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Dental Hygiene Care

Your first visit will begin with a dental hygiene assessment. It starts with a review of your medical and dental history and assesses your oral hygiene habits at home. X-rays and measurements of your gums are taken to fully understand and go over your periodontal condition. We will screen for abnormalities and cancer on the face, lips, tongue, gums, cheeks, tissues, or in jawbones.  Regular visits with a dental professional are the best way to screen for oral cancer (early detection is best).

 

A care plan with an emphasis on oral hygiene instructions for at home will be discussed with you based on this information. Oral health education is imperative for total body health. Good hygiene habits like mechanical removal of biofilm with brushing, flossing and using a mouth rinse and regular hygiene appointments are essential. Your dental hygienist will offer you advice and goals incorporating your unique risks, limitations, disease susceptibility, and personal/cultural values and preferences. 

Cleanings

To maintain a healthy mouth (teeth and gums), it is essential to remove plaque (biofilm) and calculus. Scaling and root planing is also known as "a cleaning," are completed with an ultrasonic scaler (Cavitron) and hand instruments which remove the soft (biofilm) and hard (calculus) deposits from above and below the gum line. After scaling, polishing is done to remove any stain and plaque that may remain after scaling.

 

When biofilm and calculus are not removed, it leads to gingivitis and eventually, periodontitis, which you may know as gum disease. Left untreated, you may notice bleeding, swelling, and tenderness (inflammation), and it may irreversibly progress to gum recession, bone loss, and eventually, tooth loss. 

 

The smooth surface after your cleaning will make it easier for you to maintain your home care routine. There is also less opportunity for bacteria, stain, calculus, and plaque to adhere to your teeth.

 

Regular dental hygiene maintenance appointments are required and based on an individual need.

Prevention

Fluoride treatment helps prevent tooth decay and sensitivity by integrating into the enamel of teeth and helping to remineralize them. It can be applied topically with a mouth-rinse, gel, foam, or varnish. 

 

Pit and Fissure Sealants are a thin plastic coating that are used to prevent tooth decay on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. If the deep grooves are sealed it will prevent food and plaque from getting trapped in those spaces as long as sealants remain intact.

Desensitizing is used to reduce or eliminate sensitive teeth which may be caused by temperature, chemical, or pressure changes. A higher concentration of Fluoride is applied as a varnish in the area.

 

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is a chemotherapeutic agent that is applied to a cavity on permanent and primary teeth. It works as an antimicrobial and remineralizes the lesion to prevent progression. Only areas of decay and demineralization will be stained black. For best success at arresting decay reapplications are recommended (1-3 weeks after initial placement, and then at 6 months and 1-year intervals).

Dentures

Soft and hard deposits are removed from the denture (full or partial) and denture care instructions are given. 

Recommendations:

-Ensure dentures are labelled and stored safely in a container filled with some water

-Remove the denture before going to sleep

-Good oral hygiene and maintenance will aid in the life of the appliance

Atraumatic Restorative Therapy (ART)

In 2017, Meggie completed Atraumatic Restorative Therapy training through the University of Alberta.

 

If decay is found on someone who does not have immediate access to a dentist the dental hygienist that is formally trained can use hand instruments to remove decay and a temporary restoration is placed.

 

A referral will be given for a permanent replacement with a dentist. 

Referrals

Sent to a dentist or specialist as needed. 

Referrals are also given for medical doctors, massage therapists, physiotherapists, and many other practitioners as needed.