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Brush Up On the Facts About Dental Hygienists
Dental hygienists are the unsung heroes of dental care. Working with your dentist in Philadelphia, these dental professionals specialize in teeth cleaning, but they really do so much more to protect you from and prevent dental health problems.
Dental hygienists make prevention a priority, so besides teeth cleaning, they give thorough examinations to detect signs of dental problems like gum disease and tooth decay. They often take X-rays to check for concerns with the jaw and teeth at the deepest levels.
Since teeth cleaning is their specialty, dental hygienists focus on removing plaque and tartar from every crevice of the teeth and gums. They also carefully polish teeth to remove stains and restore the enamel’s natural luster.
Another prime part of the role of a dental hygienist is education. Dental hygienists provide information and insight on proper dental care practices. They help you develop and maintain good dental health habits in a variety of ways, from recommending the right dental tools to warning you about the foods and drinks that cause dental damage.
It takes a special kind of person to be a dental hygienist. It takes compassion to be sensitive to the fear or discomfort experienced by some when they visit the dentist. It takes attention to detail and manual dexterity to perform the procedures in diagnosis and treatment. It takes stamina to spend hours leaning over many patients, and it takes strong interpersonal skills to relate and communicate with patients and co-workers.
In addition to having special traits, a dental hygienist needs special training. All states require dental hygienists to be licensed but the requirements vary by state. Private dental practices demand a minimum of an associate’s degree or certificate in dental hygiene. Yet a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree is typically needed for teaching, research, or clinical practice in public health programs.
The future looks bright for dental hygienists. In fact, the dental hygienist career field is expected to grow by 38 percent between 2010 and 2020. This is much faster than the average for all occupations for a variety of reasons. First, ongoing research linking oral health with general wellness will increase the need for the preventative care that a dental hygienist provides. Demand will also be driven by new technologies for diagnosing oral health problems, as well as the aging baby boomer population whose desire to keep more of their original teeth than previous generations will require preventative maintenance and treatment.
Once you realize the role and responsibilities of a dental hygienist, you can appreciate all they do to keep you smiling.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in Philadelphia, call Gentle Dental of Pennsylvania today at or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental of Pennsylvania offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Philadelphia. With 8 affiliated practices in the Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Pennsylvania, 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 Pennsylvania.