Kim Thomas, RDH
A dental hygienist is a licensed dental professional, registered with a dental association, or regulatory body within their country of practice. They are a primary healthcare professional who works independently or alongside dentists and other dental professionals to provide full oral health care. They have the training and education that focus and specialize in the prevention and treatment of oral disease. They can choose to work in a range of dental settings from independent practice, private practice, specialists practices to public sector; and can also work in residential aged care facilities. Dental hygienists have a specific scope of clinical procedures they provide to their patients. They assess a patient’s condition in order to offer patient-specific preventative and educational services to promote and maintain good oral health. The use of therapeutic methods assists their patients in controlling oral disease, while providing tailored treatment plans that emphasize the importance of behavioral changes .