Welcome to our dental hygienist clinic in Bournemouth.
We believe that routine hygienist visits are possibly one of the most important services we offer. The motto, ‘Prevention is better than cure’ certainly holds true in dentistry.
Regular hygienist visits are essential to maintaining the health of teeth and gums, and are key to saving our teeth over the long term. Keeping your teeth free from plaque build-up (see frequently asked questions below) not only keeps them looking good, but it also keeps your gums, teeth and heart healthy.
Call us on 01202 443882 to book in.
What to expect at your dental hygiene appointment
You will be treated by our hygiene therapist, Vickie Harris, who is a caring, experienced dental hygiene therapist.
Our hygiene appointments are 30 minutes long, sufficient time for a thorough dental clean and polish of your teeth and gums, remove staining, provide sub-gingival cleaning as necessary, and giving you advice and demonstration on the best ways to get at those tricky areas. However bear in mind if it has been a long time since your last professional clean, multiple appointments may be necessary to get you back on track.
Our hygiene therapist will welcome you and ask what your expectations from your hygienist appointment are. If you have been referred by the dentist, Vickie may have received some notes highlighting certain areas which may need some particular care. Along with thorough cleaning and plaque removal, Vickie may provide you with specific oral hygiene instruction and demonstrate how to use certain tools such as interspace brushes and floss to help you with your own oral hygiene routine at home.
We stock oral hygiene products that are recommended by Vickie at our reception, eg. Tepe interspace brushes, toothbrushes, dental floss picks etc.
The focus and frequency of your hygienist appointments may differ depending on your individual needs.
- Many of our patients come routinely every six months for a ‘classic clean and polish’ to remove ‘lifestyle’ staining that builds up due to everyday habits such as smoking, enjoying tea, coffee, red wine and curry. Even if the focus of these appointments is more cosmetic, out hygienist will always monitor your gum health at these appointments and remove any build-up of calculus (i.e. hardened plaque) from areas at the gum line that are tricky to clean.
- Other patients may attend more frequently every three to four months for ‘periodontal maintenance’. Improving gum health is the focus of these appointments and over time gums may return to a normal healthy state and the patient may revert to just two hygiene visits per year.
- Another reason you may visit the hygienist is for an ‘orthodontic clean’; it is often very difficult to prevent the buildup of hardened plaque around braces and it is advisable to have this removed during orthodontic treatment to prevent cavities or staining developing on the surfaces of your teeth where the braces are attached.
- Lastly if you have had ‘expensive complex dentistry’, such as implants or multi-unit bridgework, it is imperative to maintain impeccable oral hygiene to guarantee the long term success of these expensive treatments. Vickie is experienced in cleaning and maintaining implants and bridgework.
‘Walk In’ Clinic’
You no longer need to be registered with the dentist at Shelley Manor Dental to see our hygienist, following a ruling on “Direct access to hygiene services” made by the General Dental Council. This changed the rules about visiting a hygienist and you can now book in to our hygienist clinic without needing a referral from a dentist. If you’d like to book in to our hygiene clinic just call us on 01202 443882.
Note: if you are visiting our hygienist for the first time on a ‘direct access’ basis, your initial appointment will be 45 minutes. This extended appointment is so that our hygienist can carry out a full charting of your teeth and gums and have time to get to know you and explain her findings. The cost for this initial appointment is £90. After this initial visit your appointments are likely to revert to the standard 30 minute appointments charged at £62.50.
On your first visit when you arrive at reception you will be given registration form to fill out that includes questions about your medical history, so if you are taking any medication please make sure to let us know. This information is confidential and is solely for use by your hygienist.
‘Same Day Booking’ Offer
Sometimes we have last minute cancellations for hygiene appointments and can offer you a same day booking for hygiene. In this instance we can book you in for a special price of £50 for a 30mins appointment, normal price £62.50.
Frequently asked questions
What is dental plaque?
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on our teeth and along the gum line. Plaque contains bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. Calculus (or tartar) is calcified or hardened plaque that attaches to the enamel on your teeth and below the gum line. Hardened plaque around the gum line can cause inflammation and irritation to the gums causing bleeding. The most common sign of calculus is a yellow or brownish deposit between the lower front teeth, especially on the backs of teeth, or at the gum line.
Why do my gums bleed, do I have gum disease?
A clean mouth with healthy gums is the foundation of long-term dental health. Healthy gums are critical to your oral health. If gums become inflamed and tender and bleed while brushing, you may have gum disease.
The first sign is blood on your toothbrush or in the toothpaste you spit out after cleaning your teeth. Plaque deposits grow around the gum line causing irritation and inflammation of the gums. Inflammation is the response by your body’s immune system to attack plaque bacteria and since your immune cells are carried by your blood, the body diverts blood to the gums, hence the bleeding.
The plaque deposits increase to form the hardened calculus deposits at and below the gum line and cause inflamed gums (or gingivitis). This inflammation then causes destruction of tissue and bone that support your teeth, which is classified as gum disease. Progressive gum disease will result in inevitable tooth loss if not kept under control.
Bleeding gums is quite common and doesn’t necessarily mean you have gum disease although it is a significant sign. It’s always worth getting the gums checked by your dentist which can in most cases can be returned to health.
Further Oral Hygiene Links: