A study published by Dentistry.co.uk revealed that a third of people in the UK have never sat in the hygienist’s chair, putting them at great risk of gum disease and eventual tooth loss. The main reason cited (by 49%) of the patients was that they felt visits to the dentist were sufficient for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
This study highlights that here in the UK, we still have a lot to learn about the role of the hygienist and how regular check-ups can prevent gum disease from progressing to a more serious stage. Here are some of the vital functions performed by your dental hygienist.
Scale and polish treatment
A scale and polish treatment is one of the most common treatments a hygienist performs for patients and is hugely important in preventing periodontitis (the more advanced form of gum disease). This treatment removes staining that brushing alone cannot, namely the build up of plaque. No matter how diligent you are when brushing, at some point in life you will develop some degree of gum disease and annual or bi-annual hygienist appointments will make sure you keep it at bay.
Here at our practice in Lewisham, we’ve invested in a piece of equipment known as the Airflow Teeth Polisher, a comfortable and speedy way to remove tenacious stains. Unlike conventional scale and polish treatment, with the Airflow Polisher there are no metal tools or intense vibration involved, ensuring a more comfortable experience. You can read more about it here.
An educational & preventative role
Regular scale and polish treatments will ensure gum disease is kept at bay and that any problems you might not have noticed at home are flagged up by your hygienist. Your hygienist can also show you how best to floss and brush as well as show you the right type of floss and brush you need to clean your particular tooth structure, as everyone is different.
Working with your dentist to give you the best treatment
A hygienist exchanges notes with your dentist to ascertain how best to treat certain issues. Hygienists are experts in gum health and possess detailed knowledge in this area that dentists do not.
Here at Smile Up, we are open 7 days a week to offer convenience and flexibility to our patients. We are a multi-lingual practice, speaking languages that include Polish, Portuguese, French, Russian, Italian and Greek. Get in touch with us today to book yourself in for a consultation.