Visiting the hygienist

Coronavirus COVID-19 Update

Following Government guidelines, the surgery has now reopened. We are initially prioritising those with the most urgent dental needs, with a view to resume routine dental care as soon as we can.

We are seeing patients by appointment only, please continue to call us for advice and support.

 

Although our practice has reopened please note it will not be business as usual. The treatments you are offered may be different to those you received before, depending on staff and personal protection equipment ( PPE ) available. It will take some time before services return to what you previously experienced as normal. Please be patient with us while we work towards resuming normal dental services in a safe environment.

 

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

 

  • Our practice will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again at your appointment
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  • We have hand sanitiser that we will ask you to use when you enter the practice.
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  • We no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult  to clean and disinfect
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  • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.

 

We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

 

How you can help:

  • Please do not arrive without an appointment
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  • Please do not arrive early to the practice. Once you have arrived, please call the practice by phone      on 01992 462 043 and check in with reception. You should then wait outside the practice until called in by a nurse.
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  • Please limit the number of things you bring with you to your appointment. ONLY bring  necessary items.
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  • Please bring your own pen to sign any consent forms
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  • We may ask you to complete your medical history form at home and bring it in at your appointment. Please ensure all parts are completed and all medications are recorded on this form
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  • With the exception of children and patients with carers, patients should come alone
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  • Only one consenting adult will be able to escort a child.
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  • A face covering must be worn by anyone escorting a child or vulnerable adult into the building. This cannot be provided by the practice due to PPE shortages. All our PPE will be needed to treat our patients and protect staff and patients.
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  • A distance of at least 2 metres must be observed if another patient is present in the dental practice
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  • Payment should be made by card where possible and we will sometimes request this over the phone. If cash payment is to be made, please make sure you bring the cash in a plastic bag. Staff will not shake your hand
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  • If you show symptoms following appointment booking, you should contact the practice by phone for advise

 

The welfare of our staff and patients is extremely important to us moving into this next stage in providing your dental care.

We look forward to welcoming everyone back

 

The Team at Hoddesdon Dental Surgery

 

 

What is a hygienist?

Dental hygienists are specially trained to work with the dentist in giving care to patients.

They play an important role in dental health care and are mainly concerned with gum health, showing people correct home care and applying preventive materials to the teeth and gums.

What is the hygienist’s role in the practice?

The hygienist’s main role is to professionally clean the teeth for the patient. This is usually called scaling and polishing. However, perhaps their most important role is showing the patient the best way to keep the teeth free of plaque. Carefully removing the deposits that build up on the teeth (tartar) and teaching you how to prevent it reforming again, will go a long way to slowing the progress of gum disease.

They also give advice on diet and preventing dental decay. By discussing your diet, and recommending other preventive measures, your tooth decay can also be slowed down. Regular visits and advice will help build your confidence in maintaining your oral health and achieving a healthy mouth

The hygienist will work with your dentist to provide care tailored to your needs.

Why is this treatment important?

Regular professional cleaning combined with your home care will help keep your mouth healthy. A clean and healthy mouth will improve your appearance, help you to keep your teeth and give you fresh breath.

Will the treatment hurt?

Scaling and polishing is usually pain-free. However, if you do have any discomfort the hygienist can use anaesthetic creams, or give you some local anaesthetic. It is important that you let the hygienist know at the time so they can help with your pain.

Why doesn’t the dentist do this work?

Some dentists will carry out this type of work. However, many now recognise that the hygienist has been specially trained to carry out scaling and polishing and can spend longer with you. They are also expert at teaching you how to look after your teeth and gums. Often the hygienist will spend a number of appointments getting the gums healthy ready for the dentist to restore the teeth with crowns and fillings.

What can I do to help the hygienist?

You can do a great deal to help yourself and the hygienist, as you are in control of your mouth between visits to the practice.

Your hygienist will have shown you how to remove plaque with a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. You will also have been shown how to clean between your teeth with floss, tape or little brushes.

There are many oral care products now available including specialist toothpastes, powered toothbrushes and mouthwashes. Your hygienist will recommend those that are best for you. We recommend you follow three simple steps to help keep your teeth and gums healthy.

  • brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • cut down on how often you have sugary snacks and drinks
  • visit your dentist at least once a year

Cutting down the amount of sugar in your diet, and the number of times that you eat during the day, can help to reduce decay. Your hygienist can help you by looking at your decay problem, your diet and by making some recommendations for you to consider.

Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can also help to prevent tooth decay. Chewing gum makes your mouth produce more saliva, which in turn cancels out the acid produced in your mouth after drinking and eating.