Inside the Dentist Office: The Life of a Dental Hygienist

One of the most important members of the staff at a dentist’s office is the dental hygienist. You might wonder what dental hygienists do? Well, without the help of the dental hygienist, the dentist could not provide the same level of excellent care to their patients. There are many things that a hygienist is responsible for at the dental office. Here is a look at the typical day in the life of a dental hygienist.

Prepping for the Day
A dental hygienist’s typical day begins 30 minutes before the first patient is scheduled to arrive. The hygienist will use this time to go over the charts of all the patients that have appointments for the day. This allows the hygienist to be prepared for any special circumstances that the day’s cases will present.
Prepping the Room
Before the first patient arrives, the dental hygienist must prepare the examination room for treating patients. The hygienist must ensure that all the equipment is present and sterilized. All the surfaces in the room must be disinfected as well.
Taking Care of Patients
One of the reasons that the dental hygienist is one of the most important members of the staff is because of their role in welcoming patients. Many people are anxious about going to the dentist. This is especially true of young children. The hygienist must be a calming, friendly presence that helps to put patients at ease. This is an incredibly valuable skill. A dental hygienist with a good chair side manner will put relax patients and make the dentist’s life a lot easier.
Treating Patients
Dental hygienists actually do a huge portion of the treatment of patients. They will perform X-rays on patients if they are needed. The hygienist typically also is the member of the staff who cleans the teeth of the patients.
In addition to treating patients, hygienists have an important role in instructing their patients on proper oral hygiene. They show patients how to brush their teeth and floss correctly to keep their teeth and gums as healthy as possible.
Once the patient has been treated, the hygienist will then clean the room and prep it for the next patient. This cycle is repeated usually about nine times a day, but on busy days a hygienist may see up to 12 patients.
This is the typical day in the life of a dental hygienist. Becoming a dental hygienist is a rewarding career. They have to be good with people and very knowledgeable about dentistry.