What is the dental therapist’s role in the practice?
As well as doing all the work that a dental hygienist does, a dental therapist can also carry out some dental procedures that patients are more used to a dentist doing. A dental therapist can do fillings, extract ‘baby’ teeth, place preformed crowns on baby teeth and do treatments using all the materials a dentist would use. As long as an adult tooth does not need treatment to the nerve of the tooth, a dental therapist can fill or restore any part of the tooth that needs treatment. They do not do restorations, such as crowns, to adult teeth.
Can a dental hygienist do anything else?
Dental hygienists also take dental x-rays. The dentist will use these to help diagnose problems and decide on the possible treatment. Dental hygienists can also place fissure sealants, apply fluoride varnishes and administer fluoride treatments. Other procedures may be carried out by dental hygienists depending on the laws that apply where they work.
Tooth whitening is also often carried out by the dental hygienist, under a prescription from your dentist.