Since Angela Kiwomya joined the practice last September, working alongside Gemma Bealey, we have been fortunate to boast two dental therapists at TDP. This got us thinking that some of you might be curious as to what a dental therapist actually does! So, we thought we’d explain it for you – and take the opportunity to introduce Angela and Gemma in the process.
A dental therapist is similar to a dental hygienist – they are both trained in the latest oral hygiene techniques and play a vital role in helping patients to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. But a dental therapist is also qualified to do other treatments that patients are more used to their dentist doing, such as fillings, ‘baby teeth’ extractions, taking radiographs and impressions, and tooth whitening. To practise as a dental therapist, you must obtain a diploma or degree in dental therapy, which usually takes around 27 months, and be registered with the General Dental Council.
More and more dentists are employing dental therapists within their practice team to handle routine dental work, freeing up dentists for more complex cases. Having two Dental Therapists at TDP helps us to make sure that you are not waiting unnecessarily for treatment. The earlier we can see you, the less likely your gum disease is to progress, or your cavity to get bigger and start causing you pain.
When you make your initial appointment at TDP, your dentist will always see you for your first examination. Depending on the treatment you require, they may then refer you to Gemma or Angela. So, without further do, let’s introduce them!
Being the daughter of a doctor, Angela says she knew from a young age how rewarding a career in healthcare could be. She had her first experience of the dental world working in the dental lab at Charles Clifford Hospital in Sheffield. She then got the opportunity to shadow some dental therapists and realised that this was where her future career path lay.
“I loved how varied the work was, and that it was very hands on” says Angela. “I did my BSc (Hons) in Dental Therapy and Hygiene at Plymouth, graduating in May 2020. Starting work as a dental therapist during Covid-19 was quite a challenge. I was a locum hygienist and therapist for nine months working in many different practices around the Southwest before joining TDP last year. What I enjoy most about my job is the opportunity to make a difference in people lives, by helping them improve their oral hygiene.”
Gemma has been a Dental Therapist and Hygienist for three and a half years. She knew she wanted to be in dentistry from the moment she did her work experience with us age 14! Having qualified as a dental nurse she joined TDP in 2014, before heading off again to Liverpool to study for a Diploma in Dental Hygiene and Therapy at Liverpool University. She must enjoy working with us, because she couldn’t wait to come back, fully trained, in 2018.
“I love the additional responsibility that being a dental therapist brings” says Gemma. “It’s very rewarding to see my own patients and help them maintain their oral health. I particularly enjoy doing fillings – it is very satisfying being able to fix something that is broken! I have recently completed a qualification in conscious sedation and am now able to treat very apprehensive patients with gas and air sedation. It’s important to help anxious patients feel relaxed so that they can get the dental treatment they need and become more confident about attending their next appointment.”
Mr Mills was kind, pleasant and reassuring, and explained everything to me, so that I knew what was going on every inch of the way. I can’t recommend him and his implant team highly enough.
Super helpful, friendly, clean, efficient and brilliant at informing us of procedures & treatment. We never feel rushed or have to wait too long. They have made the dentist experience a positive one for our children – who are always excited to go!
I would rate this dentist 1000 stars if I could! Everyone there is so friendly and smiley! I had my teeth done by John Cato and Paula and what can I say. Both of them made me feel so relaxed even though I normally hate the dentist they have made this all change! I couldn’t thank them both enough.
It’s nearly two months since my treatment for an implanted bridge concluded and I could not be more pleased. The treatment was excellent, the care by Ian Mills and his team was superb and the teeth look fantastic.
Rhys Gabe is an incredible guy. After 30 odd years of avoiding the dentist through fear I actually now enjoy going thanks to this man. I cannot recommend him highly enough to nervous and anxious patients.