Role of a Dental Hygienist

Here we explain the role of a dental hygienist and why the dentist doesn’t do all the procedures.

Uniform Colours

If you are an existing patient at Carillon Dental Care, you will likely be familiar with the fact that some of the clinicians wear blue and some wear red. Our practice principal and owner Mohammed Kaderbhai and our specialists, Mark Lester and Gurms Raja, wear grey or black).

What’s the Difference?

So, the difference between us and why do patients see various clinicians throughout a course of treatment?

Well, the answer is that we are a multi-disciplinary team and we work together to provide the best possible care for you within our scope of practice.

Usually, as an NHS patient, you will see a Dentist (wearing blue) who will carry out an examination, take X-rays, diagnose any decay or gum disease, and give you a detailed treatment plan with treatment options. They will also determine how frequently you will need to attend for a routine examination. From this point, depending on your diagnosis and treatment needs, you may see the dental hygienist and therapist (wearing red), who will treat you based on the prescription set out by the dentist.

What the Dental Hygienist can do.

Dental Hygienists may include hygiene treatment which could be a simple scale and polish or more in-depth gum disease treatment or fillings. The dental hygienist and therapist can give a local anaesthetic if needed, give oral health and hygiene advice, apply fluoride varnishes, carry out fissure sealants and tooth whitening and is also qualified to extract deciduous (baby/milk) teeth.

The dental hygienist and therapist are unable to deviate from the treatment prescription without consultation with the prescribing dentist (or colleague) so sometimes it is necessary to involve the dentist if the treatment plan should change partway through. Any changes will be explained and discussed with you accordingly and any treatment out of their scope of practice, such as crowns, bridges, dentures, adult extractions or root canal treatments, will be carried out by the dentist.

Further treatments.

Should you require any cosmetic treatments, or specialist treatments, you can discuss with either your dentist or hygienist and therapist who will explain your options or arrange a consultation with the appropriate specialist or treatment coordinator at Carillon Dental Care.

So why don’t the dentists’ just carry out all the treatment?

We find that having hygienists and therapists in the practice works very well. Being able to delegate certain routine treatments to them, frees up the time of the dentists so that they can focus on the treatment that the H&T cannot carry out. This, in turn, creates more appointment availability for you as the patient to be seen for emergencies and more complex treatments.

Who are the dental hygienists at Carillon Dental Care?

The hygienists and therapists at the practice are Georgina Cragg and Sian Cooper, who both trained at the University of Sheffield and qualified in 2012. Both were previously qualified dental nurses prior to furthering their careers and are experienced and valued members of our dental team.

The article was written by Georgina Cragg, Dental Hygienist and Therapist. Georgina started as a dental nurse in 2005, then went on to further her career by studying Dental Hygiene and Therapy at The University of Sheffield, qualifying in 2012.