A dental hygienist is one of the most valuable members of any dental team. Their primary role is to keep a patient’s teeth and gums healthy to help prevent gum disease. This includes professionally cleaning teeth by removing plaque and tartar and showing patients the best ways to keep teeth free of plaque. Because gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss, keeping gums healthy is one of the most important factors of dental care. In fact, having healthy gums is so important, complex treatment plans often cannot be completed until gums are in a healthy order. The hygienist’s job is to work alongside the dental team to prevent and treat this silent disease.
Prevention is better than cure
Preventing gum disease is always at the core of a dental hygienist’s role. Since Covid and the associated lockdowns, more patients have recognised the importance of accessing dental services and taking care of their general health. If a patient has an oral health issue it will not automatically require a dentist as patients are able to see a hygienist independently.
Treat symptoms early
Routine visits to the hygienist can ensure that if a problem arises it is dealt with in its early stages. Remember, both gum disease and dental decay are entirely preventable and often painless or symptomless in their earlier stages.
Think of your hygienist as your personal oral hygiene coach who will show you which products to use, and how to use them, in order to maintain optimum oral health. Additionally, they can also give you “diet advice” to help protect teeth from decay, erosion and other weaknesses, as well as identifying any concerns to the dentist if required.
Sore, tender and bleeding gums are all signs of gum disease. Early-stage gum disease is known as “gingivitis” which is completely reversible if proper oral hygiene care is given. Damage caused by more advanced gum disease is irreversible, and ultimately can lead to tooth loss. If you have any of these symptoms you can book a direct appointment with the Hygienist to assess and help with professional cleaning. Although irreversible damage is often seen (often due to neglect), it’s important to stop the deterioration as leaving delaying treatment will ultimately lead to tooth loss.
Typically, during a hygiene visit several oral health screenings are undertaken such as oral cancer and full oral health assessment as well as gum health screening. The hygienist will also show you the techniques to keep plaque off the teeth and show you what products are best for you to maintain excellent oral health.
Pain free cleaning
Today’s technology offers effective and pain free professional cleaning. The practice utilises the “airflow” technology, which is highly effective, minimally invasive and extremely gentle. Airflow is great for people with gum disease, braces, crowns, bridgework, dentures and implants. It’s also a great option for removing tea, coffee, red wine and tobacco stains.
Our hygienist Natasha has been working with us for 5 years now and has produced some fantastic results. Why not book in for your initial appointment lasting up to 45 minutes either after your dental exam or directly with the hygienist and start your journey for a healthy mouth?