the patient is most important in the fight against oral heath issues.

Proper flossing removes plaque and food particles in places where a toothbrush cannot easily reach — under the gumline and between your teeth. Because plaque build-up can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, daily flossing is highly recommended.