October is National Dental Hygiene Month. Dental hygienists provide a crucial role in oral health by helping you to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Our hygienists work with you and your dentist to maintain a healthy mouth.
Julia has been treating patients as a Registered Dental Hygienist at Pi Dental Center for 22 years. When asked why she chose this career, Julia acknowledged, “Dental hygiene is rewarding. I see immediate results. Most patients come in for dental hygiene visits twice a year. We create friendships. When we treat patients, we don’t just look at the teeth. We look at the person as a whole. Other issues in a person’s personal life can spill over and impact their dental health. We look at those issues to help us determine the best way to address problems.”
The mouth is a window to the rest of the body that allows the dental team to detect early signs and symptoms of systemic disease. A dental hygienist is often the first person to notice changes in the mouth.
The connection between oral health and medical health has been well documented. Dolly, a dental hygienist at Pi Dental Center, is proud to be part of Pi Dental Center’s clinical team. Dolly maintains, “With the correlation between coronary heart disease and gum inflammation, I value my role as a hygienist more than ever.” She continues, “I feel that a dental hygienist is of vital importance to the patient’s general overall health.”
Oral hygiene education is a vital part of a hygienist’s role in treating patients. The number of people with missing teeth and periodontal disease in the United States attests to the need for oral hygiene education. According to the American College of Prosthodontics, 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth and about 40 million Americans are missing all of their teeth. American Academy of Periodontology reports as of 2010 approximately 64.7 million American adults, have some form of periodontal disease.
Hygienists teach patients correct brushing and flossing techniques, discuss medical/dental health issues, recommend appropriate oral hygiene products and design individualized oral hygiene regimen for each patient. They provide smoking cessation counseling which helps to prevent periodontal disease and oral cancer.
Hygienists play a crucial role in communications between the patient and dentist. They are ardent advocates for their patient’s health and well-being. Julia states, “Some patients are fearful about expressing their dental health problems to the dentist. But they will talk to their hygienist.”
At Pi Dental Center, our whole team, including our dental hygiene department, has your best interest in mind. Call us to schedule your next visit (215-646-6334) or click the link below to contact us.