Teeth Cleaning – Dentist or Hygienist?

Monique showing how to brush properly

A few years ago a dental patient would attend for a check-up and the dentist might do a bit of a scrape and sometimes polish the teeth. The whole thing took about 5 minutes and was cheap.
Now you have your check-up and the dentist says: “you have gingivitis and you should see my hygienist”. What’s changed?

Well, for a start, 10-20 years ago people didn’t expect their teeth to last forever, and were expecting to wear dentures in their old age.

Maybe this was largely due to the quick ” cleaning” which, while making the teeth look shiny and clean in the surface, rarely removed the bacteria below the gum line, which eventually led to tooth loss.

So you’d have your clean and go home, brush your teeth, or floss (if w’re lucky), and find you get a bit of bleeding, and maybe still have some bad breath. But that’s OK you think ‘cos the dentist said its normal to have a bit of bleeding when you brush, or maybe you’re just too rough.

WRONG!!

Today we realise bleeding and bad breath are signs of gingivitis and periodontitis – the two gum diseases which eventually can lead to tooth loss.

IT’S LIKE REPAINTING A SHIP ABOVE THE WATER LINE, BUT LEAVING ALL THE BARNACLES AND RUST BELOW THE SURFACE.

And you aren’t aware of the problem ’till the ship starts sinking, just as many people don’t realise they have periodontitis until the teeth start to loosen up or abscess.

WELCOME TO MODERN DAY DENTAL CARE!
We aim to help you keep your natural teeth for life.

This is always better and cheaper than tooth replacement, and also keeps you in a good state of health along the way.

So why doesn’t the dentist do it himself?

Well I guess some might, but the average adult in NZ takes about half to one hour of careful scaling and root planing to properly remove all the plaque and tartar that has built up and to coach in home care methods which prevent disease.

Speaking personally, I’ve been highly trained to do a wide range of sophisticated dental treatments, and the thought of scraping and polishing teeth for an hour or so doesn’t excite me much. Furthermore, at a rate of $300-$400 an hour, I don’t think my patients would be too thrilled at the bill either!

Thank God for hygienists, they have done a 3 year degree at Dental School learning how to keep my patients gums healthy and stable, and for a much lower rate than I would need to charge.

As for you the patient – a healthier, cleaner mouth and less chance of going through the pain of loose teeth, periodontal abscesses, tooth loss and thousands of dollars for tooth replacement.

Not bad for less than the cost of a single filling!

IT’S A NO-BRAINER REALLY.

Comments

  1. It?s difficult to find experienced people in this particular subject,
    however, you sound like you know what you?re talking about!
    Thanks

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