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‘Healthcare hygienist’ opens new practice in Searsmont

The practice uses state-of-the-art technology from Switzerland.
Pamela Sargent, an independent dental hygienist in Searsmont, is among a group of hygienists...
Pamela Sargent, an independent dental hygienist in Searsmont, is among a group of hygienists helping people reach their oral health goals.(WABI)
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 4:57 PM EDT
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SEARSMONT, Maine (WABI) - Maine is one of three states that allow dental hygienists to work independently.

That means they do not have to work in a private practice or alongside a dentist.

Pamela Sargent, an independent dental hygienist in Searsmont, is among a group of hygienists helping people reach their oral health goals.

“If we can find it early, the chances of treating it successfully are really good.”

For Sargent, whole health starts with oral health.

“We have billions of bacteria in our mouth so when we take just one small sample it represents the whole mouth,” she said.

Sargent has been in dentistry for the last 35 years.

In May, she opened Searsmont Oral Wellness Center.

Her practice may look a little different than a traditional dental office, not just on the outside.

Sargent uses state-of-the-art technology from Switzerland.

“I only use Airflow Prophylaxis Master and do guided biofilm therapy,” said Sargent.

It’s a less-invasive procedure that Sargent has been using for the last few years. She says it allows her to get a better picture of her patients’ overal oral health.

Currently, Sargent says, there are more than 50 diseases that are directly linked to bacteria that should only be found in the mouth - heart disease, diabetes, and dementia are just a few.

“Bacteria really is the mediator of inflammation,” she said. “Once we start seeing inflammation, we know that the rest of the body is in trouble.”

In an initial oral assessment, Sargent will review a patients medical history, check their blood pressure, as well as checking for cancer in the mouth and neck.

Sarah Mitchell is from Brooks. She’s received her first oral assessment with Sargent Wednesday.

“Instead of just having someone clean your teeth and get your plaque off, it shows you what you’re missing when you’re brushing and what you can do also and do it on your own,” said Mitchell.

“I like to be called the healthcare hygienist because there’s a lot of things that we screen for and check for that early prevention is going to help patients in the long run,” Sargent explained.

Sargent is one of more than 20 Independent Dental Hygienists in Maine.

Click here to find one near you.

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Posted by Searsmont Oral Wellness Center on Friday, June 25, 2021

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