What is Dental Hygiene?
Dental hygiene is a vital health service component of dentistry and emphasizes oral health and the prevention of oral disease. Most dental hygienists are employed in private dental offices.
The hygienist's main function is to provide dental health education, home care instruction, and diet/nutritional counseling.
Dental hygiene services include performing oral prophylaxis, scaling and polishing of the patient's teeth to remove soft and hard deposits; dental charting and oral examinations; exposing and processing radiographs; applying fluoride treatments and sealants; and making preliminary impressions for study models.
A dental hygienist should possess fine-motor skills and eye-hand coordination. Dental hygienists should be able to effectively communicate with individuals, both one-on-one and during small group interactions.
Many states, including the State of Ohio, permit hygienists to administer local anesthesia and nitrous oxide sedation.