- any of several assistants to a dentist, now referred to as professionals complementary to dentistry. A dental hygienist performs scaling and instruction in oral hygiene under the prescription of the dentist. A dental nurse helps the dentist at the chairside by preparing materials, passing instruments, and aspirating fluids from the patient's mouth. A dental technician constructs dentures, crowns, and orthodontic appliances in the laboratory for the dentist. A dental therapist performs treatment on children under the direction of a dentist in the community dental services and in hospitals. Dental hygienists and dental therapists are required to be statutorily registered.
Medical dictionary. 2011.
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