Dental Hygienist

Smiles Family Dental

Cosmetic Dentists & Family Dentists located in Arlington, Irving, & Flower Mound, TX

A good dental practice needs good dental hygienists, and the hygienists at Smiles Family Dental are quite simply the best. Regardless of which Smiles Family Dental location you visit, Arlington, Irving, or Flower Mound, Texas, you’ll be treated by dental hygienists that are highly skilled, incredibly knowledgeable, and extremely compassionate. If you want dental treatment from top hygienists, make an appointment today by calling the offices or using the convenient online booking tool.

Dental Hygienist Q & A

What is a dental hygienist?

A dental hygienist is a trained dental professional who works side-by-side with your dentist to help diagnose, treat, and maintain your oral health. They’re essentially the co-pilot on your journey to optimal oral health, assisting the dentist whenever necessary and even taking over the controls for particular duties and tasks.

What does a dental hygienist do?

Some of the responsibilities that dental hygienists have in guiding you towards a happier and healthier smile include:

Dental cleanings

One of the bigger duties your dental hygienist has is administering your routine teeth cleanings. By regularly deep cleaning the plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth, your dental hygienist helps you in the fight against tooth decay and gum disease

Patient screenings

Your dental hygienist is often the first person you’ll work with at the dentist’s office. When you come in for your appointment, your hygienist will conduct a preliminary screening of your mouth to check for any signs of tooth decay or gum disease. They might also take measurements of your gums to ensure that you’re not developing any pockets that could be indicative of gum disease. They’ll report their findings to your dentist, who will follow up on any concerns.

Patient education

Your dental hygienist is responsible for educating you on proper oral health habits and at-home care. Brushing and flossing are some of the most important tools you have in maintaining a healthy smile, and your hygienist will discuss proper techniques with you to ensure that you’re doing it right.

X-rays and impressions

If you’re doing any procedure that requires X-rays, or you’re simply getting them done to check up on any potential development of tooth decay, your dental hygienist is typically the person who will administer the X-rays. They also often help with taking any impressions of your mouth that you might have done for restorations such as crowns, bridges, or dentures.

Patient treatment

Dental hygienists treat patients, too! They can administer preventive treatments, such as applying fluoride and sealants to help protect your teeth against tooth decay and stop the progression of cavities, and they assist your dentist in certain surgical tasks, such as removing sutures and administering anesthesia.

What sort of training do dental hygienists need to have?

Your dental hygienist is a trained dental professional. As such, they have a number of training requirements and certifications they must meet in order to provide you with professional-grade dental care.

All states require dental hygienists to be licensed. The first step in licensing is a college degree from an institution that’s been approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). At a minimum, your dental hygienist has to have an associate’s degree, but many have bachelor’s or master’s.

After graduating from a CODA-approved program, your hygienist has to pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and a state-based clinical exam to test their knowledge on hygiene procedures, anesthesia, and restorative techniques. Once they pass and get their license, they have to renew it every 1-3 years to ensure that they’ve retained their skills and are sharp on their continuing education and knowledge of modern dental techniques.

To find your co-pilot to a healthy smile, make an appointment today with the dental professionals at Smiles Family Dental. You can call the office or book online.