Why should I see a Hygienist every 6 months?
Good oral hygiene is the key to good dental health and is vital in eliminating gum disease and decay, which can eventually lead to tooth loss.
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 to reach and regular dental hygienist visits can prevent cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease.
Your hygienist is specially trained to prevent and treat gum disease and to help you maintain healthy bright teeth. They offer a professional clean, a process called scaling and polishing. They carefully remove any build-up of plaque or hard deposits of calculus (tartar) above and below the gum using manual or ultrasonic instruments These areas are impossible to clean using a toothbrush. Your hygienist should also provide advice on diet, preventing tooth decay and dental implant care. They can spot signs of dental disease and should always refer you to a dentist if they see anything that needs further treatment.
Regular visits to a hygienist(every 6 months) combined with looking after your teeth and gums at home will greatly improve the appearance of your teeth and oral health.
Do I need to be referred to a hygienist?
We offer direct access to a hygienist, you don’t need to see a dentist to be referred to Hygienist at Dentology unless you have had certain dental treatments in the past where dentist referral may be needed. This is typically to ensure there are no problems, sensitivity or issues with your teeth that could be effected by a hygienist appointment. So check with your Dentist first.
Our new dynamic hygienist Priyanka is here to provide a range of hygiene treatments including :-
- Air Polishing/Airflow
- Whitening treatment
- Whitening Strips
- Fluoride Varnish Application
- Root surface debridement
- Deep cleaning for implants
- Correct use and sizes of interdental aids
- Counselling for dental phobic patients
Scaling is a common dental procedure for patients with gum disease. This is a type of dental cleaning that reaches below the gumline to remove plaque build-up. Everyone experiences some form of plaque build-up. The saliva, bacteria, and proteins in your mouth form a thin layer that covers your teeth at almost all times. When you eat, tiny particles, acids, and sugars from the food stick to this film, creating a build-up on the teeth known as plaque. The bacteria that lives in this plaque can cause gum disease and tooth decay. Brushing, interdental aids and regular dental scaling help remove the plaque and tartar and prevent more serious problems.
Tooth polishing is done to smooth the surfaces of teeth and restorations. The purpose of polishing is to remove extrinsic stains, remove dental plaque accumulation, increase aesthetics and to reduce corrosion of metallic restorations.
This procedure works by using a fine jet of compressed air, water and fine powder particles to remove staining caused by coffee, tea, red wine, tobacco and some mouthwashes. Something for people fancying a brighter smile but not wanting to undertake teeth whitening treatment. Although it air polishing cannot alter the base colour of your teeth, it is fantastic at removing stains and restoring your sparkle!
You might have a heavy build-up of plaque which is removed more quickly and easily by air polishing than by your scale and polish alone. Air polishing can be more comfortable for those with sensitive teeth than a scale and polish as there is no heat generated by the procedure, and no contact with the teeth themselves. It can be safely used on implants, bridges, veneers and crowns as well.The powders come in a variety of flavours such as mint and cherry and is much more pleasant and less gritty than the heavy paste used in traditional polishing for some.
Teeth discolour for a number of reasons. Very few people have bright white teeth, and our teeth can get more and more discoloured as we get older. Teeth can also be stained by food and drinks such as tea, coffee and red wine. Smoking can also stain teeth. Teeth whitening can be a highly effective, yet simple way, of lightening the colour of teeth without removing any of the tooth surface.
Professional In-Practice Teeth Whitening takes about 6 weeks and follows a four-stage process that protects and whitens your teeth: Firstly, the dentist makes an impression of your teeth. This is easy to do and means a bespoke tray is made which fits perfectly, ensuring comfort when it’s worn. At the same appointment, you are given a special dental serum to take home and use to prepare the teeth for treatment and stop the risk of any sensitivity. Once the tray has been crafted, then you are given the first treatment at the practice, kick-starting the whitening process. Over the following two weeks you use the whitening system at home as directed by the dentist. This system carefully and gently brightens the teeth whilst protecting from damage and sensitivity at the same time. After two weeks, you return to the dentist for the final treatment.
Home whitening is quicker and takes 3-4 weeks in total. An impression is taken so that a bespoke tray can be carefully crafted, and the serum is supplied as described above. Once the tray is ready, it’s collected from the practice along with the rest of the whitening system and taken home to be used as directed for two weeks. Normally during a whitening treatment, patients are advised to avoid anything that would stain a white t-shirt (coffee, red wine, curry and more). However, when whitening with Enlighten you don’t need to follow any specific dietary advice and can continue to enjoy your favourite food and drink during the process.
