A dental hygienist is a dental professional, registered with the Irish Dental Council. They work alongside dentists to provide oral health care. They have training that specialises in the prevention and treatment of oral disease. Studies have linked the presence of gum disease to:
– Heart Disease
– Low birth weight and pre-term babies
Our Dental Hygienist will review your medical history. After an initial examination of your oral health and level of plaque control, some measurements are taken to diagnose and identify areas of gum disease (Periodontitis). We may take a full mouth x-ray to consider the bone levels around the teeth.
The main focus of a Dental Hygienist is to provide preventative education. We will discuss your current oral health and highlight any areas of concern; from this we can tailor a homecare regime specific to your needs. We will also discuss the best plaque control techniques and aids to use. Finally, we consider any diet or lifestyle factors which might impact on your oral health.
Our hygienist will suggest a treatment plan to meet your needs and discuss this with you prior to commencing treatment. To clean your teeth our hygienist uses an ultrasonic scaler, which combines high frequency vibrations and water spray to flush deposits from your teeth. Most patients tolerate this treatment comfortably. However if you are prone to sensitive teeth there are a number of measures we could take to make your teeth less sensitive e.g. applying a numbing gel. After scaling, your teeth will also be polished to remove any residual stains. This is done using a powered polishing hand piece, a bit like an electric toothbrush and a gritty polishing paste.
In certain cases, patients require a deeper cleaning to remove tartar from under the gum-line. We numb the area with a local anaesthetic and the area is then cleaned using an ultrasonic scaler and smoothed with hand scaling instruments.
Patients with little or no gum disease will only need one Dental Hygienist session with six-monthly maintenance visits. However patient’s with Periodontal disease treatment might need to attend as often as three-monthly to slow down and manage the progression of disease.
In advanced periodontal disease cases we will arrange for you to see our periodontist.
Patients who are qualified on PRSI are entitled to a subsidy of 42 euros towards the cost of gum treatment. This benefit can be used once per calendar year. Gum treatment is also tax deductible at 20%. This is done through the Med 2 form which we can organise for you.
For nervous patients we take a slow approach. If it’s possible we find it best not to do any actual treatment on the first appointment, but rather spend time discussing the options to build confidence and reduce anxiety. We also spend time finding out about any problems you may have had in the past to find ways around any concerns that you may have about the future treatment.
Patients covered by PRSI are entitled to a free examination every year, and we encourage people to use this.