What is a hygienist?
Hygienists are specially trained and valuable members of the dental team. They play an important role in dental health and mainly concentrate on preventive dental health and treating gum disease.
Their role includes:
- Providing correct home care advice.
- Ensuring your teeth are thoroughly clean and free of bacteria.
- Applying fluoride and fissure sealants.
Why should I visit the hygienist?
- To prevent the onset of gum disease, dental decay and bleeding gums.
- To receive professional, friendly advice and techniques on how to floss, brush efficiently and apply an effective dental routine.
- So that you can leave with clean and fresher-looking teeth.
- Visits to the hygienist allow you to reset your dental routine and make the changes you need to in order to live more healthily.
Our aim is to prevent the need for dental treatment by increasing patient awareness of dental disease and how to prevent it. Oral health evaluations will be carried out at intervals according to the patients needs (6-18 monthly). They will also have re-care visits to our hygienist at intervals according to their health requirements.
Good daily oral hygiene is the basis of prevention of many dental problems. Gum disease varies from mild gingivitis (swollen, red gums that bleed on touch) to more serious bone loss around teeth called periodontal disease. Healthy gums and bones are essential to keep teeth in the mouth. It is imperative that a patient has excellent oral health before any other dental care is under taken – even whitening teeth. No part of your mouth should be left uncleanable and together our dentist / hygiene team will aim to make this possible for you.
Hygiene and preventative treatment include:
- Scale and polishing (prophylaxis) – This is done routinely for most patients and helps to prevent more serious problems arising. The hygienist is not there to clean your teeth, but to help you maintain good oral health by reaching the areas that you cannot get to easily and to help you clean more efficiently thus helping to prevent future problems..
- Periodontal or gum therapy – In some people where minor gum disease is left untreated, it can progress to bone loss around teeth called periodontal disease. Patients who have this will need longer and more frequent visits. Dietary advice and other means of caries prevention such as control of saliva quality and production will also be discussed with you by our hygienists.
In order to make your hygiene visits as comfortable as possible all our hygienists are qualified and skilled to administer local anaesthetic when required or at your request. Good oral health can have a significant impact on your overall general health. Research has shown a close link between gum disease, heart disease, diabetes and other health problems.
- Desensitising teeth
- Fissure sealants – the grooves in our teeth can be very prone to collecting food which leads to decay as it is difficult to remove from these areas. Fissure sealants are a flowable material that is bonded into these susceptible areas to help to prevent decay. Depending on diet and eating habits these may need to be replaced from time to time but are extremely useful in helping to prevent decay from developing.
- Breath freshening – our busy lifestyles and stresses, foods we eat and medications we take can have an affect on our breaths. Our hygienists will help you with halitosis (bad breath) if this is what you have.
- Oral cancer screening – This is carried out regularly for early detection of any problems.