Brushing up on your dental options
Last year’s national lockdown measures have made it more difficult for people to stay on top of their oral health than ever before.
While treatments from a trusted hygienist proved challenging to obtain over the last year, now – as normality gradually resumes – patients are turning to their hygienists in record numbers as dental practices across the UK are returning to normal.
Having discoloured, marked, chipped, or stained teeth can take a lasting toll on both how you look and how you feel.
Therefore anyone who feels their oral health is due a professional once-over should now be able to get the expert help they need and get their smile back in shape.
What is a dental hygienist?
Before the pandemic derailed our lives, some of the most popular dental services patients requested were those carried out by a cosmetic dentist – such as cosmetic whitening or veneers. However, as we emerge out of lockdown, there is a new surge in interest in visiting the dental hygienist.
While cosmetic dentists focus primarily on addressing one or more aesthetic problems that patients have with their smiles, the role of a hygienist is to make sure every patient’s oral health is as strong and fit as it possibly can be and given the year we’ve all had, it’s no wonder that patients are flocking to their nearest, trusted hygienist in droves.
What can a hygienist do for me?
As mentioned, the role of a hygienist is to keep your teeth fit and healthy – and they achieve this through several treatments and approaches that can help patients of all ages.
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is one of the leading causes of adult tooth loss and – if not treated effectively – can lead to several long-term health implications, including strokes, heart disease, and diabetes.
However, thankfully dental hygienists are highly trained in both identifying and treating any signs of gum disease before it can have a chance to develop into anything more sinister.
Alongside identifying gum disease, another huge part of what a dental hygienist does is to educate. They are experts in offering valuable tips and dental care techniques to patients of all ages, about everything from brushing and flossing to dietary habits that will keep your teeth healthy.
Another important role of a dental hygienist is to implement a deep-cleaning process known as a scale and polish. Nowadays, this has become one of the most widely sought after dental treatments, as it can address years’ worth of superficial staining and tartar development in just one short sitting.
What does a scale and polish involve?
As the name suggests, a scale and polish is a two-stage process. The dental hygienist initially uses an ultrasound scraper (and other hand-held tools) to remove all superficial marks, stains, and plaque or tartar build ups from throughout a patient’s mouth.
In just one quick sitting, patients can have a lot of visible staining and plaque build up removed by a dental hygienist throughout their mouths – including the more difficult to reach gaps and spaces between teeth. This can greatly reduce the likelihood of gum problems developing further down the line.
After the ‘scrape’ stage in the process, the hygienist will then use a specialised dental polishing tool to buffer and shine every tooth within the patient’s mouth – getting rid of all residual bacteria and leaving their smile looking fresher and healthier.