Preventive Dentistry and The Dental Hygienist
We at Castlemaine Smiles Dentist are proud to have our Oral Health Therapist on the team. Oral Health Therapists are not only fully qualified Hygienists but are Dental Therapists specially trained to provide excellent dental care for children.
What is a dental hygienist?
Dental Hygienists are specially trained members of the Dental team who work together with your dentist to provide treatment, prevent oral diseases and maintain optimum oral health.
What is the Role of the Dental Hygienist within the practice?
Hygienists perform 4 main roles:
Scaling and polishing of teeth. This involves meticulous removal of plaque and calculus (tartar) from above and below the gum-line. Also the polishing of teeth and, if necessary, fillings.
Evaluation and coaching of oral hygiene techniques on an individual basis. This will include care for your gums and teeth and the role of bacteria/plaque in dental disease. Advice on life style/diet/medical conditions that can affect your oral health and determining ways to minimise detrimental effects.
Applying preventative agents like fluoride and fissure sealants to teeth.
Why is home dental care important?
Tooth decay and gum disease can be prevented!
Good home plaque control that uses effective techniques to remove plaque on a daily basis, combined with a reduction in sugar intake, will prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
Why can’t my dentist do this?
A dental hygienist is specially trained to provide the necessary attention to detail, on an individual basis. This is often not achievable by your dentist. The hygienist will be able to spend more time with you than the dentist who provides a lot of other complex oral procedures.
Your dentist will refer you to the hygienist if they feel that you will benefit from the increased focus for more specialised care. Once you have established an ongoing hygiene regime, your appointment will be arranged as part of your regular dental check-up. You can of course request an appointment with the hygienist sooner if you would like.
Is there any discomfort?
Usually dental hygiene is pain free. If you find treatment uncomfortable it is important that you discuss this with the hygienist. Various techniques are available to help.
Is it expensive?
Any preventive care will ultimately lead to savings. Depending on the type of treatment carried out and length of appointment, costs may vary. Some patients need more than one visit initially. At Castlemaine Smiles Dentist we are always happy to provide you with an estimate of treatment costs.