What Is the Role of an Oral Health Therapist

Who Are Oral Health Therapists?

A professional dental clinic typically provides patients with various dental practitioners to improve their dental care.

Members of a professional dental team can include:

  • dentists and paediatric dentists
  • dental hygienists
  • dental prosthetists
  • dental therapists
  • oral health therapists (sometimes referred to as OHT)

This article will teach you more about an oral health therapist’s roles and qualifications.

What Is the Role of an Oral Health Therapist

Oral Health Therapist

Both a Dental Therapist and a Dental Hygienist

Oral health therapists are registered primary healthcare professionals who have completed studies in dental hygiene and dental therapy.

They can provide preventive dental services and high-quality oral health care for people of all ages, including children and adults.

An oral health therapist’s focus is oral health promotion and dental disease prevention.

What Does an Oral Health Therapist Do?

How does an oral health therapist work with a general dentist?

Oral health therapists work with other dental practitioners in a dental team to provide effective dental care for patients.

An oral health therapist will refer patients to a dentist if the dental problem they encounter is outside their expertise.

Below you can see a list of the services and responsibilities of an oral health therapist.

Oral health therapists play a crucial role in a dental practice and can typically provide:

  • primary dental healthcare
  • routine dental treatments like filling cavities, teeth cleaning, and polishing teeth
  • dental examinations
  • preventive dental services such as fluoride applications, fissure sealants, and oral hygiene instructions
  • diagnosis and dental treatment advice
  • dietary counselling

An oral health therapist can:

  • check patients’ teeth for any signs of dental disease
  • examine tooth decay and gum disease (periodontal disease)
  • advise on preventive methods to control oral disease
  • help you improve your oral hygiene before receiving complex dental treatments
  • take x-rays of the mouth
  • perform tooth extractions (baby teeth) under local anaesthetic
  • replace gauze after tooth extractions
  • put dental crowns on baby teeth
  • take impressions for mouthguards
  • educate the school canteens on healthy foods
  • give children good oral health tips to promote oral and general health
  • encourage good oral care habits at home and school

An oral health therapist educates people on practising proper at-home oral care routines to promote oral health and prevent dental issues.

Dental Therapists Vs Dental Hygienists

As the name suggests, dental hygienists are trained to practise dental hygiene. They can perform teeth cleaning procedures, scaling to remove stains and calculus build-up, fluoride therapy, applying fissure sealants, and providing patients with information about good oral hygiene habits.

A dental hygienist can help you have healthy teeth and gums by educating you to prevent gum diseases. They can also help you have fresher breath and prevent Halitosis.

A dental hygienist may also care for anxious patients undergoing oral surgery in a hospital under general anaesthesia.

A dental therapist can perform all the procedures dental hygienists do but can conduct more dental treatments that we typically think only a dentist should do, such as fillings, removing or placing caps on a baby tooth.

Is It Worth Seeing Oral Health Therapists? 

Definitely! You can visit your oral health therapist besides regular teeth brushing and flossing to stay on top of your oral health.

Pure Dentistry

Experienced Brisbane Dentists

Pure Dentistry uses the latest dental technology and high-quality materials in its modern Brisbane dental clinic.

Our Brisbane Dentists give honest dental advice to care about our dental patients genuinely.

Pure Dentistry offers various dental services and emergencies for Brisbane Dental Patients.

You can contact us at (07) 3343 4869 to receive more information about root canals, dental implants, dental crowns, dental veneers, laughing gas for children and adults, dental work under general anaesthesia, and sleep dentistry.