Hygienist appointments from £62 per session
Direct access appointments available
Dental hygienists’ clean teeth and examine patients for signs of oral diseases such as gingivitis and provide other preventive dental care. They also educate patients on ways to improve and maintain good oral health.
What happens during a hygiene appointment and why? During your hygiene sessions the key aim is to improve your oral health, to reduce your risk of dental decay and/or gum disease. To do this we must first assess the health of your gums and your level of risk. The hygienist will look at, and chart on the computer, areas of your mouth susceptible to disease. This is an important baseline to help monitor any changes to your gum health in the future. We can monitor gum swelling (inflammation) and bleeding, bacterial plaque, gum shrinkage (recession), wobbly teeth (mobility), and whether there has been any destruction to the structures which support each tooth If your gums are healthy, and you do not have any areas that are inflamed (swollen) or bleed easily, then the hygienist will help you maintain the health of your teeth and gums with tailored advice and removal of any tartar and surface staining. You are likely to hear some unfamiliar terminology whilst the hygienist and dental nurse are recording areas of health and disease, but don’t worry this will be explained during and at the end of your appointment!
Firstly, your hygienist will need to chart any baseline indices such as the pocket depth, any bleeding and inflammation and plaque. The pocket depth is the area of unattached gum adjacent to the root surface of your tooth, which occurs naturally around all teeth, but we need to measure them to ensure they are at a healthy depth. All surfaces of your teeth will be professionally cleaned to remove plaque, tartar and surface stain to make it easy for you to clean at home, the most important element is improving your oral hygiene, so you will get tailored advice including tooth brushing techniques, whether you need a mouthwash, if floss or interdental brushes are more suitable for you and which sizes. If you are unable to improve your oral health at home, then no amount of professional cleaning will resolve gum disease. On the following appointment, the hygienist will reassess the health of your gums. If at this point there are still areas of plaque missed, the hygienist will work with you to improve this. Once your plaque bacteria levels are very low and you can maintain this at home, any deeper professional cleaning can be carried out, this is called initial periodontal therapy. The length of this appointment will depend on how many teeth are involved and how much tartar you have in the pockets. It is important we make this as comfortable as possible so your hygienist may need to numb your teeth and gums.
Your baseline indices of pocketing, bleeding and plaque will be reassessed so any improvement can be measured. If there are any areas not improving, then we will review your oral hygiene to see if this is the cause. Further deeper cleaning may be needed in the future, possibly with an antibiotic or a referral to a periodontal specialist if an area is still not responding. Periodontitis is not curable but it can be stabilised. A positive outcome is when you experience very little or no bleeding/swollen gums. Your gum pockets are stable and not progressing deeper. How is gum disease managed long term? Once the Periodontitis is stable then you can move onto maintenance therapy where your gums are monitored for any change. The hygienist will reinforce oral hygiene messages and techniques to ensure you are still motivated and able to maintain your oral health at home and any professional cleaning of the tooth surface is carried out.