Private Hygiene Services
'A pathway to excellence in oral health'
What is a hygienist?
Dental hygienists are specially trained to work with the dentist to give care to patients. They play an important part in dental health care and are mainly concerned with gum health - showing people correct home care and helping to keep the teeth and gums healthy. A Dental Hygienist is a specially trained in the prevention and treatment of gum (periodontal) disease, which is the main cause of adult tooth loss and to give advice on all aspects of oral health. Our Hygienists are highly trained to treat even the most complex cases.
What is the hygienist's role in the practice?
The hygienist's main work is to professionally clean the patient's teeth. This is usually called ‘scaling and polishing'. If periodontal disease is present then a more complex treatment is required called root surface debridment (RSD) which is removing the build up of plaque from the root surface beneath the gum level. However, perhaps their most important role is showing people the best way to keep their teeth free of plaque. Plaque is a sticky coating that forms constantly on your teeth. They also give advice on diet and preventing dental decay. The hygienist will work with your dentist to give you care that is tailored to your needs.
Why doesn't the dentist do this work?
Some dentists will do this type of work. However, many now realise that the hygienist has been specially trained to carry out periodontal treatments and can spend longer with you. They are also experienced at teaching you how to look after your teeth and gums. Often the hygienist will spend a number of appointments getting the gums healthy ready for the dentist to restore the teeth with crowns and fillings.
Will the treatment hurt?
Periodontal treatment is usually pain free. However, if you do have any discomfort the hygienist can use anaesthetic creams, or give you some local anaesthetic. It is important that you let the hygienist know at the time so they can help with your pain.
What can I do to help the hygienist?
You can do a great deal to help yourself and the hygienist, as you are in control of your mouth between visits to the practice. Your hygienist will have shown you how to remove plaque with a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
They will also have shown you how to clean between your teeth with interdental brushes, floss or tape.
There are many oral care products now available including specialist toothpastes, powered toothbrushes, and mouthwashes. Your hygienist will recommend those that are best for you.
We recommend you follow three simple steps to help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste containing at least 1450ppm (parts per million) of fluoride
cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks
visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.
Cutting down the amount of sugar in your diet, and the number of times that you eat during the day, can help to reduce decay. Your hygienist can help you by looking at your decay problem and your diet, and by making some recommendations for you to consider.
Chewing sugar-free gum for 10 minutes after meals can also help to prevent tooth decay. Chewing gum makes your mouth produce more saliva, which in turn cancels out the acid produced in your mouth after drinking and eating.