When you visit Oval Dental your friendly Flower Mound Dentist for dental health maintenance, you are actually going to spend more time with a dental hygienist. These dental “nurses” perform much of what a dentist does, assisting them as a teammate in your dental health.
When you go to dentists twice a year for regular cleanings and checkups, it’s not actually he or she that does the bulk of the work. Usually, when you make your appointment, you are actually meeting with a dental hygienist and not a doctor. It could be said that they are similar to nurse practitioners in a doctor’s office, performing all the necessary preparations for a visit from the doctor himself.
In general, dental hygienists do a series of check-up tasks or a general oral health care assessment to get you ready for a dental exam by your dentist. This includes what you’d expect plus some other things maybe you didn’t. Of course a hygienist cleans your teeth; this is their primary function. They remove the plaque and tartar build up that your regular daily maintenance couldn’t get since the hygienists will clean with special instruments to address your teeth and gum line. They treat your teeth with special substances like fluoride to protect your teeth. Other common tasks include taking x-ray photos of your teeth.
A dental hygienist is the first person to screen for oral health problems as well. After he or she has performed either an oral cancer screening or checked and evaluated you for gum disease or other health problems, they will then discuss these findings with your dentist before they see you. It gives dentists a platform for what they’re looking for, giving them the proper background information in order to look further into your ailment. It’s very important that dentists and hygienists are dental “teammates” for your oral health.
Dental hygienists can also serve as assistants during dental surgery with dentists. They are trained in local anesthesia or nitrous oxide analgesia, two ways of putting a patient under for surgery. These methods do not put patients completely under. In fact, local anesthesia is a drug that temporarily paralyzes areas of the mouth so that you don’t feel what’s happening. That way, dentists can remove a tooth or put in a dental implant without you going under sedation. It is a safe and effective method for many common oral surgery procedures.