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What is a Dental Hygienist?

Dental hygienists provide peridontal* care for all age groups

 

Dental hygienists educate patients about the health of their mouths and provide options for improving and maintaining oral health. Dental hygienists work closely with dentists in detecting and treating oral disease and in preparing mouths for complex restorative care.


Graduates from both the University of Otago and AUT degree courses will meet the requirements for registration as either a dental therapist or a dental hygienist or both.

 

Dental hygienists operate under a Standards Framework for Oral Health Practitioners approved by the Dental Council of New Zealand and may provide treatments such as:

  • Examination of oral tissues and recognition of abnormalities
  • Assessing and provisionally diagnosing diseas of periodontal tissues
  • Applying and dispensing non-prescription preventive agents and fissure sealants
  • Oral health education information, promotion and counselling

You can find out more about becoming a dental hygienist by visiting Otago School of Dentistry or AUT Oral Health Sciences.

 

Click here to find out more about dental hygienists Scope of Practice.

 

*Relating to or affecting tissue and structures surrounding and supporting the teeth