Dental Hygienists Play a Pivotal Role in Oral Health


No dentist office is complete without dental hygienists who are front-and-center in fighting the development of poor oral health. Excellent dentistry should primarily focus on preventive care. That means providing patients with the tools and education to maintain exceptional oral hygiene and health.

The Role of  Dental Hygienists

It is first important to recognize that dental hygienists are trained and licensed as oral health specialists. The job does involve cleaning teeth during a comprehensive examination, but a dental hygienist fulfills several other essential roles. Before you even consult with your dentist, the dental hygienist is there as your first point of contact.

Education, clinical and therapeutic services are of immense benefit to patients. You can rely on your dental hygienist to spot the early signs of tooth decay and gum disease. However, it is often the personal aspect of the relationship that is of most value.

Dental Phobias & Fears

Dental phobia, considered an irrational fear of dental treatments, is one of the most common fears and affects millions of Americans. If you are terrified at the thought of sitting in the dentist’s chair, you are not alone.  A well-trained and compassionate dental hygienist can help ease patient fears. Each patient is different, so your dental hygienist will always take a personal approach based on trust and cooperation. Several therapies can help reduce anxiety in patients, in addition to sedation dentistry options.

Oral Hygiene & Health Roles

Dental hygienists are responsible for providing thorough and professional cleaning of the teeth and gums. All surfaces are cleaned to remove plaque, tartar, and staining. During your examination, the dental hygienist will conduct a comprehensive oral health evaluation as part of preventive care. All charts are maintained and become part of your regular treatment plan. In consultation with your dentist, the hygienist will create and adjust an active treatment schedule that is subject to change with the development of any oral health issues.

Critical Oral Health Education

Dental hygienists develop effective personal relationships with patients. As education plays a vital role in preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues, the dental hygienist must understand the individual patient’s needs. You will gain valuable education on how to care for teeth and gums through brushing and flossing correctly.

Dental hygienists are also experts on the use and benefits of treatments that contain fluoride. Although this cooperative relationship may be casual and friendly, there is another fringe benefit to working with a dental hygienist. You will save money on treatments through preventive dentistry. Treatment options are typically less intrusive when potential issues are identified early and can save a healthy tooth structure from cavities or decay.

Note: Following our reopening on Tuesday, June 9, 2020, our initial office hours will be Monday-Thursday from 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM.  If you would like to schedule an appointment or follow up on a request, please email us at or call us at 202-543-2020. And thank you in advance for your patience as we work to get everyone back on our calendar!

Remember, everyone’s health and safety come first.
Dr. Nishan Halim

Nishan Halim, DMD specializes in a comprehensive approach to dental care in his Capitol Hill, Washington DC neighborhood dental center. When treatment plans include specialty work, he coordinates every step with the practitioners you choose from his referral network. Contact Dr. Halim to schedule an appointment.

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