The age old adage of “prevention is better than cure” certainly rings true in Oral Health and here at Maxident Clinic we are strong advocate of preventative dentistry, preventative treatments underpins all we do. This is why our dedicated team of fully qualified and experienced Dental Hygienists plays an integral part in all our patients’ dental health care.
Good oral hygiene is the key to good dental health and vital in eliminating gum disease and decay which can eventually lead to tooth loss. Our highly trained hygienists work with you and your dentist to ensure healthy gums, fresh breath and outstanding oral health.
Maintaining a good dental hygiene regime at home is essential to helping prevent the build up of plaque and tartar. However, some parts of the mouth are difficult if not impossible to reach and regular dental hygiene treatment is vital to prevent cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease.
The hygienist’s main role is to prevent gum disease by professionally cleaning your teeth, a process called scaling and polishing. They carefully remove any build up of plaque or hard deposits of calculus (tartar) below and above the gum using manual or ultrasonic instruments.
Your Maxident Clinic hygienist will also give you advice about your daily maintenance routine so that you can keep your mouth in tip-top condition.
The Hygienist visit
The hygienist will assess your gums and teeth, checking for any swelling or inflammation and for any bleeding. Measurements of where the gum attaches to the tooth (pockets) may also be taken.The hygienist will then carefully remove the tartar using manual or ultrasonic instruments. Removing the tartar makes the teeth easier to keep clean, as its rough surface tends to attract more plaque.The hygienist will then polish the teeth leaving them smooth and clean. If there is a lot of tartar, two or more visits may be necessary.
If gum disease has become advanced, a special programme for removing deep tartar from the root surface may be required. This is called root planing or debridement and it may be necessary for the dentist or hygienist to anaesthetise the gum to make it comfortable. In some cases a slow-release gel may be prescribed to help stop the harmful bacteria from causing further damage.
Recent research has shown that people who regularly see the hygienist experience less dental decay and require less dental work in the long term.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dental hygienists are specially trained to work with the dentist in providing care tailored to the patients. They play an important role in dental health care and are mainly concerned with gum health, education in correct home care and the application of preventive materials to the teeth and gums. The hygienist provides professional cleaning of the teeth for the patient. Most importantly they educate the patient in the best way to keep the teeth free of plaque.
Regular professional cleaning combined with your home care will help maintain a healthy mouth. A clean and healthy mouth will improve your appearance, help keep your teeth and give you fresh breath.
The training of the hygienist is centred on preventing dental disease. Carefully removing the deposits that build up on the teeth and teaching you how to prevent it reforming again, will go a long way to slowing the progress of gum disease. Anti-bacterial gels and solutions can be applied under the gum to kill the bacteria causing gum disease. By discussing your diet and recommending other preventive measures your decay rate can also be reduced.
Children can benefit from having their teeth polished. The hygienist can also apply fluoride gels and solutions to prevent decay. The permanent back teeth can also benefit from having the fissures sealed.
The hygienist has been specially trained to carry out scaling and polishing and can spend longer with you. They are also experts at teaching you how to look after your teeth and gums. At times the hygienist will need two or more appointments getting the gums healthy and ready for the dentist to do the more complex treatment.
Scaling and polishing is usually pain-free, if no inflamation is present. However, if you do experience some discomfort the hygienist can eliminate this with the use of topical anaesthetic creams or by giving yu some local anaesthetic. It is important that you let the hygienist know at the time so that some pain control can be given.
You can do a great deal to help yourself and the hygienist as you are in control of your mouth between visits to the practice. Y our hygienist will have shown you how to remove plaque with a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. You will also have been shown how to clean between your teeth with floss, tape or little brushes. There are many products now available and your hygienist will recommend those that are appropriate for you.