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The Difference Between Your Dentist and Dental Hygienist

Have you wondered when you need a dentist or a hygienist? Although on the surface, the roles might seem similar or overlap, they do provide very different functions.

Your dentist’s role and your hygienist’s role are different, they work together and have roles that are complimentary. That’s why you would normally first see the hygienist when you get to the dentist.

So I thought we could go over what role the dentist and the hygienist play in making sure that you have a magnificent smile.

The Hygienist

The hygienist’s main mission is preventative care, they are able to work independently and provide cleaning, scaling, root planing and other preventative care therapies. They can also educate patients on best dental practices to maintain good oral health.

However, they do not conduct restorative treatment. If serious dental issues are noticed by the hygienist, they will refer you to the dentist.

The Dentist

When there’s a serious dental problem that is noticed by the hygienist, the dentist steps in as they can examine and diagnose the problem you might have. The dentist can do everything a hygienist can do and more.

Some dentists have additional training which allows them to also provide specialized treatment for certain conditions such as Periodontitis – severe gum infection. This is a condition that can only be treated by a professional periodontist, whose focus is on treating various gum diseases.

Make sure you come for your regular check-up and or cleaning. Waiting until something hurts, or waiting until a specific problem arises and only then going to the dentist should not be the norm.

Regular visits can go a long way in keeping you healthy, as well as lessening the likeliness of large issues you’ll have to deal with concerning your teeth and mouth in the future.

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