The role of Sabina Camber, our hygienist, and Gemma Bealey, our dental therapist is to professionally clean your teeth to remove remnants of harmful deposits attached to the tooth and root surface. She also provides you with advice and techniques and work with you to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Combining regular hygienist appointments with your own home care is the best way to maintain a healthy mouth and give you fresher breath. Sabina and Gemma works closely with our Oral health Education Team to help you establish an effective hygiene routine.
What is the dental hygienist’s role in the practice?
Dental hygienists are mainly concerned with ‘preventive’ dental health and treating gum disease – showing you correct home care and helping you to keep your teeth and gums healthy. This includes professionally cleaning your teeth by removing plaque and tartar (usually called a ‘scale and polish’ or a prophylaxis). However, perhaps their most important role is showing you the best way to keep your teeth free of plaque. Plaque is a sticky coating that forms constantly on your teeth. Hygienists also give advice about diet and about preventing tooth decay. The hygienist will work with your dental team to give you the care that is tailored to your needs.
What is the dental therapist’s role in the practice?
As well as doing all the work that a dental hygienist does, a dental therapist can also carry out some dental procedures that patients are more used to a dentist doing. A dental therapist can do fillings, extract ‘baby’ teeth, place preformed crowns on baby teeth and do treatments using all the materials a dentist would use. As long as an adult tooth does not need treatment to the nerve of the tooth, a dental therapist can fill or restore any part of the tooth that needs treatment. They are able to see patients for emergency appointments (if patients have no pain), offering a temporary solution or permanent fixture where possible to lost fillings, broken teeth or lost crowns, this will be decided in your appointment.
Can a dental hygienist do anything else?
Dental hygienists also take dental x-rays. The dentist will use these to help diagnose problems and decide on the possible treatment. Dental hygienists can also place fissure sealants, apply fluoride varnishes and administer fluoride treatments. Other procedures may be carried out by dental hygienists depending on the laws that apply where they work.
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