What do Dental Hygienists do?
Perform oral health care assessments including reviewing patients’ health history, dental and periodontal (gum) charting, oral cancer screening
Expose, process and interpret dental X-rays
Remove plaque and tartar (soft and hard deposits) from above and below the gum line
Apply cavity-preventive agents like fluorides and sealants to the teeth
Teach patients proper oral hygiene to maintain good oral health
Counsel patients about plaque control and develop at-home oral hygiene programs
Can dental hygienists practice on their own?
The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) defines direct access as the ability of a dental hygienist to initiate treatment based on their assessment of a patient’s needs without the specific authorization of a dentist, treat the patient without the presence of a dentist, and maintain a provider-patient relationship
Unsupervised Practice: There is no requirement that a dentist must authorize or supervise most dental hygiene services. Dental hygienist may also own a dental hygiene practice. Requirements: None. *Provider Services: Dental hygienist can provide dental hygiene diagnosis, radiographs, remove deposits, accretions, and stains, curettage without anesthesia, apply fluorides and other recognized preventive agents, topical anesthetic, oral inspection and charting