Dental Hygiene Services
A registered dental hygienist (RDH) is a licensed dental professional who specializes in preventive oral health, typically focusing on techniques in oral hygiene. They have both clinical and health promotional responsibilities. Clinically they help to treat and prevent periodontal (gum) disease by scaling and polishing teeth, applying prophylactic and antimicrobial materials, they take dental radiographs and undertake monitoring and screening procedures. Dental hygienists are also permitted to apply topical fluorides and fissure sealants in order to reduce dental caries (tooth decay). Their health promotional role includes motivating and encouraging individuals and groups in oral health practises, including oral hygiene and dietary advice.
Some dentists will do this type of work. However, many now realise that the hygienist has been specially trained to carry out this work and can spend longer with you. They are also expert at teaching you how to look after your teeth and gums. Often the hygienist will spend a number of appointments getting the gums healthy ready for the dentist to restore the teeth.