Dental Hygiene Program
At 818 Dental we have an amazing group of dental hygienists who work tirelessly to maintain the health of our patients teeth and gums.
Historically your dentist may have fulfilled this role and typically they would spend 30mins chatting, examining and finally cleaning your teeth.
At 818 Dental we think we have something better!
Our dental hygienists have all completed a 3 year accredited university Hygiene or therapy training program and are registered with AHPRA.
Our hygienists spend an entire hour with you and in that time they asses your medical history, assess the health of your gums, take digital images of your teeth, take necessary radiographs, provide oral hygiene instruction and scale and clean your teeth.
Our patients constantly tell us how painless the experience has been for them and we pride ourselves on creating an experience for our patients that is as pleasant as it can be.
What to expect at your first dental hygiene appointment
At 818 Dental our dental hygiene team are committed to helping all of our patients achieve optimal oral and dental health. Our aim is to to ensure that your teeth and gums are clean and free from disease.
At your first dental hygiene appointment your dental hygienist will perform the following –
• Review your current medical history
• Review your current at home care
• Complete a full dental assessment to note your current dental condition and detect any potential problems.
• Radiographs may be taken to help identify decay in-between teeth and to review the supporting bone structures.
• Complete a periodontal chart to measure the health of the gum and bone levels surrounding each tooth
• Intra oral and extra oral photographs. This is used as a visual aid to help discuss a diagnosis. These show areas that may be of concern such as cracking, recession, decay, calculus and plaque deposits.
• Perform a gentle but professional teeth clean. This involves scaling and polishing to remove plaque and calculus from the tooth surfaces, using an ultrasonic scaler and hand instruments to remove fine deposits
• Polish and fluoride application
• Give tailored oral hygiene instruction and advice based on our findings.
Depending on the condition of your teeth, some patients may require further hygiene appointments to manage conditions such as gingivitis and periodontitis. We will then book your routine preventative care appointment based on your assessments usually in either 3, 4 or 6 months.
Bad breath or “halitosis’ is relatively common and can cause embarrassment and concern. Often mints and mouthwash are used to treat the problem. However, these measures assist only temporarily and do not fix the underlying cause. We can help!
What Causes Bad Breath?
Bacteria occur naturally in our mouths. Some bacteria break down proteins and create a waste product called sulphur that causes bad breath. This is further exacerbated by proteins found in the coatings from our mouths and in our diets. The more the bacteria multiplies, the worse the breath becomes.
Bad breath can be caused by:
• Foods such as garlic, onions and spices
• Tobacco products
• Certain diseases and health problems
• Poor oral hygiene
• Dry mouth
• Certain medications
• Severe dieting
There are a number of steps you can take to help alleviate bad breath symptoms. These include –
• Brushing and flossing frequently to remove plaque and bacteria
• Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash
• Avoiding foods that can affect the breath, such as onion and garlic
• Reduce coffee and alcohol
• Use a tongue scraper to remove bacterial and debris
• Giving up smoking
• Chewing sugar-free gum after meals to stimulate saliva
• Frequent sips of water
However, sometimes even after undertaking these steps symptoms of bad breath are not alleviated. Often bad breath is caused by tooth decay and gum disease so it is important to attend the dentist regularly for an examination. A deeper clean is often required to access areas which you may be missing with brushing and flossing at home. Maintaining good oral health at home after treatment is imperative to prohibit its return.
Gum Disease (Gingivitis & Periodontitis)
Gum disease, also known as Periodontal Disease, is the most common oral health disease among Australian adults.There are two types of gum disease – Gingivitis and Periodontitis. Both are caused by bacteria in the mouth.
Gingivitis is inflammation that affects the gums only. Plaque causes the gums to become swollen, red and sometimes tender. Bleeding when brushing or flossing is an indication that gingivitis is present.
How is it managed?
Luckily, gingivitis is reversible, and with regular improvements in brushing and flossing to remove plaque deposits the symptoms will improve and the gums should stop bleeding. Regular professional dental cleans by our 818 hygienists will also help eliminate and prevent gingivitis returning.
However, if left untreated, gingivitis can lead to a more severe form of gum disease called Periodontal Disease.
Periodontal Disease is a more severe inflammation of the gums that affects the supporting structures and bone supporting the teeth below the gum. These are called ‘pockets’ where more bacteria collects and cause further bone loss. Teeth can become mobile and eventually lost. It is slow, progressive and usually painless. Treatment of Periodontal Disease involves thorough periodontal cleaning which targets the removal of difficult-to-access plaque and calculus.
There are several signs and symptoms of Gum Disease which include:
• Red or swollen gums
• Gums that bleed when brushing or flossing
• Bad breath
• Receding gums
• Bone loss (evident on x-rays)
• Formation of pockets between teeth and gum
Gum Disease can affect anyone and you are at an increased risk of gum disease if you have poor oral hygiene practices.
Other risk factors also include:
• Certain medications
• Poor oral hygiene or nutrition
• Genetic susceptibility
• Misaligned bite or dental restoration
• Hormonal changes
If you have any concerns about these risk factors or are concerned that you may have gum disease please contact our surgery to book your tooth saving appointment with our experienced dental hygienists.
The earlier you receive treatment the better your chances of keeping your teeth for life will be.
Our Dental Hygiene team at 818 Dental Armadale are highly experienced at diagnosing and treating gum disease. Call us to schedule your consultation or book online now.