Some Very Good Reasons To See Our Ipswich Dental Hygienist

Samantha Henley advises what to expect on your visit for a hygienist appointment

Flossing teethHopefully, a large number of you already come to see us at the Foxhall Dental Practice for an appointment with myself or one of the dental hygiene team.

For those of you who don’t, we thought we would focus today’s blog on the benefits of doing so and what happens during a typical appointment.

Most of you probably take good care of your teeth and do all that you can to avoid the pain of toothache, but are you aware that your gums are just as important as your teeth and that neglecting them can have a significantly negative impact on your overall oral health?

Why take care of your gums?

Your gum health is important. This is now a well established fact and an increasing number of people now see their dental hygienist on a regular basis. This will go a long way in avoiding some of the more common problems associated with gum disease which can range from a relatively mild soreness, to wobbly and lost teeth.

There are two main stages of gum disease; gingivitis and periodontitis. The former is a milder form which can usually be treated and managed by ourselves. Periodontitis is an advanced stage gum disease which should be avoided at all costs as it can result in tooth loss and any treatment given will be far more invasive than the treatment that we provide and has to be carried out by a suitably qualified dentist.

There are many possible symptoms of gum disease although it is also possible for it not to reveal any noticeable signs as well. Even gingivitis can have some unpleasant symptoms including sore and inflamed gums, gums that bleed when you brush your teeth, and bad breath, also known as halitosis.

Having hopefully convinced you that seeing a dental hygienist will be of benefit to you, let us take a look at what happens during a typical appointment.

  1. Examination – We will take a look at your gums to determine if there are any issues at all, examining each tooth and surrounding gum tissue.
  2. Discussion – We will discuss any issues that we find and also ways in which you can improve how you look after your gums better at home. This can include advice on brushing and how to floss, but also other things that can affect your gum health such as whether you smoke or not or drink to excess.
  3. Treatment – This is typically a three stage process and we will take you through each individual stage.

Stage 1 – Initially, a hand ‘scraper’ will be used to manually remove much of the calculus or tartar from your teeth and the gumline. This is a hard layer made up of bacteria and mineral deposits. It also has the effect of providing a rough surface to the tooth which in turn attracts more bacteria. A small number of patients don’t like this stage and it can feel a little uncomfortable as we scrape calculus away but any discomfort is mild.

Stage 2 – sonic cleaning – This is the second part of the cleaning process and will help to remove most of the remaining calculus/tartar. This tool uses ultrasound which causes vibrations that shatter the remaining hardened deposits and removes them effectively. There should be little or no discomfort during this stage of the process.

Stage 3 – professional cleaning – This is similar to home brushing but much more effective. A high speed rotating head is used to remove any final remaining deposits and will leave your teeth and gums feeling smoother and your mouth much fresher. There is also a hidden bonus for those whose teeth are stained. Whilst it is not as effective as a teeth whitening treatment, the act of high speed polishing can also remove some surface staining on the teeth and brighten them up a little.

Along with your dentist, we will also monitor the general health of the soft tissues of the mouth. Should we see anything that might be of concern, we may refer you to your GP to have it checked. Maintaining good oral health at home and professionally though, should minimise the chance of this happening.

Hopefully the above information will have encouraged a few more of you to come to see us, as well as your usual visits to our Ipswich dental clinic, If you would like an appointment to see either myself or another hygienist, please call the Foxhall Dental Practice on 01473 258396 to arrange an appointment. We look forward to meeting you and helping with your oral health!

Samantha Henley – Dental Hygienist – GDC Number 134767