Whitening strips contain a thin layer of hydrogen peroxide or another active ingredient, adhered to a pliable, plastic strip. The active ingredients in whitening strips vary, but many use carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. Whitening strips bleach off surface stains. Brightening up your teeth is a great way to enhance your smile and also gives your confidence a boost. Most whitening strips come in packs of 28, which equates to one strip per row of teeth for 14 nights. Typically, a person wears the strips for about half an hour before bedtime and can usually notice a difference in the whiteness of their teeth in the first week. It is especially good for someone who either wants a cheaper, quicker option as it doesn’t require any moulds/trays. It’s also particularly good for people looking to commit to whitening for a shorter span.
FLUORIDE VARNISH APPLICATION
When fluoride is present in the saliva, the fluoride ions become concentrated in the plaque. When sugars then enter the plaque, the presence of fluoride reduces the conversion of dietary sugars into acid by plaque bacteria with less acid produced. Fluoride varnish slows down the development of decay by stopping demineralisation, it makes the enamel more resistant to acid attack (from plaque bacteria) ,speeds up remineralisation (demineralising the tooth with fluoride ions, making the tooth surface stronger and less soluble) and it can stop bacterial metabolism (at high concentrations) to produce less acid. Fluoride varnish leads to heavy remineralisation of the enamel surface, and subsequent acid attacks will allow fluoride ions to penetrate more deeply into the tooth structure. Varnishes are useful because they stay on the tooth surface for some hours, allowing slow release of the fluoride ion.
ROOT SURFACE DEBRIDEMENT
The pockets in your gum which form around your teeth are regularly monitored. If left unchecked, plaque and calculus build up on the teeth above and below the gum line. The plaque and tartar can easily be removed above the gum. Below the gumline takes longer. If all the plaque is removed this should encourage the gum to re-attach to the tooth. The pocket depth should then reduce over time.
The aim of root surface debridement is to get deep into the periodontal pocket to clean the root surface and remove bacterial toxins. The procedure can be carried out under local anaesthesia if required for patient comfort. Hand instruments and an ultrasonic device are used synergistically. It can be carried out in one or more appointments depending on severity. In some cases, the procedure may be followed by adjunctive therapy which involves local delivery of antimicrobials.
CORRECT USE AND SIZES OF INTERDENTAL AIDS
Interdental brushes help to prevent gum disease by getting rid of pieces of food and plaque from between your teeth. They have small bristled heads designed to clean between your teeth, and they come in different widths to suit the sizes of the gaps. If you find it difficult to use interdental brushes, our dental hygienist can help you with this. She can show you how to use the brushes and give you advice about other ways to clean between your teeth, such as dental floss, water pik, air floss and uni-tufted brushes.
DEEP CLEANING AROUND IMPLANT
It’s very important to get your dental implant cleaned by a professional periodically. They will need to thoroughly clean the threads of the implant, the surrounding tissue, and your natural teeth. This helps keep away bacteria, which can lead to an infection. Your hygienist will probably taking gum scores and incorporate scaling, a method that cleans much deeper than the surface of the tooth, cleaning below the gumline to remove the build-up of plaque. This is more than just your average dental cleaning.
COUNSELLING FOR DENTAL PHOBIC PATIENTS
According to survey by the British Dental Association, 25% of people suffer from anxiety before visiting the dentist. This means then, that 1/4th of the British population must either try their best to cope with their dental phobia or risk their oral health by not visiting the dentist at all, which could lead to long term serious health problems and result in lengthy and expensive surgery. Fear of visiting the dentist is a completely understandable human emotion and affects many people in varying degrees around the world. Often the best way to overcome this fear is to think about where it originated from and to confront it. Some people suffer because of a previous bad and painful experience at the dentist and are anxious about repeating the experience. Many others may have heard horror stories from friends or colleagues or fear the lack of control that they will have during their treatment and are put off because of this. But it is absolutely vital to remember that you are not alone, dental phobia is extremely common across all kinds of people, male or female, young or old. Counselling helps people from all over the world overcome all sorts of different fears and is proven to be a very effective way of overcoming a phobia.
Our hygienist Priyanka also has obtained diploma in advanced counselling skills (Level 3), cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness. She has counselled many patients and helped them through various innovative behavioural and distractive techniques. She provides counselling uniquely to cater the needs of an individual.