Top 10 Things to Know About Your Dental Hygienist
May 9 2007, Huliq
From Spotting Eating Disorders to Screening for Oral Cancer, California's Dental Hygienists Equipped to Deliver Wide Range of Public Health Services
These days, a visit with your dental hygienist may result in more benefits than just cleaner teeth and healthier gums -- you might even decide to stop smoking, improve your nutrition or check to see if you might be at risk for diabetes.
"Most people simply don't realize just how educated and skilled their dental hygienists are," said Susan McLearan, president of
the California Dental Hygienists' Association (CDHA). "The profession has evolved to the point where we actually can save lives."
In keeping with its mission to raise public awareness about dental health and to promote the value of seeing a dental hygienist, the association has issued the following list of the Top Ten Things Californians Should Know About Their Dental Hygienists.
"The list is intended to show how dental hygienists play such an integral role in overall public health -- in many different ways and on many different levels."
That role is reflected in the following facts about Registered Dental Hygienists (RDH):
1. Highly Educated Professionals -- The minimum level of education for licensure is equivalent to a four-year degree with two years specializing in dental hygiene.
2. Committed to Expanding Access to Care -- Specially licensed hygienists can go into underserved communities and provide dental hygiene services to some of the millions of Californians who would otherwise have no access to dental care.
3. Screen for Oral Cancer -- Dental hygienists possess the skills to be the first health professional to identify potential signs of oral
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