Preventive dentistry in Birmingham
At Sheldon Dental Practice, our dentists work closely with our hygiene team as part of our mission to keep patients healthy and prevent dental problems from occurring. The hygienist’s job is effectively at the front line of dental health, keeping your teeth and gums in top condition by preventing plaque and tartar from causing cavities and gum disease. The hygienist’s role is both practical and educational, combining professional deep-cleaning – a scale and polish – with oral health advice. Your hygienist will help ensure your diet and lifestyle aren’t impacting negatively on your oral health, and equip you with the skills and techniques for effective oral hygiene at home.
Direct access hygienist appointments
Direct access means our Sheldon patients can see a hygienist without having to attend a dental check-up first. It’s ideal if you want a stain-lifting deep clean in-between check-ups, or perhaps in advance of a special event – or if you’ve noticed your gums are sore or bleeding. Direct access appointments are also especially convenient if you have had dental implants, orthodontics or dental restorations, as you will need to attend regular appointments for special cleaning with the hygienist. Hygienists are also qualified to provide oral health advice and carry out a number of minor dental treatments, such as fissure sealants and gum cleaning. If the hygienist identifies a need for further dental treatment, they will of course refer you immediately to your family dentist at Sheldon Dental Practice.
Air-flow cleaning in Sheldon
The cutting-edge Air-Flow polishing system uses a mix of water, compressed air and fine powder for a far superior clean compared with traditional scraping techniques, leaving teeth looking whiter with minimal discomfort. Fast and powerful, yet easy to control, Air-Flow is favoured by dental professionals for its excellent cleaning properties – it is and safe to use with dental restorations such as implants, crowns and veneers – and also has a separate periodontal application that can reach deep into the periodontal pockets. Air-Flow is great for patients too, because it reduces sensitivity and doesn’t cause the kind of discomfort you may experience with a scraping tool – both in terms of pain and noise.
Air-Flow – the benefits
Yes – however, hygienists undertake particular training in this area, focusing on ensuring plaque and tartar are removed from the teeth and from below the gum line, where most damage is caused. And because we offer direct access hygiene appointments, you don’t need to see the dentist beforehand to get your hygiene treatment.
The hygienist will carry out a professional deep clean that removes disease-causing plaque and tartar from under and around the gum line. The hygienist is also qualified to advise you on the latest techniques and products for effective cleaning at home, as well as tips on diet, nutrition and lifestyle issues such as smoking and alcohol intake.
Plaque and tartar are the key contributors to gum disease and tooth decay. The root cause of gum disease and tooth decay is bad oral hygiene – when you let your regular brushing and flossing slide, a film of bacteria – plaque – builds up around the gum line. Caused by the food that remains on your teeth after eating, plaque eventually hardens to become tartar. Together, they attack the tooth enamel, making gums and teeth vulnerable to disease and decay.
Maintaining a rigorous cleaning programme at home is vital if you want to minimise hygienist appointments. Our hygienist will give you advice and tips not only about how to clean your teeth, but also about diet and general lifestyle.
Not usually, though if your gums are very sensitive the hygienist can use anaesthetic gel to alleviate any discomfort.
If you have good oral health, we generally recommend seeing the hygienist twice a year. If you’ve had dental implants or tooth restorations, you may be required to visit more frequently to ensure plaque is being kept under control effectively around your prosthetic restorations. If you suffer from periodontitis, you may need to attend up to four times a year, depending on your individual dentition. In all cases, your hygienist will advise you of the appropriate frequency of visits.