New Changes to Way Dental Treatment is Provided

Published:May 29th, 2013

FotoliaProfessional teeth cleaning is well known to be an excellent way of helping to improve and preserve oral health, and is something that is generally provided by a dental hygienist. Up until recently the need to see a dentist prior to professional cleaning was mandatory, but this has now changed. New rules introduced at the beginning of this month mean it is now possible to see a dental hygienist or dental therapist for dental care, regardless of whether you are treated on the NHS or privately.

Services Offered by Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists
These changes have been approved by the General Dental Council, and could change the way dental services are provided. Many people will have already received dental care from a hygienist or therapist, but others may be unaware of the wide range of treatments they can provide. These include professional cleanings and straightforward fillings for adults and children, and extractions for children. The decision to make these changes should hopefully see more people have access to dental care, while still ensuring they receive high quality oral care.

Dental hygienists and dental therapists do provide slightly different services, as hygienists offer treatments more oriented towards improving the gum health of patients, while therapists are more focused on providing repairs to natural teeth.
Although the changes can only be a good thing, this doesn’t mean that your hygienist is likely to disappear from your local dental surgery. A lot of people find it very convenient to book a check-up and a professional cleaning at the same time, and this type of service is still likely to be available. Anyone who opts to only book an appointment with their hygienist or therapist may still ultimately be referred to the dentist if the hygienist or therapist thinks it is required.

This Change Could Be Good for Those Who Find Dental Visits Stressful
However this change may help people who are particularly fearful of visiting the dentist, as they will now be able to receive treatment to help improve their oral health in a slightly less scary environment. Dental hygienists can do a lot to help patients with their oral health, as they can work with them to improve their gum health, and can suggest ways of looking after their teeth and gums at home.

Why are Professional Cleanings so Important?
Having your teeth professionally scaled and polished should be an important part of your preventative dental care routine. While daily brushing and flossing helps to remove most of the plaque bacteria in the mouth, it is all too easy to miss small areas. This allows the plaque bacteria to harden into tartar, a substance that can only be professionally removed as it is very hard. The problem with tartar is that it will produce toxins that irritate and inflame the gums, eventually leading to gum disease. This is a potentially serious condition that can lead to tooth loss, and which can affect overall health.

Having your teeth scaled and polished helps to lessen this risk, and your hygienist can also point out areas of your mouth that you may be missing in your daily routine. They are a wealth of information, so if you are unsure of how to brush or floss then do ask them for help. They will be more than happy to give you lots of useful advice and tips.

About the author

Alison, is a UK born and educated dental professional with over 25 years experience.

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