Differences Between Dental Therapists and Hygienists

Differences Between Dental Therapists and Hygienists

As patients of The Private Dental Centre, you are all familiar with dental Hygienists and their invaluable role in improving and maintaining your oral hygiene. They look after the foundations of the mouth – the gums, but what is a Dental Therapist?

Well, in a nutshell, a Dental Therapist can do everything a Dental Hygienist can, plus lots more. Here’s how that works….

Once they gained their Dental Hygienist qualifications, both our Therapists Lucy and Beth, stayed on at university to gain extra qualifications. The therapy part of their university course means that they can carry out examinations and that includes oral cancer screening, taking x-rays and photographs. Like hygienists they can offer health and smoking cessation advice during routine appointments. As part of their therapy role, they can provide local anaesthetic, restorations (fillings), fissure sealants (protective covering on difficult to reach teeth) and take impressions for whitening trays or lab-based work. Finally, Therapists can refer to and communicate with other healthcare professionals where needed.

Why Do We Need Dental Therapists?

Therapist can take the strain off our dentists as they are more qualified than hygienists and can do the procedures already mentioned.

One of the ways they do this is to look after our children at the practice – the best reason for this is that they have more time to spend with children to give oral health (such as good brushing technique) and dietary advice as well as a clean for our older children. They can help our teenagers with cleaning braces and in fact, they are even able to do extractions of baby teeth. Seeing children regularly means they are experts in this area and therefore ideally equipped to give our under 18’s the best care possible.

Another way that the Therapists really help us is when we have a dental emergency. For instance, broken teeth or lost fillings can be sorted either temporarily or permanently by one of our therapists. This gives our patients more access to emergency care daily which can only be a good thing!

Going forward, our Therapists will be doing all the “scale and polishes” that you are used to plus some fillings etc to tie in with hygiene treatments. All children will be seeing Beth and Lucy for their routine care.

So, we look forward to you meeting Lucy and Beth as we are sure you will find them knowledgeable, friendly, and most importantly gentle!

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