What is a dental hygienist?
The hygienist’s main work is to prevent and treat gum disease. This includes professionally cleaning your teeth by removing plaque and tartar (usually called a ‘scale and polish’). However, perhaps their most important role is showing you the best way to keep your teeth free of plaque.
It is very important for an implant patient to see the hygienist regularly, as with an implant there is no periodontal ligament to act as a shock absorber. This means that bone loss can occur due to traumatic occlusion. Peri-implantitis could also occur with poor oral hygiene and lack of maintenance visits.
What other treatments will a hygienist do?
Dental hygienists take dental x-rays which the dentist will use these to help diagnose problems and decide on the best course of treatment. Dental hygienists can also place fissure sealants, apply fluoride varnishes and administer fluoride treatments. Tooth whitening is often carried out by the dental hygienist, under a prescription from your dentist.
Why is this dental treatment important?
Regular professional cleaning to remove plaque and tartar, combined with looking after your teeth and gums properly at home, will keep your mouth healthy. A clean and healthy mouth will improve your appearance, help you to keep your teeth and give you fresh breath. It will also reduce the likelihood of periodontitis or implantitis. Regular visits and advice will help build your confidence in keeping your mouth healthy.
Will the treatment hurt?
Scaling and polishing is usually pain free. However, if you do have any discomfort the hygienist can use anaesthetic creams, or give you some local anaesthetic. It is important that you let the hygienist know at the time so they can help with your pain.
How long does the appointment last and what is the cost?
Our hygienist appointments normally last 30 minutes and will cost £65. The time may vary if, after seeing a dentist, they think you need more extensive work done with the hygienist, but this will be made clear to you prior to booking any appointment.
How many times should I see the hygienist?
We recommend that you see a hygienist at least once a year, preferably every 3-6 months depending on your oral hygiene. This is an excellent way to prevent future problems that will be far more costly than a hygienist visit.