- Posted February 1, 2014 by
Dental Hygienists Are First Line of Defense Against Oral Diseases
Many people don't realize just how much a dental hygienist can do to help make sure they remain healthy. These dental health professionals are the first line of defense against many oral health concerns, including oral cancers. A recent article in RDH sheds light on how dental hygienists can help patients to have a full service experience while in the dental chair.
Dental hygienists, including those who attended dental hygienist schools online, can visually inspect the patient's mouth for signs of oral cancer on the uvula, soft palate, and tonsillar pillars. In just a few short seconds, the dental hygienist can see if there are any suspicious areas that should be brought to the attention of the dentist.
Another condition that a dental hygienist is usually trained to spot while in school is periodontal disease. By doing a thorough assessment and charting the results, the hygienist can help to determine if a patient is at risk of periodontal disease. Charting calculus and plaque is the starting point of discovering this disease. Probing depths, checking for gingival recession, and looking at periodontal soft tissues are other points that hygienists must check for during an assessment that can provide clues into periodontal disease.
Another important job duty for dental hygienist is to make sure that the patient knows how to properly brush and floss. Many people think they know how to do these seemingly simple tasks, but many are misinformed. As silly as it sounds, a dental hygienist who takes the time to show a patient how to properly brush and floss can help save that person from having to suffer through some oral conditions. Even an adult can be shown how to brush and floss if the lesson is done in a respectful manner that doesn't make it seem like a preschool lesson.
Because the information in the dental field is always being updated, it is important for anyone who is in the dental field take part in continuing education opportunities. These quick courses or webinars can help to let you know the latest happenings that can benefit your patients.