Dental hygienists are mid-level dental practitioners (similar to a Registered Nurse) who are licensed to provide therapeutic oral health services and screen for disease. You’ll see them during your “cleaning” appointments, even though they perform far more than just a cleaning.
During your appointment with a dental hygienist you’ll be able to receive services such as:
• Periodontal evaluation
• Oral cancer screening
• Medical screening
• Soft tissue laser therapy for gum disease and cold sores
• Local anesthetic, prior to your dental work
• Periodontal therapy
• Oral hygiene instruction
• Nutritional counseling
• Radiographs (X-rays)
• Sealant placement
• Desensitizing treatments
• Sedation monitoring
In school (hygienists hold an Associate or Bachelors degree) they are also trained to recognize the oral signs and symptoms of systemic health conditions and diseases.