Why choose a Dental Hygienist?

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What is a dental hygienist?

Hygienists specialise in periodontal disorders and preventive dentistry. Through advice and treatment we help to control and prevent oral disease and help people to keep their gums and mouths healthy.

Can you help prevent cavities from forming?

A lot of what we do involves risk assessment and dietary advice, oral hygiene assessment and instruction. We advise on the use and application of fluoride, can apply fissure sealants where appropriate, all of which help to prevent cavities from forming or deepening.

Can hygienists identify oral conditions?

Frequent visits to a hygienist often results in the early identification of oral conditions. Although we cannot officially diagnose oral conditions, our strong grounding in oral medicine means we are trained to be highly observant.

Should I see a hygienist instead of a dentist?

Whilst our work supports and complements dentists, at Bath Spa Dentistry we feel that every patient should be assessed by a dentist initially to see if a visit to a hygienist is necessary.

How often should I visit the hygienist?

Once a patient has been assessed we will advise on the frequency of follow-on visits depending on your individual need. Depending on the condition, patients typically see our hygienists between two and four times a year. Such regular visits facilitate early detection of any deterioration in the gingival condition and prevent further problems.

What is scale and polish?

This staple treatment of a hygienist is the removal of hard deposits, also known as calculus or tartar which build up on teeth. These deposits encourage plaque retention which increases the risk of gum disease and can also pick up stain which can be unsightly.

A hygienist uses a variety of tools to remove calculus although stain removal can sometimes be a little trickier. At Bath Spa Dentistry we work with a number of state-of-the- art tools that enable a quality standard scale and polish which is pain free with no damage to the teeth.

Ultrasonic scalers that use sound waves to produce a cavitational effect are efficient at removing calculus and stain. Air polishers, in particular the Prophy Jet®, are a relatively new technique which involves high pressure bi-carbonated powder and water to remove stain only. This technique has the added advantage of reaching every nook and cranny, enabling it to remove persistent stain, which would not ordinarily be removed by either hand or ultrasonic scalers.

Do children need to visit a hygienist?

It used to be that only adults saw hygienists but nowadays an increasing number of children are referred to us from an early age so that we can encourage an effective cleaning and preventive routine that will ensure their dental health for a lifetime.

We can also offer treatments such as fissure sealants which involves the application of a clear or coloured resin, a bit like nail varnish, which helps to reduce the depth of fissures and pits found mainly on children’s molar teeth. Fissure sealants have become an important part of a child’s cavity prevention strategy, making teeth cleaning much easier. As it is often their first experience of dental treatment, we allow plenty of time and make sure it is as comfortable and relaxed as possible.

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