The Dental Hygienist – Common Questions…

Burneston Dental Surgery, Guildford - whiten

Here are the most common questions we get asked about our Hygienist service, with the answers provided by our Dental Hygienist & Therapist Karen Thetford-Haine.

What does a hygienist do?

A dental hygienist is a registered dental care professional who is trained in preventative dental care. Their main role is to professionally remove tartar (or ‘calculus’) from your teeth and to show you the best way to keep your mouth healthy. They may give advice on diet to prevent dental decay and suggest ways to stop smoking. The hygienist can also perform fissure sealants and fluoride treatment following referral from your dentist. 

What can I expect from my hygiene appointment?

Each patient is treated as an individual, so your appointment will be tailored to your needs and concerns. These may vary from a gum health assessment, professional scale and polish, advice on home care products, dietary advice, smoking cessation and any bad breath issues.

What’s the difference between a scale and polish with the dentist and with the hygienist?

Some dentists will do this type of work, however many realize that the hygienist has been specially trained to carry out hygiene therapies and can spend longer with you. They will encourage and motivate you on how to look after your teeth and gums.

How long does a hygiene appointment take?

Patients’ needs differ and we pride ourselves on ensuring that the length of any appointment is tailored to your needs. Appointment times may vary between 30 – 45 minutes.

How often do I need to see a hygienist?

At Burneston Dental we strongly believe in a preventative approach to oral health and we encourage regular hygienist visits. We regularly monitor your gum and supporting bone health through assessment charts, periodontal probing and dental X-rays. This enables us to address any change in your gum health. Initially your appointments may vary between monthly to 6 monthly. The interval between visits is extended as your gums and teeth become healthy. Changing long-standing tooth brushing techniques can be hard. Teamwork between you and the hygienist will establish correct dental health techniques, which in turn will help maintain healthy gums and teeth. 

Will the treatment hurt?

The treatment is usually pain free, however if you do have any discomfort the hygienist can use anaesthetic gels or local anaesthetic.

What are the benefits of seeing a hygienist regularly?

Your gums and underlying bone form the foundations for your teeth and looking after them is paramount to your oral health. Bacteria build up on your teeth on a daily basis. The hygienist will remove the potentially harmful plaque and calculus and will help encourage you to maintain your oral health. Regular visits with the hygienist will help you keep your teeth, improve your appearance and give you fresh breath.

If you would like to know more about our dental hygiene services then please contact us and we will be glad to help you.