Restorative Dental Hygienists

With a shortage of oral health-care providers, restorative hygienists in the state of Washington are poised to help ease the burden.

In a 2005 report titled, Dental Hygiene: Focus on Advancing the Profession, the American Dental Hygienist’ Association said “Access to Preventive and therapeutic oral health care can be increased by maximizing the services hygienists are educated to provide, and expanding dental hygiene practice settings. As of 2005 American Dental Hygienists’ Association defined dental  hygienists as “a licensed health care professional, who supports the health and well being of the American public through oral health promotion, education, prevention, and therapeutic services.

Washington State is unique in that it is the only state that requires competence in restorative procedures for initial licensure as a dental hygienist. Restorative services are part of the curriculum at all entry level dental hygiene programs in Washington State.

Applicants for licensure in Washington State must pass a clinical restorative test offered by the Western Regional Examining Board

The dental hygienist is the member of the oral health care team focused on preventing oral disease and identifying and treating oral disease while it is still manageable.

Dental hygienists are primary care oral health professionals who administer a range of oral health services including prophylaxis (cleaning), sealants, fluoride treatments, oral screenings, oral health education, Washington State as in many states dental hygienists play an active role in placing restorations.

What are the benefits of restorative hygiene?

The benefits can be summed up in one word: Access! With a shortage of oral health-care providers, restorative hygienists in the state of Washington are poised to help ease this burden. This is especially critical in specific patient populations such as the elderly, the uninsured, the under-insured, and children. Furthermore, the current regulation allows hygienist to practice to the full scope of their license.

American Dental Hygienists’ Association ©2012.