A dental hygienist is a dental professional who helps patients maintain their oral health by preventing and treating gum disease and promoting good oral health practice. Regular hygienist visits will improve the appearance of your smile, make it easier to keep your teeth clean at home and aid in the early detection and treatment of gum disease.
Did you know?
You can book an appointment to see the hygienist without being a patient at the practice through direct access.
What to expect from a hygienist visit
The length of your appointment will vary depending on your individual need, however will normally vary between 30-40 minutes. The hygienist will assess the health of your gums, clean off calculus (hardened plaque) deposits, polish your teeth and provide you with detailed information on the most suitable oral hygiene aids/ methods to practise. A combination of hand instruments and an ultrasonic scaler will be used to clean your teeth; an ultrasonic scaler vibrates at a high frequency to remove calculus build up. There is also the option for your teeth to be polished using the air powered tooth polishing system which is a fast and effective method of removing stain and returning your teeth to their natural colour by using a combination of sodium hyrogencarbonate powder and water. The frequency at which you are recommended to visit the hygienist will depend on the health and condition of your gums but will normally vary between 3, 6 or 12 months.
Benefits of visiting the hygienist:
- Prevention of gum disease. Regular visits to see the hygienist will ensure that gum disease is recognized early. It is paramount to diagnose and treat gum disease early because if left untreated it can lead to the mobility and the possible loss of teeth!
- An oral hygiene regime that is tailored to your own dentition and individual needs will be recommended to you, ensuring you are aware of the most effective way to keep your mouth clean. You will be advised on the best products to use, when to use them and how to use them.
- Dietary advice. If necessary, you may be advised on how to modify your eating habits to prevent dental decay, dental erosion and staining.
- Fluoride application. Fluoride varnish can be applied to the teeth to aid in preventing dental decay and sensitivity.
- Removal of dental stain. Coffee, red wine and smoking are among the many products that are responsible for causing dental stain. Not only will the removal of stains improve the appearance of your teeth but will also aid in their health.
- Smoking cessation advice. The hygienist is able to provide you with information on the benefits of quitting smoking, the options available to help you quit and where you can seek further assistance and support with quitting.
A dental therapist is a dental professional that is able to perform several aspects of dental treatment direct to patients or under the prescription of a dentist. Such treatment includes restorative fillings on paediatric and adult patients, extractions and pulp treatment on deciduous teeth, fissure sealants, x-rays, taking impressions and the placement of preformed metal crowns on primary teeth.