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It Starts With a Smile.

Why should I see a dental hygienist for my clean?

Good dental hygiene is the foundation of a healthy mouth.

A dental hygienist is a health professional who focuses on the prevention and treatment of oral disease; they are heavily responsible for treating gum disease. 

A dental hygienist is the first port of call to the management of gum disease, they are able to:

  • Prevent and treat gum disease
  • Prevent bad breath
  • Clean those hard to reach spots (wisdom teeth) and in between teeth
  • Create a brighter and whiter smile
  • Stop bleeding gums
  • Detect other dental problems
  • Decrease sensitivity
  • Provide oral hygiene advice

A dental hygienist is able to concentrate solely on the gums through the ‘cleaning’ appointments by removing plaque and tartar. Some dentists do this work themselves, however, many dentists now realise that a hygienist has been specially trained to carry out scaling and polishing and can do so thoroughly. They are also the expert at teaching you how to look after your teeth and gums.

Your hygienist may spend one or more appointments getting your gums healthy and ready for your dentist to fix the teeth with crowns or fillings.

Not all practices have a dental hygienist - at Concord Dental Practice, a dental hygiene department is available and utilized to enhance your patient experience and overall treatment outcome for gum disease.

What is a ‘bone and gum’ chart and why do I need it? I’ve never had one before…

A periodontal examination (also known as ‘gum and bone charting’) assesses the health of your gums and teeth, as well as the supporting bone structure. It allows us to diagnose any gum disease, such as gingivitis or periodontitis.

Periodontal disease is multifactorial but is mainly caused by the build up of bacteria underneath the gums. This build up eventually causes irreversible destruction and loss of the bone support around the teeth.

During your check up at Concord Dental Practice, we use a small probe (a 10 millimetre ruler with a blunt tip) to take measurements of the depth of the space between your teeth and gums. When the gums are healthy, the measurement is usually about 2-3 millimetres deep. Readings above 3mm indicate the presence of active gum disease. This may either be due to gingivitis (the early stage of gum disease) or periodontitis (the  more advanced stage of gum disease).

Healthy gums cling tightly to your tooth. Diseased gums tend to bleed, swell and detach from the tooth, giving deeper readings. During advanced stages of periodontitis, the pockets can be more than 10mm deep. The probe measuring the pocket may reach all the way to the tip of the tooth’s root. If a pocket is this deep, it means that an extensive amount of your bone support and soft tissues that anchor the tooth in place have already been lost.

Therefore, it is so important that a gum and bone examination is performed to identify and treat gum disease in its early stages.

We will also record the bleeding sides around each tooth. Bleeding after gentle probing indicates the presence of inflammation and active gum disease.

In order to diagnose, treat and prevent gum disease, we will carry out a gum and bone chart during your dental examination. Based on the findings of the gum review, we will determine whether you will need a general clean to remove calculus deposits adhering to your teeth or deep cleaning to remove bacterial deposits much deeper underneath the diseased gum tissue. Sometimes, during advanced stages of periodontal disease, a referral to a gum and bone specialist is required.

If gum disease is diagnosed, we can treat and review your gums at 3-4 monthly intervals to ensure healing is occurring. Once healthy gums are established, hygiene appointments are scheduled every 6 months.

At Concord Dental Practice we coordinate treatment required based on diagnosing gum disease and decay. Dental hygiene visits are recommended regularly to maintain a healthy teeth and gums.