Oral And Oral Of Dental Hygienists

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Introduction As dental hygienists we are members of the healthcare community. That means that we have an extremely important role when it comes to the health of our patients. When patients present themselves in our treatment room, it is our responsibility to make sure we do not leave anything unexamined. We are professionals in the practice of identifying, preventing, and treating oral diseases. We do this by completing thorough extraoral and intraoral exams and being conscious of what to look for. One particular exam that we do is an oral cancer exam. As dental hygienists we are at the forefront in identifying this disease. In an article written by Nancy Burkhart, a coauthor of General and Oral Pathology for the Dental Hygienist, she states, “It is known that oral cancer is more likely to be detected in an early stage in the dental office than those found at a physician’s office, which tend to be at a later stage.” (Burkhart, 2014) This may be because dental hygienists focus more on the oral tissues than physicians do; or the fact that patients go to a doctor when it is already at advanced stages. It is imperative that we as dental hygienists know the signs and symptoms of oral cancer, as well as the risk factors involved in developing the disease and how it can be prevented. While it is important as a dental hygienist to identify oral diseases, it is more important to educate our patients on how they can avoid any potential abnormalities from becoming severe problems,

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