Dental hygienists are licensed health care professionals who promote oral health and wellness. Dental hygienists educate patients, regarding oral hygiene and preventive oral care.
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.
Dental Hygiene Academic Programs