Looking after Your Dental Hygiene with Start Smiling in Essex
At Start-Smiling your hygiene appointment is likely to be different to any cleaning you may have had elsewhere. The focus is on improving and maintaining your oral health. Your hygienist will carry out detailed measurements in your mouth to assess the health of the supporting bone and gum around your teeth. This is important; to make sure the foundations of the teeth are intact, before you invest any money in restoring the teeth.
Everybody has Bacteria and food debris which accumulates in their mouth and around the tooth gum junction. This causes inflammation and infection in the gum and eventually can lead to destruction of bone support. This bacterial film becomes hard, known as ‘calculus’ or ‘tartar’ and is impossible for you to remove with your toothbrush.
The hygienist will carefully and thoroughly remove these deposits and any stains and then help to devise a realistic and achievable cleaning programme for you to maintain at home.
Our hygienists work closely with our dentists to safeguard you. They carry out facial and oral cancer screening, check the function of your jaw joint and the way your teeth meet and fit together, constantly reassess your gum and bone condition and where justified can take x-ray radiographs to closely look how things are under the surface.
All this is done with the assistance of a nurse for your safety and comfort. We utilise the very latest and highest quality materials and equipment, and you can even watch TV or a DVD on the ceiling-mounted televisions to help make the appointment a relaxing and enjoyable experience.
Direct Access To Your Dental Hygienist
There is no loner a 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 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.
Your questions answered
q. Is there anything else i can expect to happen during my appointment?
a. It is important for the hygienist to get some background information about you and your cleaning regime in order to adapt your routine to improve your oral health. In depth measurements of your gums will be taken, using a state of the art probing system known as ‘florida probe’, to detect gum disease. Your teeth will also be applied with a dye to detect areas that bacteria are accumulating. Stain and debris on the teeth will also be removed, however some patients require further appointments dependant on the status of their oral health.
q. Why are my teeth sensitive when i brush them?
a. They may be sensitive for many reasons but most commonly because incorrect brushing technique has worn the gum away. Your hygienist can apply protection to these areas and show you how to prevent further wear
q. How long is the appointment?
a. Start-smiling initial hygiene appointments take up to an hour. These appointments are very thorough and time is taken to assess all aspects of oral health. Dependant on the condition of your oral health, more appointments may be required to achieve the optimal oral condition. Once oral health is established, this will need to be monitored and maintained as often as the hygienist feels necessary; this is tailored advice and dependent upon you and your dental needs.
q. Why doesn’t the dentist clean my teeth?
a. We believe its best to stick to what you do best. Hygienists are highly qualified and focus on the gums and bone surrounding and supporting the teeth. Teeth can only be restored if they are well supported by healthy gum and bone. Once this health is established the dentists can then apply their skill to help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.
q. Will it make my teeth whiter?
a. We remove all surface deposits and stains, so yes your teeth will be brighter and feel amazing. Sometimes stains soak into the teeth and cannot be polished off. Also teeth become dull over years of eating and drinking coloured foodstuffs so we are happy to discuss other ways of whitening your teeth.
q. Do i have to see the dentist in order to benefit from the hygienist appointment?
a. No. Due to some new changes in the law, you can now have direct access to a hygienist. We still advocate that patients see a dentist as well but the above option can be very convenient for patients to visit our hygienist for cleaning and maintenance in between dentist visits, for example whilst undergoing orthodontic treatment.
q. Can my children visit the dental hygienist?
a. Yes. We offer a service to children whereby advice is given to prevent tooth decay and future gum disease.