"Good dental hygiene is the foundation upon which all dental care resides."

Who are Dental Hygienists?

Dental hygienists play a very important role in treating, managing and maintaining overall oral health. Dental hygienists undertake a minimum three year university course to obtain a Bachelor of Oral Health and are specifically trained to work with dentists in providing dental and oral health care.

Not all practices have a Dental Hygienist. At our practice, due to the huge value seen by our patients, we find that our hygienist preventative care is extremely popular.

When assessing your oral health our dental hygienists will take into consideration your oral health and general health, and will work closely with our dentists to provide a customised oral health plan just for you.

What does a dental hygienist do?

Dental hygienists help prevent oral and dental disease. They have both clinical and health promotional responsibilities. Clinically, dental hygienists help to treat and manage periodontal (gum) disease by scaling and polishing teeth, applying prophylactic and anti-microbial materials; hygienists can take dental radiographs (x-rays) and routinely perform monitoring and screening procedures for oral health conditions including caries (decay), oral cancer and other oral infections/diseases. Dental hygienists also apply topical fluorides and fissure sealants in order to reduce dental caries (tooth decay). Dental hygienists are also trained to recognise and deal with a host of other dental needs. The health promotion role of a dental hygienist works in conjunction with their clinical role and includes educating, motivating and encouraging individuals and groups in preventive oral health care.

Services of a dental hygienist may include:

  • Detection, treatment and management of gum (periodontal) disease
  • Oral hygiene advice and education
  • Oral Cancer Screening
  • Periodontal Screening
  • Nutritional guidance
  • Application of fluoride agents
  • Smoking cessation advice
  • Customised home care plans for individual patients to maintain optimal oral health
  • Scaling (cleaning) above and below the gum.
  • Comprehensive hand scaling of the root surface (debridement).
  • Provide a through polishing (prophylaxis) of the teeth.
  • Polishing of fillings/restorations if required
  • Placement of fissure sealants
  • Removal of excess cement/filling materials
  • Placing of anti-microbial agents when necessary
  • Dental radiography
  • Dental impressions
  • Administer inferior dental nerve block anaesthesia
  • Administer local infiltration anaesthesia

Why is this treatment so important?

A clean and healthy mouth is essential for your general wellbeing. Regular professional cleaning combined with professional coaching to improve your homecare will ensure huge dental and general health benefits. Periodontal disease is associated with heart disease, diabetes and increased risk of stroke. Research has shown that regular professional oral health care, combined with good home care helps to reduce progression of periodontal disease and the development of new decay as well as many other oral diseases/concerns.

Why doesn't the dentist do this work?

Our dentists recognise that hygienists are specially trained in preventive oral health and treatment and management. Our hygienists are experts in coaching and motivating you to correctly look after your teeth and gums….a great benefit for not only your oral health, but your general health!

Will it hurt?

Scaling and polishing is usually pain free. Patients who have not seen a hygienist before, have large deposits of calculus or have sensitive teeth may experience some discomfort. We can provide various methods of pain relief to help alleviate discomfort including pre-treatment desensitising pastes, topical anaesthetic gels, local anaesthetic and Nitrous Oxide (happy gas).

I am a new patient and I only want to see a hygienist. What are the rules?

Under current dental legislation, dental hygienists work within a structured collaborative relationship with a dentist. Your initial appointment will be with one of our hygienists and one of our dentists. Your examination with the dentist is arranged within your hygiene appointment avoiding the need for you to return for multiple visits.

I am an existing patient and I want to see a hygienist regularly?

You can make an appointment to see the hygienist directly. Under the current legislation you will still need to see a dentist annually and this is arranged within your hygiene appointment avoiding the need for you to return for multiple visits. At any time, if our hygienists (or you) have any concerns regarding your dental health, our dentists are available for consultation if necessary.