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If you’ve ever wondered what dental hygienists do on a daily basis, you might be surprised to learn that their job involves more than just cleaning teeth. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the various tasks and responsibilities that make up a typical day in the life of a dental hygienist.
The Morning Routine: More Than Just a Walk
Like any other profession, a dental hygienist’s day starts by walking into the office. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that this walk is purely for exercise. Although it may contribute to their step count, there’s much more to the morning routine of a dental hygienist than meets the eye. From morning rituals to healthy habits, dental hygienists go through a series of preparations before even stepping foot in the office.
Inside the Dental Office: Getting Prepared
Once inside the dental clinic, dental hygienists begin getting ready for the day ahead. This includes essential tasks such as clocking in, turning on the necessary equipment, and reviewing the day’s scheduled appointments. Taking note of each patient’s needs and preferences helps the dental hygienist plan and prepare for the day’s work effectively.
Checking the Day’s Scheduled Appointments
Before diving into the day’s workload, dental hygienists spend time reviewing each patient’s appointment details. This step ensures that they are well-informed about the treatments and procedures required for each individual. By checking the appointment schedule thoroughly, dental hygienists can provide personalized care and tailor their approach for every patient.
Preparing with the Dental Assistant: A Team Effort
Collaboration between dental hygienists and dental assistants is crucial for a smooth workflow. Every morning, there might be a team meeting to discuss the day’s patients and their specific requirements. The dental assistant assists in setting up the treatment room, ensuring that all instruments and equipment are ready for use. Effective communication and coordination between the dental hygienist and the assistant are essential for a successful day of dental care.
Tools and Room Preparation: Attention to Detail
Before starting any procedures, dental hygienists prioritize hygiene and safety. They wash their hands thoroughly and prepare the required tools and equipment for the day. From setting up the hygiene polishing handpiece and ultrasonic scaler to sterilizing the instruments, every step is taken to maintain a clean and sterile environment.
Start of the Dental Hygiene Work: Patient Care Begins
Once everything is prepared, dental hygienists begin their work by greeting the first patient. They review the patient’s medical history, address any concerns, and assess any changes in their oral health since the last appointment. Building a rapport with the patient is essential, as it helps create a comfortable and trusting environment. Dental hygienists educate patients on proper dental hygiene practices, ensuring they leave with the knowledge to maintain a healthy smile.
Continuous Dental Work: Cleaning and Preparing for the Next Patient
After completing a treatment, dental hygienists clean and prepare the treatment room for the next patient. This involves ensuring that all instruments and surfaces are properly sanitized. The dental assistant plays a vital role in this process, helping to organize and restock the room efficiently. Patient progress notes are updated, providing a comprehensive record of the ongoing treatment.
The End of Shift: Wrapping Up with Care
After the last patient of the day leaves, dental hygienists dedicate time to finalize their clinical notes and wind down with the rest of the dental team. Cleaning and preparing the practice for the next day’s appointments become their top priority. With attention to detail, they ensure that everything is properly cleaned, disinfected, and ready for the following day’s patients. A brief discussion with colleagues and a little exercise can help alleviate any accumulated stress before clocking out for the day.
After Work: Unwinding from a Fulfilling Day
Dental hygiene can be a demanding profession. To unwind after a day of intense concentration, dental hygienists have their own ways of relaxation. Some prefer a relaxing bath at home, while others might go for a run to clear their minds. Whatever their preferred method, finding time for self-care and relaxation is vital for their well-being.
What About You?
If you are a dental hygienist, you might relate to the day in the life we’ve described here. However, every dental hygienist’s experience is unique. We would love to hear your thoughts and insights. Feel free to share your own experience in the comments below!
We hope this article has given you a better understanding of the diverse roles and responsibilities that dental hygienists undertake each day. To further expand your knowledge of dental hygiene, check out our other articles on our website. For more information about dental hygiene and our services, visit Make You Smile.
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