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Dental Hygiene

Dental hygiene appointments are extremely beneficial when it comes to the health of your gums, and our team of highly qualified hygienists at Weston Cottage Dental ensure your experience is dealt with a gentle, yet efficient approach. During a dental hygiene appointment, the effectiveness of your cleaning routine will be assessed, and whether or not you are experiencing signs of gum disease.

We offer a team of experts when it comes to gum health, something that is extremely important if you are suffering from gum disease and need appropriate treatment. They are able to gently remove hardened plaque that has built-up over time and cannot be removed with a toothbrush. Along with this, demonstrations on how to brush effectively in order to avoid gum irritation will be provided, as well as tips on flossing in addition to your regular brushing. Our brilliant hygienists are also able to help you understand gum disease, and advise you on the actions to take if they happen to become infected. Ensuring you feel prepared to deal with your personal dental hygiene at home.

All appointments our tailored to your own individual needs, depending on the condition of your gums. Each patient will receive adequate information, independently relevant to them, in order to ensure the best consistent and sustained gum health possible. Our qualified team are happy to answer any questions you may have, if you still feel unsure on the actions you should be taking to ensure your dental hygiene is maintained well.

Dental hygienists and their scope of practice:

Dental hygienists are registered dental professionals who help patients maintain their oral health by preventing and treating periodontal disease and promoting good oral health. They carry out treatment direct to patients or under prescription from a dentist.

A dental hygienist can undertake the following if they are trained, competent and indemnified to do so:

• Provide dental hygiene care to a wide range of patients
• Obtain a detailed dental history from patients and evaluate their medical history
• Carry out a clinical examination within their competence
• Complete periodontal examination and charting and use indices to screen and monitor periodontal disease
• Diagnose and treatment plan within their competence
• Prescribe radiographs
• Take, process and interpret various film views used in general dental practice
• Plan the delivery of care for patients
• Give appropriate patient advice
• Provide preventive oral care to patients and liaise with dentists over the treatment of caries, periodontal disease and tooth wear
• Undertake supragingival and subgingival scaling and root surface debridement using manual and powered instruments
• Use appropriate anti-microbial therapy to manage plaque related diseases
• Apply topical treatments and fissure sealants
• Give patients advice on how to stop smoking
• Take intra and extra-oral photographs
• Give infiltration and inferior dental block analgesia
• Take impressions
• Care of implants and treatment of peri-implant tissues
• Identify anatomical features, recognise abnormalities and interpret common pathology
• Carry out oral cancer screening
• If necessary, refer patients to other healthcare professionals
• Keep full, accurate and contemporaneous patient records
• If working on prescription, vary the detail but not the direction of the prescription according to patient needs

Dental Therapists and their scope of practice:

Dental therapists are registered dental professionals who carry out certain items of dental treatment direct to patients or under prescription from a dentist. A dental therapist can carry out all the duties of a dental hygienist as well as undertake the following if they are trained, competent and indemnified to do so:

• Carry out direct restorations on primary and secondary teeth
• Carry out pulpotomies on primary teeth
• Extract primary teeth
• Place pre-formed crowns on primary teeth
• Identify anatomical features, recognise abnormalities and interpret common pathology

Additional skills which dental hygienists / therapists could develop include:

• Carrying out tooth whitening to the prescription of a dentist
• Administering inhalation sedation
• Removing sutures after the wound has been checked by a dentist

Direct Access Hygiene Appointments:

If you are thinking of seeing dental hygienist or dental therapist without seeing the dentist for an examination, this process is called Direct Access. Here are a few things you may wish to know before you see your hygienist/therapist under Direct Access.

What is Direct Access?
Direct Access is giving patients the option to see a Dental Care Professional (DCP) without having first seen a dentist. This also allows some DCPs to provide a range of services directly to patients without a prescription from a dentist which is within their scope of practice. Usually when a direct access hygiene appointment is booked, we will provide you with additional information and obtain your consent.

Direct Access visits to a hygienist/therapist is not a substitute for full dental examinations. We recommend you visit your dentist for routine dental examinations.

You can find the a bio of all of our dental hygienist/therapists on our home page and can see dental hygienist/therapist of your choice for direct access should you wish