Direct Access to hygiene services at our Practice

 

With effect from 1 May 2013, Dental Hygienists are permitted to treat patients without a prior examination by a dentist.

This means that we can now welcome patients requesting the services of the Dental Hygienist without having to be examined by a dentist prior to the appointment.

For patients who regularly see our dentists it is no longer necessary to have a prescription from the dentist before having a hygienist appointment.

For new patients to the practice who just want to see the Dental Hygienist, the patient will be required to fill in an up to date medical history and a consent form for treatment. If you are registered at another Dental Surgery - for example, one with no hygienist - we may also like your permission to write to your own practice to inform them of any concerns the hygienist may have.

 The patient will have a regular hygienist appointment and the standard fee will be payable at the end of the appointment. If you feel you have problems with your gums and would like a longer appointment with the hygienist to discuss this further, please request this at reception.

Should you want to arrange an appointment please contact the surgery. 

The patient may be recommended to see the dentist after treatment if the hygienist uncovers oral health problems which are outside the hygienist scope of practice. The patient will be made aware of the situation at the time of the appointment and further treatment can be arranged.

There may be the rare circumstance when the hygienist is unable to begin treatment, before they can continue; they request you are assessed by the dentist. This may be due to your general health, medical history or condition of your mouth. There might be additional fees should the hygienist refer you for a dentist appointment, but these will always be explained to you.

Hygienists are unable to diagnose, offer a prognosis or prescribe antibiotics, painkillers and any symptom alleviating medication. You will need an appointment with the dentist for prescribed medication.

Please note: visiting a hygienist is not a substitute for a full dental examination. 

A hygienist's main duty is to prevent and treat gum disease with scaling, polishing and root care to remove hard deposits and plaque.  They will demonstrate correct flossing and brushing techniques as well as other oral hygiene techniques according to your personal requirements.

Dietary advice is also provided.

 

Research has shown that patients who regularly visit the hygienist suffer from less dental problems in the long term.

 

There is no set frequency for hygiene treatments as every patient has different needs. Recall frequencies are tailored to your personal requirements. For example, in the case of advanced gum disease you may need a course of treatment with more frequent, longer appointments. Alternatively, if you have a healthy mouth, the recommended recall period could range from 3 to 12 months. The hygienist will suggest a hygiene treatment frequency that best suits your needs.