Hello! I am delighted to welcome you to the second edition of our monthly newsletter. Over the past month, we have been busy re-establishing our services in line with current protocols and guidelines; I thank all of our talented team members, for their hard work and perseverance, to get us back up and running again. We would also like to thank our patients for their cooperation and patience during this time. If you have visited our practice recently you will have noticed a number of changes to ensure the health and safety of our visitors; we have included a few examples of the changes in this month’s newsletter.
Each month, we will be taking a closer look at some of the numerous services we provide. This month we will be taking a look at how our dental hygienists work to keep your gums and teeth healthy.
Of course, it would not be possible to think of October without Halloween! We have found some handy hints and tips to help keep your children’s teeth free from horrors this Halloween.
As ever, our reception team are on hand for any queries that you may have- they will be happy to help! You can call us in the usual way or why not try the ‘contact us’ feature on our website.
Dr Kunal Sirpal BDS (Hons)
Spotlight On…Dental Hygienists
Each month, we will be focusing on a specific treatment, or service, available at Cleobury Dental Practice. This month, we look at our dedicated team of dental hygienists and their work to keep your smiles healthy and shining!
What does the hygienist do?
A dental hygienist is a GDC-registered dental care professional whose role is centred on the prevention of dental problems, in particular gum disease. A hygienist may work alongside a dentist or see patients independently. At Cleobury Dental Practice, we offer the flexibility to see our hygienists via direct access or after seeing one of our dentists.
Hygienists play a crucial role in the prevention of gum disease (also known as periodontitis). As well as professionally removing plaque and tartar deposits (‘calculus’) around the gums and teeth, they will also create a tailored plan for you to be able to maintain that freshly-cleaned feeling at home. Keeping your teeth free from plaque helps reduce the risk of developing gum disease, reduces gum bleeding and helps keep your breath fresh.
Why should I see the hygienist?
Seeing the hygienist carries a whole host of benefits associated with reducing the risk of developing gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can cause:
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Gaps developing between the teeth
- Loss of teeth
Gum disease has even been shown to have links to heart disease and diabetes!
Our team of hygienists can work closely with you to reduce the risks of gum disease by advising you of the best way to keep your teeth and gums as clean as possible.
Is the hygienist painful?
With gum disease, the gums are inflamed, making them more tender and prone to bleeding. As they are more inflamed, brushing and cleaning around the gums can be more uncomfortable than cleaning around healthy gums. Therefore, after your hygienist appointment, there may be some transient discomfort following a professional scale. However, it is important to note that your hygienist will have removed all of the plaque and tartar around the gums which are causing this inflammation in the first place (i.e. giving your mouth a clean slate!). They will also tailor a plan for you to clean around the teeth more effectively and reduce the build-up between hygienist appointments. This will allow the gums to be less inflamed, resulting in less bleeding, a healthier appearance to the gums and giving you fresher breath. Less inflammation also means that your gums will be less tender!
At Cleobury Dental Practice, we ensure your hygienist appointment is as comfortable as possible. All of our hygienists are specially trained to deliver local anaesthetic to make your appointment even more comfortable. Speak with your hygienist to discuss this option at your next appointment!
How long does the hygienist take?
At Cleobury Dental Practice, we offer a standard appointment slot of upto 30 minutes with our hygienists. For members of our plan, they will receive at least 2 appointments of upto 20 minutes each, per year.
During your appointment your hygienist will:
- Assess how well you are cleaning your teeth and gums
- Assess the levels of plaque around the teeth and whether there are any signs of gum disease/inflammation
- Create a tailor made plan of what you should use to clean around the teeth and gums, including in between the teeth. With so many different types of brushes on the market, this is crucial to help reduce the risk of plaque and tartar buildup between your hygienist visits!
- Gently scale around the teeth and gums, as well as remove tartar deposits
- A polish of the teeth to give you that fresher, brighter smile!
Your hygienist appointment is so much more than a simple ‘scale and polish’! Seeing your hygienist regularly allows them to track your progress with plaque control and the health of your gums. Depending on the presence of gum disease, levels of plaque and tartar around the teeth, you may be advised that your hygiene cleans are best spread over more than one appointment. This is to allow enough time to be dedicated to give each area of the mouth a thorough clean.
Can’t my dentist just clean my teeth at a checkup appointment?
Your hygienist appointment is a much longer appointment slot which is dedicated purely around your oral hygiene. Your dentist appointment is primarily concerned with diagnosing your general oral health (including an oral cancer screening at every check-up) as well as identifying any specific dental problems (such as cavities) and creating a customised treatment plan for your requirements. In addition, due to infection control protocols relating to COVID-19, the use of an ultrasonic scaler would require a separate standalone appointment due to the level of water and spray that it generates. Our hygienist appointments have remained unaffected by these new requirements, as have adapted our protocols around the new guidelines we follow.
How often should I see the hygienist?
This depends on many factors such as your general health, oral health and the presence of restorations such as dental implants, for example. Usually, a majority of our patients benefit from seeing our hygienists every 6 months. For those with active gum disease, we may recommend attending every 3 months. Your hygienist and dentist can advise you on the best frequency for you.
How do I book an appointment?
Simply ring our reception team on 01299 271 747 to book your hygienist appointment today! We are able to offer evening and weekend appointments.
A deposit is payable upon booking your appointment, which will remain on your account for appointments cancelled with more than 1 working day’s notice.
Introducing the Latest Technology at Cleobury Dental Practice!
How we are keeping you as safe as possible
Since reopening in June, we have worked hard to modify our practices to ensure you receive the safest care during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Here’s just a few of the measures we have taken:
- Our front door may be locked but we are still open! Our team are on hand to answer any queries over the phone or online.
- It is now a requirement to wear a face covering or mask when visiting the premises.
- Our waiting area has been amended to ensure social distancing is maintained.
- Our reception desks have been fitted with Perspex screens.
- All of our staff undergo daily screening of symptoms, and a temperature check, to ensure their wellbeing and the wellbeing of others.
- For your dental appointment, you will be escorted straight to the surgery, without the need to touch door handles etc. All door handles are then wiped with disinfectant wipes.
- Our team might look a bit different due to the enhanced levels of protective equipment we now wear! However, we are the same friendly team underneath our masks and visors!
- We have enhanced ventilation in all our dental surgeries, between appointments, to comply with current regulations around dental care.
- We encourage the use of card for payment, to reduce the handling of cash. You will also notice that we cover our card machine keypads with a disposable plastic film over the buttons, which we change after each use.
If you have any queries about the measures we have in place, please do not hesitate to get in touch.