What Is A Dental Hygienist?
A Dental Hygienist is an orthodontic professional that is responsible for the prevention and treatment of oral diseases. Teeth cleaning, removing plaque, tartar, and stains from teeth; and examining patients for oral diseases are among the preventative care roles that you can expect a dental hygienist to perform in dentistry. Dental hygienists can utilize a number of hand, power, and ultrasonic tools to perform their orthodontic duties. Hygienists can give patients a fluoride rinse, apply sealants on teeth to protect from cavities, and take X-rays of a patient’s teeth and gums.
Dental Hygienists also educate patients on good oral hygiene and the importance of flossing, regular tooth brushing, and preventing cavities. However, restorative dental care, such as definitively diagnosing and filling cavities, is the responsibility of a Dentist.
Because of a Dental Hygienist’s expertise, Dentists are free to focus on performing more advanced orthodontic procedures. A Dental Hygienist can communicate with dentists about dental findings on a patient and help ensure that you get the proper care you need. You can expect any licensed dental hygienist that treats you to have either a two-year associate degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree, as well as state licensure. “R.D.H.” after a hygienist’s name stands for “Registered Dental Hygienist.”
What Is A Dentist?
Dentists are able to do everything a dental hygienist can do for their patients and more. Legally, no other dental professional is allowed to treat or repair physical damage to a tooth. After four years of undergraduate training and four years of dental school, dentists have eight years of formal training at least. Should a dentist choose to specialize, there are additional years of training for an orthodontist, periodontist, or oral and maxillofacial surgeon, in which case they will also need an additional license for their specialty.
There are a number of abbreviations that you might see at the end of your dentist’s name. The abbreviation of D.D.S. after a dentist’s name stands for “Doctor Of Dental Surgery,” while the abbreviation of D.M.D. stands for “Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry” or “Doctor of Dental Medicine.” Both abbreviations mean that your dentist graduated from an accredited dental school. Both a DDS and DMD have the same education and the same curriculum. The abbreviation itself is up to which degree their university chooses to award.
At Waco Dental, we are proud to offer the services of Dr. Alan Martin, D.D.S., a highly skilled dentist of 16 years and graduate of Baylor College of Dentistry. Dr. Martin does white fillings, crowns, bridges, veneers, implants, dentures and partials, root canals, extractions, and Invisalign. This means Dr. Martin can care for ALL of your dental needs, and will rarely have to refer you to a specialist. Dr. Martin even offers Oral Sedation dentistry so that you can snooze through your dental work should you want that option for any procedure. If you are seeking orthodontic care in McLennan County, look no further than Dr. Alan Martin. Call Waco Dental at 254-754-3505 for an appointment today!