Dental Hygiene and Periodontics with our Dental Hygienist
At Siana Dental we are passionate about preventive care. We want to empower our patients to live a healthy life with a stunning smile.
Through ongoing education, care and consultation we will work together to guide you with an effective home oral hygiene routine and provide regular check-up appointments to help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Dentistry has made huge advances in recent years in techniques, technology and material however, a focus on simple prevention of problems is the single most important thing any patient can do. Our Hygienist is your partner and big key for life long oral health. The next time you visit Siana Dental and our hygienist, you can rest assured the benefits go far beyond cleaning. Hygiene visits in our practice are comprehensive, and a part of our overall mission to give you the best dentistry has to offer.
Your dental hygiene appointment with our hygienist (oral health therapist)
A dental hygiene appointment involves a thorough clean from our gentle and attentive dental hygienist. During this appointment, your gums will be cleared of plaque, tartar and surface stains. We will also assess your gums for gingivitis or gum disease, and you will be screened for other diseases such as oral cancer.
Is treatment with the dental hygienist painful?
Our hygienist is an expert in making your dental hygiene visit as comfortable as possible. These visits are usually not uncomfortable however if your teeth are extra sensitive, we have many options including desensitising pastes and numbing gel. Your dental hygienist will ask you about your previous experiences and any concerns at your appointment.
Why doesn’t the dentist do the scale and clean?
The hygienist does it better! Dental hygienists are specifically trained to perform preventative treatment and maintenance of the mouth, teeth and gums. Your dentist, Dr Max, will refer you to our hygienist for more specialised oral care while they provide complex restorative or cosmetic care.
At your regular check-up visits (usually every six months), we will comprehensively examine your mouth. This will include checking your teeth, current restorations, jaw, soft tissue and a full assessment of your smile to monitor your entire oral health. Digital radiographs (x-rays) may be recommended during this visit. A very important oral cancer screening examination is also conducted on all of our patients at this time. Although rare, early detection of oral cancer is a big key to successful management of the disease.
Frequently Asked Questions
Gum disease or periodontal disease is a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums and surrounding tissue. It is the major cause of about 70 percent of adult tooth loss, affecting three out of four persons at some point in their life.
What causes gum disease?
Bacterial plaque – a sticky, colourless film that constantly forms on the teeth – is recognised as the primary cause of gum disease. Specific periodontal diseases may be associated with specific bacterial types. If plaque isn’t removed each day by brushing and flossing, it hardens into a rough, porous substance called calculus (also known as tartar).Toxins produced by bacteria in plaque and tartar irritate the gums. These toxins cause the breakdown of the fibres that hold the gums tightly to the teeth, creating periodontal pockets which fill with even more toxins and bacteria. As the disease progresses, pockets extend deeper and the bacteria migrates downwards until the bone that holds the tooth in place is destroyed. The tooth eventually will fall out, become abscessed or require extraction.
Are there other factors?
Genetics are also a factor, as are lifestyle choices. A diet low in nutrients can diminish the body’s ability to fight infection. Smokers have more irritation to gum tissues than non-tobacco users, while stress can also affect the ability to ward off disease. Diseases that interfere with the body’s immune system, such as diabetes, leukemia and AIDS, may worsen the condition of the gums. In patients with uncontrolled diabetes, where the body is more prone to infection, gum disease is more severe or harder to control.
What are the warning signs of gum disease?
Signs include red, swollen or tender gums, bleeding while brushing or flossing, gums that pull away from teeth, loose or separating teeth, pus between the gum and tooth, persistent bad breath, change in the way teeth fit together when the patient bites, and a change in the fit of partial dentures. While patients are advised to check for the warning signs, there might not be any discomfort until the disease has spread to a point where the tooth is not salvageable. That’s why patients are advised to get frequent dental exams.
Removing plaque through daily brushing, flossing and professional cleaning is the best way to minimise your risk. Your dentist or hygienist will design a personalised program of home oral care to meet your needs.
What does periodontal treatment involve?
In the early stages, most treatment involves periodontal therapy. This involves removing plaque and calculus around the teeth and smoothing the root surfaces. These measures will in most cases of early and moderate gum disease achieve a satisfactory result. More advanced cases may require surgical treatment, which involves removing the hardened plaque build-up and re-contouring the damaged bone. Regular maintenance is usually necessary.