Your dental hygienist is an oral health professional whose area of expertise focuses on preventative oral health care. The dental hygienist will begin by reviewing your medical history with you including documenting any medications you are currently taking. She will inquire about your oral hygiene routine and any concerns you have with your teeth.
Once you and your dental hygienist have reviewed and agreed on the treatment plan, you will need to give your permission to proceed with the proposed treatment prior to beginning. Your treatment will likely include scaling (also known as cleaning) and root planing (debridement) to remove plaque and calculus from the tooth surfaces. This is done using powered instruments such as an ultrasonic instrument and/or hand instruments.
The dental hygienist may also share information with you related to brushing/flossing, risk of dental decay, smoking cessation, nutrition information, and/or the link between oral-systemic health based on your individual needs. Some of your teeth may then be polished to remove any remaining stains and if needed, you may receive a fluoride treatment to strengthen your teeth, prevent decay, and/or decrease sensitivity. At selected appointments Perio probing might be performed. It is done to measure pocket depths around a tooth in order to establish the state of health of the periodontium.
When your appointment is complete the hygienist will suggest the frequency of your next scaling appointment. If you are scheduled for a recall appointment it will include X-rays. The Dentist will come in and review those findings with you.