Think hygienist visits are unnecessary and rather opt for a quick scale and polish? If we’ve suggested you opt for a hygienist appointment it will be for good reason!
No matter how well you brush and floss your teeth, you will still find plaque build-up on those hard to reach areas above and below the gum line. This can harden over time and form tartar which can’t be removed by brushing. This can then lead to gum disease, tooth decay and potential tooth loss! By keeping on top of your oral hygiene with a good home regime and dental check-ups, we can keep your teeth strong and healthy.
Significant advances have been made not just in dental treatment itself, but also in preventive treatment. This means that more and more patients can benefit from enjoying their original teeth for a lifetime – provided of course that they are looked after well.
Dental hygienists play a central role in this new approach to dentistry, helping you not just to keep your teeth, but also to avoid the discomfort and costs that come with repairs and replacements.
How does a hygienist differ from a scale and polish?
Whilst your dentist will remove plaque build-up and generally clean up your teeth, a hygienist appointment will provide a deep clean. A scale and polish can be carried out by the dentist or hygienist to remove stubborn deposits of plaque and tartar. This is followed by polishing to remove surface stains and soothes patches of rough texture which can attract further plaque deposits. The whole procedure is usually completed within 10 minutes.
During a hygienist visit teeth will be fully scaled and polished. Gums will be assessed and cleaned to remove deposits from below the gums. The hygienist will also provide advice regarding dental health, including dietary advice to help prevent tooth decay and oral hygiene advice to show the correct home care to help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
How long will it take?
A scale and polish can be undertaken during your dental check-up and depending on the work required it will only take around 10 minutes. As a dedicated hygienist appointment is tailored to your specific oral health needs, appointment times vary and can last between 30-60 minutes.
Is it painful?
The treatment is usually pain free but if you have sensitive teeth or your gums are receding you may experience some discomfort. We can apply anaesthetic gels and numbing agents to combat this to ensure your appointment is as painless as possible.
How frequent should I visit?
This will depend on the health of your teeth and gums and varies from monthly to 6 monthly. The interval between visits is extended as your gums and teeth become healthy. As a preventative measure, we recommend hygienist appointments to all patients to avoid any tartar build up or gum disease developing.
This may seem like a contradiction – if you want to avoid seeing the dentist, visit the hygienist. Our lifestyle, brushing habits and other factors all affect our oral hygiene. Visiting the hygienist regularly and following any advice you are given means that you are far more likely to avoid needing to see the dentist for ongoing treatment. Remember, it is all about prevention.