What to expect when seeing a dental hygienist

Here at Riverside Dental Spa we are lucky to have a team that are dedicated to providing quality and exceptional care to our patients. Part of that team are our dental hygienists. Our dental hygienists are university trained and specialise in preventive dentistry, focusing on reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

At each appointment our dental hygienists will throughly assess the health of your gums, this is done in a few different ways.

  • Firstly, they will ask you about any medical issues or changes, this is to ensure your safety and assess any risks to your dental health that can be associated with different medications and/or conditions. There are a number of links between general health and oral health that people are unaware of, if relevant we will discuss this with you.
  • Secondly, the gums will be checked with a specialised measurement instrument. This will allow your dental hygienist to note things such as plaque, calculus, bleeding, recession and pocket depths. This is essential in assessing the health of the gums and usually feels like a slight pressure around the gum surrounding each tooth. If there is any pain or hypersensitivity associated with this part of the exam (due to the gums being inflamed) you have the option to have numbing gel placed on the gum (although this is often not needed).
  • Once these first two steps have been done the dental hygienist may talk through with you any areas of concern and give you some tips and tricks in getting to those hard to reach areas. If it has been sometime since your last dental check up and or if there is a larger amount of plaque and calculus around the teeth, the hygienist may need another appointment to complete cleaning the whole mouth, this is to ensure that you are provided with the best possible treatment.

It is generally recommended that x-rays (radiographs) are taken every two years to ensure that a very thorough clinical examination can be conducted. Without regular radiographs, clinically it is impossible for any Dental Professional to be 100 per cent accurate in diagnostic purposes. Of course, if you are pregnant please ensure you have discussed this information at the beginning of the appointment as we would advise holding off on the radiographs until after the arrival of your little one.