From 1st May 2013 the General Dental Council has removed the need for dental hygienists to work to the prescription of a registered dentist, which means that you now have the option of booking an appointment to see your dental hygienist directly without needing to see the dentist first.
At your appointment your dental hygienist will complete a thorough examination of your mouth and will undertake any treatment necessary which falls within their “Scope of Practice”. This sometimes may require further appointments. The initial periodontal therapy appointment will mainly consist of a full mouth assessment using the latest Florida Probe technology to establish disease presence. This will assess the tooth loss, bone and gingival attachment loss, tooth mobility and plaque levels in your mouth. An oral cancer screening and temporomandibular joint check will also be carried out. Intra-oral photographs and digital radiographs may also be taken.
An individual treatment plan and tailored home maintenance pattern will then be devised.
You will be advised if they identify any areas of concern or when treatment is required that is outside of their “Scope of Practice” and needs to be checked by a dentist. This being the case, you would be referred to either Dr Tom Sealey or Dr Tony Aneiros, and they will advise you of the treatment options available including the option to refer to a specialist when appropriate.
Dental hygienists practising under Direct Access are not expected to make a diagnosis or provide treatment outside of their “Scope of Practice” Dental hygienists are not all expected to practice under Direct Access , only those whose training, including post graduate training enables them to do so. And the choice to see a dental hygienist directly remains entirely with you. You are still welcome to book an appointment with your dentist in the normal way.
WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU CONTINUE TO SEE YOUR DENTIST FOR REGULAR EXAMINATIONS