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Can a Hygienist Clean Teeth Without a Dentist Present?

Posted on 4/15/2024 by Weo Admin
A Close up of woman smilingA dental hygienist can clean teeth without the physical presence of a dentist if the dentist authorizes them to. However, there are legal risks involved.

What Do Dental Hygienists Do?

Dental hygienists are assistants who help dentists perform important dental duties. Hygienists enhance patient health and well-being and are an important part of the dental hygiene puzzle. Hygienists collect patient health history, conduct preliminary screening of patients, conduct dental cleaning, teach patients good care, help with preventive care, and document care.

What Does the Law Say?

Dental hygienists differ from dentists mainly in terms of education and licensure. At the minimum, dental hygienists hold associate degrees in dental hygiene. After attaining this degree, one takes a board licensure examination from the state where they wish to work. After passing the examination, the hygienists are then licensed to practice.

Although laws differ across states, the dentist holds the sole discretion over hygienist conduct. The dentist has the power to authorize hygienists to clean teeth when the dentist is not physically present in the office. The dentist, however, bears responsibility for hygienist conduct since the law requires that hygienists perform under the supervision of the dentist.

How Do Hygienists Clean Teeth?

The objective of dental hygienist training is to provide dental hygiene care as opposed to treating dental issues. Dental hygienists are thus basically trained to clean teeth. They are trained to use different equipment to remove tartar and plaque from teeth and offer valuable advice on dental hygiene issues.

In some jurisdictions, dental hygienists are barred by law from opening private offices and operating independently. To see a dental hygienist, you must book an appointment with your dentist. When you get to the office, you will be assigned a dental hygienist. The hygienist will start with a physical examination of your mouth, examining teeth, gums, and all areas of concern. Then, the hygienist will clean the teeth using the same conventional methods as a dentist. After this, they will usher you to the dentist for consultation.

Closing Remarks

Schedule a dental cleaning appointment with your dentist to have a dental hygienist clean your teeth. Dental hygiene is paramount for overall dental well-being.

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Smiles of Tulsa, 6565 S. Yale Ave., Ste. 1103, Tulsa, OK 74136 ~ (918) 891-3059 ~ smilesoftulsa.com ~ 5/29/2024 ~ Tags: Preventive Dentistry Tulsa OK ~