Visits to your dental hygienist are an important part of looking after your teeth alongside regular check-ups with your dentist. Our hygienists work with our specialist clinicians to help minimise the effects of gum disease by thoroughly cleaning your teeth, particularly in those hard to reach areas.

As well as removing stubborn plaque and tartar that can build up on your teeth, even with regular brushing and flossing, our dental hygienists can help to remove unsightly stains caused by tea, coffee, red wine and cigarettes.

A dental hygienist can:

• Provide dental hygiene care to a wide range of patients.
• Plan the delivery of care for patients to improve and maintain their periodontal health
• Obtain a detailed dental history from patients and evaluate their medical history as well as undertake a complete periodontal examination
• Provide preventive oral care to patients and liaise with dentists over the treatment of tooth decay, periodontal disease and tooth wear.
• Undertake above and below the gum scaling and root cleaning using manual and powered instruments
• Give patients advice on how to stop smoking.

Your first full appointment will take around 45 minutes. At this appointment we’ll take a full medical and social history, update records and do an assessment of your teeth, After this, future appointments will last around 30 minutes.

Making a hygienist appointment

Until 1st May 2013, if you wanted to make an appointment with a dental hygienist you would have to see a dentist. However, this rule has now changed and so you can now book directly with a dental hygienist offering a ‘direct access service’.

If your dentist does not have an hygienist, or you’re not registered at a dental practice yet but would like to book a private hygienist appointment, then please call us on 01872 242 444. Alison Brown, River Practice’s resident hygienist, is available for appointments on Thursdays and at other times by arrangement.

If our hygienist notices that you may need other general dental treatment, she’ll refer you back to your general dentist with her findings. Don’t worry if you’re not registered with a general dentist; we can give you a list of dentists in the local area for you to choose from. Our aim is that your visit/s with Alison will give you the confidence to visit a dentist if you have had worries about doing so.

Meet our hygienist: Alison Brown

Our dental hygienist Alison has worked in the industry for 25 years, starting as a dental nurse before qualifying as a dental hygienist in 1993. Alison has undertaken many courses during this time in subjects such as dental radiography, periodontal risk management and advanced non-surgical periodontal therapy.

Alison says: ‘Many people are extremely nervous of dental treatment, with some having never visited a hygienist before or some staying away for several years in fear. I like to reassure nervous patients that they’re not alone – I meet patients like this every week, so there’s nothing to worry about. I always take time to reassure our patients from the start and explain what’s going to happen and what to expect to try and put them at ease.

‘My passion is helping people of all ages to prevent, and treat if necessary, gum (periodontal) disease. My philosophy is always been to treat a patient how I would like to be treated myself, so you can be assured of a friendly service every time you visit me at River Practice Truro’.