What Should You Expect?
Your Dental Hygienist is an excellent resource and offers a wide range of services that can help you and your family keep you healthy.
These services include the following:
- Educate and counsel both adults and children on dental health, plaque control, oral hygiene and nutrition;
- Detect and assist in the prevention and control of dental caries (decay) as well as gum and bone disease; your Dental hygienists also evaluate how their recommendations are working and, when necessary, revise treatment as it progresses to assist you to achieve your oral health goals.
- Remove deposits and stains from teeth by scaling, polishing and root planning;
- Select and use appropriate preventative fluoride treatments;
- Consult on, and perform whitening procedures;
- Targeted and specific dental hygiene treatment for children, adolescents, adults, older adults, and patients who are medically compromised;
- Facilitate construction of customised mouthguards for children and adults; and
- Provides assistance to your dentist with orthodontic and Invisalign treatment.
What if I’m Nervous or Sensitive
Most people find that cleaning sessions are painless, and report the following sensations: tickling, vibrations, the cooling mist of water, and the feeling of pressure during “scaling”. These sensations are reported as not causing discomfort.
A lot of people even report that they enjoy cleanings and the lovely smooth feel of their teeth afterwards. There may be odd sharp sensations, but many people don’t mind as they only last a nanosecond.
Be sure to let your hygienist know if you find things are getting too uncomfortable for your liking. They can recommend various options to make the cleaning more enjoyable.
Painful cleaning experiences can be caused by a number of things:
- a rough dentist or hygienist
- exposed tooth structure (dentine)
- or sore gum tissues
- periodontal disease
If you have had painful cleaning experiences in the past, switching to a gentle hygienist can often make all the difference.
You could also choose to be numbed. If you find the scaling a bit uncomfortable because the gum tissues (rather than the teeth themselves) are sensitive, topical numbing gels can be used.
A good dental hygiene involves the removal of plaque and harder to remove tartar from the surface of the tooth in order to prevent decay and disease.
Plaque and tartar are usually found in hard to reach places (in between teeth and towards the back of the mouth) as well as along the gum line, where the gums attach to your teeth. Cleaning was traditionally provided by the dentist, however due to the importance of this area of treatment the last decade has seen a shift towards specialised professionals who spend more time with patients and their individual needs.
A “scale and clean” involves the removal of tartar (calculus) from the tooth surfaces by special dental instruments. You can often feel tartar buildup on your front teeth with your tongue. It feels like a smooth, hard build up on the backs of your teeth. With professionally cleaned teeth you can feel ridges and valleys between each tooth, tartar build up can feel like you have a smooth wall, like one continuous tooth.