For many, the idea of seeing the Hygienist conjures up thoughts of pain and discomfort and surveys reveal that 46% of people admit that a scale and polish scares them. However, a visit to a Hygienist is a relatively painless procedure and could help to prevent years of dental and general health problems in the future.
Scaling is the process of physically removing plaque that has hardened into tartar. Our hygienists use a machine called an ultrasonic scaler that uses pressured water to remove this tartar and patients find this more comfortable compared to hand scalers that scrape along the tooth. Before the procedure, we can use a topical anaesthetic gel that just sits around the gums and, if necessary, we can provide regular anaesthetic to help numb the area.
After all the tartar has been removed, we use a small rubber-tipped hand tool to polish the teeth and remove any staining. This is a painless procedure and may only involve a mild tickling sensation. Afterwards, your teeth will feel clean and fresh, and you can leave the practice, satisfied knowing that you are helping prevent cavities and gum disease.
If you are still worried about experiencing pain during your appointment, we recommend taking ibuprofen about an hour before if you can and again four hours later. Ibuprofen helps to reduce the mild inflammation caused by the scaling.
Some patients find the water can make their teeth sensitive due to the cold temperature. Use a sensitive toothpaste on a daily basis to help combat this, such as Sensodyne.
Remember, the better your at-home oral hygiene routine is, the easier your hygiene visit will be. Brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. Flossing is 40% of your plaque removal, so skipping it will mean a lot more work for the Hygienist.
Both our Hygienists are aware of patients concerns and are keen to change patients’ perceptions with their gentle and compassionate approach.