Dental hygienists are licensed health professionals who focus on the prevention and treatment of diseases of the mouth and gums.
Dental hygienists may work independently or under the direction of dentists and oral surgeons in private dental offices, schools, public health clinics, hospitals, managed care organizations, correctional institutions, and nursing homes. Each province has specific regulations controlling the range of services dental hygienists can perform. Services may include:
Providing oral health care assessments that include reviewing individual health histories, dental charting, and oral cancer screening.
Taking and processing dental X-rays.
Cleaning the teeth by removing plaque and calculus (tartar) from above and below the gum line.
Applying cavity-preventing solutions, such as fluorides and sealants, to the teeth.
Teaching proper oral hygiene and plaque control techniques.
Medical Review:Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Steven K. Patterson, BS, DDS, MPH - Dentistry