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Dental hygienists are professionals who remove hardened food particles from teeth and give patients instructions on how to care for their teeth and gums. Different dental hygiene courses introduce students to this complex field by giving them book instruction and hands-on training. Hygiene courses cover how to clean teeth and the components of human teeth. Classes additionally teach students how to safeguard themselves against disease transmission and how to capture oral radiographs.
One of the main dental hygiene courses available is a class on clinical periodontics. In this type of course, students study the signs of periodontal disease, or gum disease, and review how bacteria essentially causes inflammation of gum tissues along with bone resorption in periodontal patients. Pupils also go over how to spot various oral pathological problems and how to properly clean a patient’s teeth using various scaling and root-planing instruments.
Dental hygiene classes also teach oral anatomy and tooth morphology. While in these types of courses, students learn that each tooth has five surfaces and how they may change over time from a variety of factors. Information regarding the various parts of a tooth — including the crown and the root, for example — is also an important topic in oral anatomy dental hygiene courses.
Pupils extensively review infection control requirements while in dental hygiene training programs as well. They practice wearing personal protective equipment, such as masks, goggles, and gloves, and learn the various methods in which diseases can spread in the dental office. In addition, dental hygiene students review how to properly sterilize instruments and disinfect chairs and other equipment that multiple patients use. Going over facts about common dental office diseases such as the hepatitis B virus is an essential part of these types of dental hygiene courses.
Completion of a radiology course is another academic requirement for dental hygiene students. Radiology dental hygiene courses train students on how to take dental radiographs of patients’ entire mouths using various instruments. Students study how an x-ray tubehead works and the proper safety precautions to take when taking patient radiographs. For instance, they review the importance of a patient wearing a lead apron to protect against unnecessary ionizing radiation, and practice standing behind a lead barrier when taking radiographs to safeguard themselves.
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