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What Does A Dental Hygienist Do?

09/02/2023

Visiting the hygienist is a crucial part of maintaining optimum oral health, as well as brushing and flossing twice a day and visiting your dentist for a check-up bi-annually. It isn’t uncommon that patients don’t understand the role of a dental hygienist, they do much more than remove any visible plaque or staining from your teeth!

You should aim to visit a dental hygienist twice per year to prevent any gum issues developing. At your routine dental hygiene appointment, you can expect the following the hygienist to:

  • Visually inspect your teeth, gums and mouth for any obvious concerns
  • Assess your mouth for any signs of oral cancer
  • Inspect the tooth and gum health of each tooth, sliding a probe under the gum to see how the gum and tooth reacts
  • A score will be given to each sextant of your mouth and compared to your previous visit to see whether your oral health is improving or declining, the scoring is as follows:
    • 0 – no pockets are over 3.5mm deep, no calculus is present and no bleeding
    • 1 – no pockets are over 3.5mm deep, no calculus is present but gums bleed after probing
    • 2 – no pockets are over 3.5mm deep but calculus is present
    • 3 – pockets are between 3.5-5.5mm deep
    • 4 – pockets are over 5.5mm deep
  • Hardened plaque from above and beneath the gumline will be removed using an ultrasonic scaler
  • A treatment plan will be put in place to resolve any issues identified; you may be referred back to the dentist for certain treatments that are out of the scope of practice of a dental hygienist such as fillings.

Looking for a Kettering hygienist? Book an appointment at our clinic today.

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