Look after your NHS Dental Registration post coronavirus.
22nd August 2020
During the COVID-19 lockdown, dental practices were closed and emergency and urgent care only was available through the NHS in… read more
These days, even a regular visit to see the dental hygienist is not quite as straightforward as it used to be. This is because modern dental hygiene procedures use high speed tools with water to shift plaque. Your dentist may recommend hand scaling as an alternative. Although this method may take a little longer and seem more old-fashioned, it is effective.
As part of our oral care and dental cleaning, visits to the hygienist are an important part of our routine. An appointment with a dental hygienist usually involves a procedure called scaling. Scaling removes plaque from around the gum margins and other places where bacteria gather and adhere.
Removing plaque, hard tartar or calculus, is important to prevent gum disease and guard against tooth loss. A regular dental care routine of brushing and flossing stops plaque from building up and hardening into tartar.
Dental hygienists usually use an ultrasonic scaler because it is easier for the patient to tolerate. At its tip, the ultrasonic scaler vibrates to gently ease away plaque. The scaler also delivers a gentle stream of water to wash debris away. The hygiene assistant uses an aspirator to suck away the excess water.
Once the plaque or tartar has been removed, the hygienist uses a slow handpiece with a round brush and some paste to polish the surfaces of the teeth. This gives the patient lovely smooth feel afterwards.
Ultrasonic scaling produces an aerosol effect which, during the current coronavirus alert, means clinicians must wear full PPE.
The hygienist may recommend hand scaling instead. Hand scaling is the traditional method of removing plaque. It is an effective technique, but takes a little longer and the some patients find the feeling of having their teeth scraped by metal uncomfortable. If you want to maintain your oral health, this is a good way to reduce plaque and keep gums healthy.
The technique is straightforward. Using a small mirror, the dental hygienist selects from a range of hand scaling tools. Working systematically around the quadrants of the patients mouth, the hygienist cleans along the gum line, as well as in between the teeth.
After either ultrasonic scaling or hand scaling procedures, the hygienist polishes the patient’s teeth. Once the tartar/plaque has been removed, the hygienist uses a slow handpiece with a round brush and some paste to polish all the tooth surfaces. This gives the patient’s teeth a lovely smooth, clean feel afterwards.
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Updated: 2nd August 2020
We are receiving a lot of calls and messages now, and are doing our best to follow up and reply to your questions as soon as we can.
Thank you for your understanding.
During our phased return to in-person service:
Not all of our dental services are available immediately, therefore patient needs are assessed before an in-person booking is made.
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Patients often ask:
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