Dental Hygiene Clinic
On behalf of the faculty,
staff, and administrators of the Department of Dental Hygiene,
thank you for visiting our web site.
Dental hygienists are
licensed health care professionals who promote oral health and
wellness. Dental hygienists educate patients regarding oral
hygiene and preventive oral care, remove soft and hard deposits
from teeth, and provide other preventive dental care.
Hygienists examine patients’ oral cavity – including the head,
neck, lips, cheeks, tongue, teeth and gums – recording the
presence of diseases or abnormalities. After assessing a
patient’s conditions, they develop a dental hygiene diagnosis.
Hygienists remove plaque,
calculus, and stains from teeth, expose and develop dental
X-rays, and apply cavity-preventive agents, such as fluorides
and pit and fissure sealants. In some states, they also
administer local anesthetics and nitrous oxide; place and carve
filling materials, temporary fillings, and periodontal
dressings; remove sutures and perform root-planing.
Hygienists may not diagnose
diseases, but they can prepare clinical and laboratory
diagnostic tests for the dentist to interpret. Hygienists may
also work chairside with the dentist during treatment.
Flexible scheduling is a
distinctive feature of this job. Full-time, part-time, evening,
and weekend schedules are widely available. Dentists frequently
hire hygienists to work 2 or 3 days a week, so hygienists may
hold jobs in more than one dental office.