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01 March 2021
Helping you to keep your gums healthy

A comment by one of our 5* reviewers on Google highlights the importance of our dental hygienists/therapists to your oral health: “The appearance and feel of my teeth has vastly improved thanks to the conscientious efforts of everyone at Cottingham Dental Practice. Never delay seeing the dental hygienist!”

What are dental hygienists and dental therapists?

Dental hygienists and dental therapists are specially trained to help you look after your oral health. They are experts when it comes to the health of your gums.

What is the dental hygienist's role?

Dental hygienists are mainly concerned with ‘preventive’ dental health and treating gum disease – showing you correct home care to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy. This includes cleaning your teeth by removing plaque and tartar. However, perhaps their most important role is showing you the best way to keep your teeth free of plaque. Plaque is a sticky coating that forms constantly on your teeth. Hygienists also give advice about diet and about preventing tooth decay.

What is the dental therapist's role?

As well as doing all the work that a dental hygienist does, a dental therapist has further training to also carry out some dental procedures that patients are more used to a dentist doing. Under the care of a dentist, a dental therapist can do fillings, extract ‘baby’ teeth, place preformed crowns on baby teeth.

Can a dental hygienist do anything else?

Dental hygienists also take dental x-rays. The dentist will use these to help diagnose problems and decide on the possible treatment. Dental hygienists can also place fissure sealants, apply fluoride varnishes and administer fluoride treatments. Tooth whitening is also often carried out by the dental hygienist or therapist, under a prescription from your dentist.

As Rob says: “I really value how our hygienists and therapists contribute to our patients’ oral health care. Their skills are an important part of our push to promote healthy teeth and gums. Their role has developed significantly during the nearly 30 years I have been in practice and, alongside the contributions by the rest of the team here, I wouldn’t be able to do the work I do without their essential input.”

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