What does a dental hygienist do?
Manitoba dental hygienists are regulated health professionals who specialize in oral health promotion and disease prevention. They work with individual clients or communities to prevent and treat tooth, gum and mouth diseases that can affect quality of life and overall health. Dental hygiene services are provided to individuals across the age spectrum, ranging from parents in pre-natal classes to the elderly in long-term care facilities.
Most Manitoba Dental hygienists practice as clinicians in private dental offices, while others work as educators in universities/colleges, or provide dental hygiene services and health promotion programming in a variety of settings such as personal care homes, schools, within regional health authorities, and in public or community health programs.
At a dental office, dental hygienists do more than clean teeth. They also can:
- Screen for oral cancer & other conditions
- Examine your gingival & periodontal health (gums) to plan, treat and evaluate individualized dental hygiene care
- Expose & develop dental radiographs
- Provide therapeutic treatment for gingivitis & periodontal disease
- Offer tobacco cessation counseling
- Provide home care advice, including products that work for you & your family
- Provide diet counseling for cavity-prone individuals
- Apply decay-preventing agents to teeth, including fluoride treatment and pit & fissure sealants
- Fabricate custom mouthguards
- Administer local anaesthetic*
- Place fillings*
- Provide orthodontic care*
- Work collaboratively with other health professionals to best meet your needs
* with additional education
For more information about a career in Dental Hygiene visit the University of Manitoba Dental Hygiene website.