What is a Dental Hygienist?

Dental hygienists are advanced diploma qualified oral health professionals registered with the Dental Board of Australia, who provide preventative, educational and therapeutic methods for controlling oral diseases to help individual patients and groups achieve and maintain oral health.

Dental hygienists promote good oral health and treat gum and periodontal conditions using the following skills:

  • Preventative and general dental care which includes oral examinations, oral disease diagnosis and treatment planning,
  • X-rays and other diagnostic tests
  • Educating and counselling on dental health, plaque control, oral hygiene and nutrition
  • Scaling and debridement to remove deposits and stains from teeth
  • Preventative and therapeutic treatment such as fissure sealants and fluoride therapies
  • Take impressions of patients’ mouths
  • Stabilise teeth affected by gum disease
  • Oral health care advice to individual patients and health promotion for the wider community
  • Apply and remove periodontal packs
  • Remove dental sutures (stitches) and instruct patients on how to look after their teeth and mouth after operations.

All dental hygienists work in a collaborative and consultative relationship with dental and other health professionals to enable the provision of holistic oral health care and when required, referral of patients for care.