A Day in the Life of a Dental Hygienist
My morning starts by arriving at the office about a half hour before my first patient. During this time I review charts and medical histories of the patients who are scheduled for the day. While reviewing the charts I am looking for key information about the patient’s dental history including last check up, emergency and preventative treatments they have received and if they have any health problem that could effect treatments. This helps me to understand what treatment each patient will need and how the day will flow.
After reviewing the charts, I set up the treatment room by ensuring all surfaces are clean and that all tools and equipment are accessible. My morning routine ends with a team huddle to review the schedule and determine the day’s strategy.
Throughout the day I will see approximately 7-8 patients. With each patient I will review their health history and any dental concerns they might have. As a dental hygienist I have the knowledge and skills to perform a wide range of treatments and assessments including scaling plaque and calculus, periodontal probing, taking X-rays or dental impressions, placing sealants, applying fluoride treatments and more. The exact treatments I perform will vary depending on each patients needs. Another very important aspects of my job is assisting patients with their at home oral hygiene routine. This includes educating patients on correct brushing and flossing techniques as well as any other aids that would help them in achieving optimal oral health.
After the last patient leaves I remain at the office for about a half hour. During this time I complete my clinical notes and work with the rest of the dental team to make sure the office is cleaned and ready for the next day.