How do we do it?
Preventive Dentistry and Hygienist Services
‘An ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure.’ Our aim is to help you keep your teeth for life, and with that in mind, we recommend regular dental examinations. This allows us to monitor your dental health and detect minor problems before they grow. Early detection of cavities allows us to treat them conservatively, often if small, using air abrasion with our Aquacut Quattro, removing decay in most cases without the need for anaesthetic, and repairing the tooth with white fillings. This has the advantage of keeping cavities small where possible, saving as much tooth as possible, and keeping costs down.
Regular checkups also enable us to keep an eye on all soft tissues ie gums, cheeks tongue lips and palate, looking out for problems and ensuring prompt referrals if anything is detected, and also to ensure your gums are kept as healthy as possible.
We are now using our Previser Assessment tool for patients and are amongst the first of any practices in the country to do so. What this means is that Patients will be assessed on various aspects of their oral health, some from the clinical examination and some from a lifestyle history assessment. This will allow us to give you a risk report on gum disease, tooth decay, tooth wear and mouth cancer. The report also contains useful advice on reducing risk in each of these categories, to keep your mouth healthy and reduce your risk. We feel this is a massive step forward in helping patients help themselves and to understand what their oral health is like and what they can do to keep healthy. Our intention is to provide this free to all Denplan patients. Any private patients, who wish their mouth to be assessed, will be charged a small extra fee as part of their examination, on a yearly basis. We look forward to receiving your feedback on it.
The way it works is that when we have placed all the information into the computer and submit it to the site, we have a near instantaneous report sent back to us on screen, showing the patient’s Oral Health Score (OHS) alongside a detailed (and evidence based) assessment of their future risk for caries, periodontal disease, tooth surface loss and oral cancer. The information sent is anonymised so it can only be received and decrypted on the sender’s computer, so all personal and confidential information is completely safe. A printed copy is given to the patient, or it can be emailed to their home computer if they prefer. A copy is saved on the patients records and can be retrieved at any time in the future. As well as giving a risk assessment, it also carries out the Oral Health score as before, at the same time. Because of the way the Oral Health score is now calculated, it may well vary by a number of points up or down from your previous score calculated by us. This is quite normal and doesn’t mean the condition of your mouth has deteriorated in any way.
Why your Hygienist visits are important to maintain your oral health
Gum disease is slow in onset and subtle in appearance. It is normally painless and will normally only give symptoms such as loose teeth in the later stages, when massive destruction of tissue may already have taken place. It can cause bad breath, bleeding of gums and eventually tooth loss. Some 10% of the population are more prone to gum disease, and will suffer from a more rapid progression of the disease than normal. Smokers will also suffer a more rapid and destructive disease process, as well as problems with staining and increased risks of oral disease such as mouth cancer, and poorer healing and immune response to dental treatment. Other conditions such as diabetes may also increase risk of gum disease and cause problems, especially if poorly controlled.
Good oral hygiene is important in helping to combat potential problems. To this end, our hygienist is here to give advice and to provide treatment to help you keep your teeth and gums in the best possible health for life.
- Remove unsightly build ups of stain and scale from your teeth
- Help you improve your oral health and maintain healthy gums ie tooth brushing and flossing advice
- Provide dietary advice to help prevent cavities and show you how to maintain healthy teeth and gums for yourself
- Help address any problems causing bad breath and help prevent it
- Advice on lifestyle issues relating to your mouth ie tooth erosion caused by acidic or carbonated drinks, and problems caused by smoking
- Help you prevent problems before they occur, keeping your mouth healthy and pain free