Day in the life of
Dental Hygienist – Shahrzad Kosari
I am a hygienist working in NYC at Sutton Place Dental Associates.
I work as an independent health professional in collaboration with Dr. Joseph Salim at Sutton Place Dental Associates.
My task is not only to ensure patients’ good dental hygiene during my interactions with them, but I also focus on the prevention of pathologies and therapies related to the teeth and mouth.
Dental hygiene is only the last phase of my work: first comes the prevention and prophylaxis, that is, educating patients about the correct ways of maintaining optimal oral hygiene. It consists of: explaining brushing techniques, going over and improving the choice of specific hygiene aids for each patient (toothbrushes, dental floss, interdental brushes, mouthwashes, toothpaste) verifying that patients implement the advice received through periodic check-ups.
In addition to training the patient on the correct oral hygiene methods, I demonstrate the cleaning techniques and recommend the best methods of preserving his/her oral health.
Directly related to this activity, there is also a task that hygienists like myself are commonly known for: professional cleaning (scaling) of the teeth. It focuses on the removal of tartar to preserve oral health and improve one’s dental condition.
I use tools to remove plaque and tartar, such as curettes (hooked tools for manual removal) and ultrasonic scalers.
I clean teeth from hard deposits (tartar removal) and soft deposits (bacterial plaque) on both dental arches. I also remove small stains using a specific abrasive paste with whitening properties and then polish the teeth.
During a hygiene session, I also perform periodontal checks. I highlight the presence of gum pathologies (bleeding, suppuration, and periodontal pockets). The treatment of gum problems takes place in collaboration with our dentists and periodontist.
Following the dentist’s recommendations, I can also carry out other functions, for example, the desensitization of teeth sensitive to cold substances or mechanical stimuli. I apply sealants and desensitizing substances.
Unlike a dentist, I treat non-serious pathologies by restoring dental enamel and gums’ optimal conditions.
I also use fluoroprophylaxis, through the application of fluoride masks that have the purpose of reinforcing and remineralizing a tooth’s enamel.
I dress just like a dentist: I wear a surgical mask, disposable gloves, and protective goggles. I must sterilize all the instruments used during sessions.
- I am a people person and love communicating with my patients and caring for them. Judging by the reviews they leave on the web, patients also feel and appreciate my communication and work.
- The quality of the services I provide is based upon my deep-rooted compassion for helping and serving others.
- I love gaining my patients’ trust, and I do my utmost to help my patients develop better oral regimens. By focusing on preventive care, I help my patients improve their quality of life, which is a very rewarding experience.
- Tasks of administrative nature, such as updating patients’ medical records in the database, and managing their appointments through ever-changing software, are the main cons of this job.
clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop x rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.