The importance of a hygienist and a dentist – together!

Ever wondered about the role of your hygienist? What exactly are they responsible for and how does this differ from the role of a dentist?

Close-up of dental inspection with hygienist mirror on white woman teeth

The role of a hygienist is to:

  • Inform patients on how to improve their dental hygiene.
  • Teach patients how to floss and brush effectively – we find that many patients come to us reporting back that they are brushing their teeth for the recommended 2 minutes twice a day but still have a build-up of plaque and tartar. This is usually because they are not brushing with the correct technique.
  • Perform a ‘scale and polish’ – this is a deep clean of your teeth to remove the tenacious plaque and tartar that cannot be removed through brushing alone. This is usually a 15-30 minute procedure that leaves your teeth looking whiter and healthier, as surface stains obtained through smoking and general wear and tear are removed.
  • Teach you about gum disease – dental hygienists have proficient knowledge surrounding gum disease. They can advise you on how to prevent this and teach you about the impact gum disease can have on your overall health if left untreated.
  • Whitening services – dental hygienists can perform teeth whitening services.
  • Licenced to carry out certain injections.
  • Take X-rays.

The role of a dentist

Dentists are the doctors of teeth. They have a breadth and depth of knowledge surrounding your dental health and work with your hygienist, exchanging information about your teeth and your oral hygiene. Dentists can write you out prescriptions, whilst your dental hygienist cannot. Identify and treat diseases of the mouth. Perform cosmetic dentistry services such as creating implants and dentures, crowns and bridges (taking impressions and digital images).

How the two come together

Your dentist and hygienist will discuss your dental history in order to make the best decisions and observations surrounding your teeth.


If you would like more information about hygienists and dental check-up appointments, please do not hesitate to contact us and we can arrange these for you.