Dentist or Hygienist: Who’s Best for a Dental Cleaning?

Getting your teeth cleaned by a dental professional at least twice a year is a crucial step in maintaining your oral health. While some dentists perform a cleaning themselves, many work with dental hygienists to provide quality patient care. Both dentists and hygienists may offer professional dental cleaning in Burkburnett, TX, but finding the right provider is key. Typically, both a hygienist and a dentist will work together to create a full-service oral hygiene appointment.

Both dentists and hygienists may offer professional dental cleaning in Burkburnett, TX, but finding the right provider is key.

Why See a Dental Hygienist for a Dental Cleaning in Burkburnett, TX

Dentists often specialize in a few areas of dentistry, such as cosmetic or restorative, and tend to focus their practice on providing high-quality treatment. While a dentist could provide a cleaning for you, it’s often better to see a dental hygienist. Hygienists are specifically trained in cleaning your teeth and identifying early warning signs of problems with your oral health. By focusing their work on just providing hygiene treatment, they could clean your teeth and gums better than a dentist. 

Screenings and Early Detection

Dentists, especially general and family dentists, are often trained in identifying problems with your oral health. However, hygienists typically train to identify additional problems related to your overall health. Before starting your cleaning, your hygienist will likely perform a comprehensive exam that includes screening for symptoms related to a variety of concerns, such as:

  • Oral cancer
  • TMJ disorder
  • Sleep apnea
  • Dry mouth
  • Tonsillitis
  • Thyroid problems

If they do identify any signs of concern, they will notify you and recommend a specialist for further treatment as needed. 

Tracking Oral Hygiene

Most dentists focus on preventative care and treatment. They want to help their patients maintain good oral health and protect themselves against further damage. But your dentist can’t watch over you every day as you clean your teeth. While your hygienist can’t either, they could see the changes in your oral health between appointments. They can often identify areas where you are struggling to clean properly. With this information, your hygienist may be able to recommend additional hygiene products or techniques that could help improve your oral health.

Why You Still Need a Dentist

While dental hygienists can often notice early warning signs of damage, they don’t have as much training in diagnosis as a dentist does. Usually, your hygiene appointment will still consist of a comprehensive oral health exam from your dentist. Your hygienist may note signs of concern while cleaning your teeth to help guide the exam. Having your dentist look at the problems your hygienist finds is often key to proper diagnosis and treatment. Your dentist and hygienist often work together to provide the best oral care possible.

Going to the dentist regularly is often the best way to help prevent plaque buildup and decay. At Burkburnett Family Dental, our dental hygienists are fully trained to provide high-quality cleanings and comprehensive screenings. Dr. Clark will also provide an exam to help ensure your teeth and gums are healthy. Call our office today at 940-340-4588 to schedule your next cleaning.