The Role of a Dental Hygienist

Dentists and hygienists have different roles but both play an important role in achieving optimal dental health. Dentists are literally doctors of your teeth and are equivalent to your local GP whereas a hygienist provides more of a complementary and preliminary service, focusing on oral health and dental cleans.

At Smile Place Dental, we have a number of experts to help you achieve your goal of optimal oral health. Each of the practitioners you see, whether it be a dentist or an oral hygienist is likely to have their own area of expertise and in seeing different practitioners, you are receiving the highest level of care.

Routine dental care is a must if you are to have strong teeth with the least possible problems, and regular cleaning will prevent plaque and harmful bacteria from wreaking havoc in your mouth. On the other hand, if you’ve already had ongoing issues with your mouth, regular cleaning can help prevent existing problems from escalating or old issues from resurfacing. When scheduling your cleaning session, you may find yourself faced with an appointment with a hygienist instead of a dentist. If you’re wondering what the difference is, you have come to the right place.

Dental Cleaning by a Hygienist vs a Dentist

A hygienist certainly has a less sinister ring to the role, and can set you more at ease during your cleaning session. A hygienist primarily plays a preventive role, such as basic dental care, oral assessment and review of your overall dental health so that they can evaluate the condition of your gums, teeth and mouth to help prevent oral diseases. They are able to make decisions and devise a treatment plan for the patient within their scope of practice.

Dentist and hygienists play different roles, but they complement each other. Dentists are literally doctors of your teeth and are equivalent to your local GP. A hygienist provides more of a complementary, preliminary service, and refers you to a dentist if more serious problems are detected. Depending on your hygienists qualifications, they may be able to perform deep cleaning, whitening or sealants, in addition to routine cleaning. In a nutshell, hygienists work under dentists, and are not legal doctors, although getting your teeth cleaned by them is equivalently effective.

The majority of our general dental patients have their oral care managed by both a dental hygienist and a dentist. The dentist is the primary dental care provider and are responsible for the patient’s oral health. In a way, they are also a treatment coordinator; they coordinate appointments with a hygienist and also with dental specialists if required.

Meet Mariam

Mariam Khaleqi is our lovely, caring and gentle Oral Hygienist at Smile Place Dental. She works at both our Forest Hill and Tecoma clinics and her main role is in the prevention and management of periodontal diseases (gum disease) as well as maintaining good oral health.
If you are in need of a 6 month dental checkup and clean or your children need to be seen for any dental work, Mariam is the Dental Practitioner you want to see. Mariam graduated back in 2015 from RMIT University and completed all her dental training at the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne. She also enjoys attending dental seminars and conferences to keep her skills up to date so they can be implemented into the practice.
When Mariam is not working she loves traveling and reading books. She is also conversant with English and Dari.
To find out more, please call us on (03) 9048 1026 or Book an Appointment online today.
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Come see our dentists at:

Smile Place
Forrest Hill Dental

249 Canterbury Road
Forest Hill 3131
Map Link
03 9877 3724 Book An Appointment

Smile Place
Glen Iris Dental

38 High Street
Glen Iris 3146
View Map
03 9048 1026 Book An Appointment

Smile Place
Tecoma Dental

1586 Burwood Highway
Tecoma 3160
View Map
03 9754 2148 Book An Appointment