Coming Clean About Dental Hygienists
Once you realize the role of the dental hygienist, you can appreciate all they do to keep you smiling. Teeth cleaning—removing plaque and tartar and polishing teeth to remove stains and restore the teeth’s shine—is the specialty of a dental hygienist. But in addition to teeth cleaning, a dental hygienist performs thorough examinations to detect any signs of gum disease and tooth decay, and take X-rays to check for dental problems with the teeth and jaw. While the dental hygienist may specialize in teeth cleaning, they really do so much more to help prevent dental health problems.
It takes compassion to be a dental hygienist—they must be sensitive to the anxiety and fear some people experience when they’re at the dentist. They need stamina to lean over patients for hours. They must have manual dexterity to perform teeth cleaning and other dental procedures. And they must possess attention to detail and strong interpersonal skills to communicate with patients.
A dental hygienist needs special training. Private dental practices require that a dental hygienist have at least an associate’s degree or certificate in dental hygiene. A bachelor’s degree or master’s degree is typically needed for teaching, research, or clinical practice in public health programs. All states require dental hygienists to be licensed, but each state’s requirements vary.
The dental hygienist field is expected to grow by nearly 40% between 2010 and 2020, which is much faster than the average for other occupations. This is because ongoing research that links oral health with overall well-being will increase the need for the preventative care that a dental hygienist provides. Demand will also be driven by the aging baby boomers—whose wish to keep more of their original teeth than previous generations—will require preventative maintenance.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in Allentown, call Gentle Dental of Allentown today at (610) 616-3593 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Allentown. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Allentown, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of Allentown.