Your dentist plays an essential role in the continued good health of your teeth and gums. However, your dentist is not the only dental professional involved in your professional oral health care. Although rarely acknowledged with the same grace as dentists, dental hygienists are also integral to your dental health. To celebrate the often unsung heroes of the profession, Polk City dentist Dr. Ryan Hussong explains the role of a dental hygienist and some of the duties they perform to help keep your smile strong, healthy, and beautiful.
What Does a Dental Hygienist Do?
A dental hygienist’s job encompasses a broad range of duties, from pre-procedure care to in-office treatment and post-procedure care. Although dental hygienists are not technically dentists, they are typically responsible for inspecting your teeth and gums for signs of infection and disease during your routine dental checkup and cleaning. Taking X-rays is among a hygienist’s duties, and while dental hygienists do not diagnose dental disease, they prepare the diagnostic tests for your dentist to interpret.
Hygienists also remove dental plaque and its calcified (hardened) cousin, tartar from the surfaces of your teeth and under your gum line, reducing your risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease, and other troublesome dental health issues. If your gums require it, your dental hygienist may also perform periodontal therapy to reverse gingivitis or treat moderate gum disease. Scaling and root planing involves carefully removing tartar, plaque, and debris from underneath your gum line, then smoothing your tooth roots’ surfaces to help prevent bacteria from clinging to them.
Excellent Dental Care in Polk City
Aside from their duties as dental care professionals, hygienists also take on an academic role by educating patients about their oral health and how to properly care for it. To learn more, visit our Polk City dentists office by calling Cornerstone Dental at (515) 984-6001. We serve families from Des Moines, Polk City, Ames, Ankeny, Alleman, Bondurant, Grimes, Johnston, and the surrounding communities.