What does a Dental Hygienist do?
A Hygienist is specially trained in the prevention and treatment of gum (periodontal) disease, which is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. They work closely alongside your dentist and can scale and polish your teeth. Your hygienist will be able to advise on all aspects of oral health. They can provide you with a home care plan and work with you to identify areas where you have difficulty removing plaque.
How long are the appointments?
Your appointment with the hygienist can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Your hygienist is not only trained to clean and polish your teeth but will also be able to take x-rays and provide other treatments.
Will seeing the hygienist hurt me?
Scaling and polishing are usually pain-free. If you do feel any discomfort the hygienist can use anaesthetic creams or solutions to prevent any sensitivity.
Why doesn’t the dentist do this work?
A Hygienist is specially trained to carry out this work and can spend longer with each patient. Cleaning teeth is a far more complex and skilled procedure than many people realise and our hygienists will maximise their time spent with you. One of the most important roles of the hygienist at the practice is to give dietary advice on the prevention of dental decay.
Can a dental hygienist help children?
Our hygienists can help children in a number of ways. Firstly and most importantly, they can advise children on helping them get into healthy dental habits through gentle friendly instruction. As well as scaling and polishing children’s teeth, they are also able to apply fluoride gels and lotions to help fight tooth decay. In addition, they can help determine the causes and solutions for symptoms such as grinding teeth.
What can I expect at my first dental hygiene appointment?
The hygienist will examine the gums and take some measurements. This includes ‘disclosing’ the teeth with a special dye to show up the plaque. This will then be cleaned away using hand instruments, ultrasonic scalers and polishing tools.
What are the benefits of seeing a dental hygienist?
As well as getting the teeth cleaned, the dietary advice and oral hygiene recommendations will provide an overall road map to a healthy mouth and fresh breath.
Will a dental hygienist fix tooth pain?
Some toothache can be attributed to gum inflammation which can be resolved by deep cleaning of the area. However, the cause of the pain should first be established by a dentist.
Do I need to see the dentist before I see the dental hygienist?
Yes if there is toothache. But otherwise, patients are encouraged to see the hygienist regularly until a dental check-up is due.
How often do I need to see a dental hygienist?
This varies according to the needs of the individual. Heavy smokers or patients with bleeding gums may need to see a hygienist every 3 months. Most other patients would need to see the hygienist every 6 months depending on how well the gums are maintained in between appointments.