The dental hygienistThe dental hygienist is the key provider of preventive oral care (primary, secondary and tertiary prevention) in order to promote and improve the oral health of individuals, families and groups in society. The dental hygienist possesses the necessary professional qualifications and is able to provide patient-centered, holistic and evidence based preventive oral care independently. The dental hygienist must possess a wide range of competences, knowledge and skills in order to provide the highest quality of patient care at all times. The right to carry the title of dental hygienist is restricted to the person to whom a certificate is given issued by an authority in a Member State certifying successful completion of professional training at higher vocational or university level according to the European Qualification Framework for Lifelong Learning (EQF level 6) and the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (with a minimum of 180 ECTS credits).
When do you go to the dental hygienist?
You go to the dental hygienist to get and keep your teeth and gums healthy. We advise you to visit the dental hygienist at least once a year for a healthy, sparkling and fresh mouth. Children are welcome from the breakthrough of the first tooth. This can prevent cavities at a very young age and thus pain and invisible damage. A visit to the dental hygienist is also a good idea when you are pregnant. You are more susceptible to inflammation in your mouth during this period. Some diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, can also affect the quality of the teeth and gums, or vice versa.
Some of the treatments of the dental hygienist
- Maps your personal oral situation and relate this to your general health. It is examined whether oral abnormalities are visible and if so, how they can be treated together with you. When necessary, the dental hygienist makes dental impressions, X-rays and conducts bacterial research for a more complete picture. If necessary, the dental hygienist seeks contact with other healthcare providers to find an optimal treatment for the identified problem together.
- Provides information about how to keep your mouth fresh and healthy. For example, what is the effect of diet, smoking and abnormal mouth behavior (such as thumb sucking) on teeth? And how do gum disease and cavities develop? Certain diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, can also affect the quality of the teeth and gums, or vice versa.
- Performs a professional dental cleaning. Plaque, tartar and deposits are removed and your teeth are polished, resulting in a smooth and clean feeling. The treatment of severe gum problems, which require cleaning under the gums, can be done with local anesthesia.
- Applies protective agents. Consider, for example, fluoride. Applies a coat of lacquer on teeth in children. Such a lacquer layer is called a sealant. This layer protects the molars against the development of cavities.
- Can advise you on teeth whitening. There are some risks associated with whitening your teeth. It is therefore important to do this in a responsible way. Your dental hygienist can advise you on this.