Looking after your smile requires more than everyday care. Beyond daily brushing and flossing, visiting a hygienist at least once every six months is a crucial part of your overall oral hygiene routine. Your hygienist is the biggest champion for your future smile. They help to prevent gum disease, bad breath, oral cancer, bleeding gums and tooth loss making sure you maintain a healthy mouth for life. Even for those with excellent teeth and a second-to-none daily care routine, nothing quite matches the deep clean that you will get from a professional.
At Sydney Road Dental Care, we believe prevention is better than cure. Some of the most rewarding parts of our day are celebrating the long-term health of our regular patients with a clean bill of health, especially those that have been plagued with dental problems for years. Sadly, many people believe this could never be them, and even avoid the dentist for years purely because they are afraid of all the dental work they may need. With this in mind, our dentists have developed a comprehensive preventative care programme. Our aim is to get you out of this “drill and fill” cycle and into a preventative routine, where you can look forward to good dental health for many years to come.
Who will I be seeing for my preventative care?
What many people may not realise is that a dental team consists of more than just dentists and dental nurses. Hygienists and Oral Health Therapists are highly specialized dental professionals who support the work of dentists by running the preventative care and hygiene departments of dental clinics. They are the go-to people for dental cleans, treatment of gum disease, as well as minor preventative fillings such as fissure sealants. At Sydney Road Dental Care, we trust our six monthly cleans primarily to our hygienists and oral health therapists, with the option of having an additional consultation with the dentist on the day should you need it.
What will happen during my preventative care appointment?
Whilst most patients expect to get their teeth cleaned at their six-monthly visits, many are not aware of all the additional services that make up a comprehensive preventative care programme.
Examination – We take great care to not only have a look at your teeth, but also your gums, tongue, cheeks and lips – everything in and around your mouth! Our goal is to detect any new changes in the health of your mouth as early as possible to prevent extensive, uncomfortable treatment in the future. We also have a look at how well you are maintaining your oral hygiene, and note down some tips we can give you to make it easier.
Dental Clean – Plaque and calculus are the main causes of dental decay and gum disease, especially when building up in areas that cannot be reached by your toothbrush. We have found that even the most diligent brushers and flossers need some help reaching these difficult areas. Our professional dental cleans thoroughly remove all plaque and calculus from every corner of your mouth, thereby significantly reducing your chance of decay and gum disease.
Fluoride – Our modern diets and stressful lifestyles significantly contribute to the wear and tear of our teeth. At the end of every hygiene appointment, we provide you with fluoride foam which acts to remineralize these areas and thereby strengthens teeth. Dental fluoride is a key component of every hygiene routine, in addition to regularly used fluoride toothpaste.
X-Rays – It is a requirement to update dental x-rays every two years for smaller films taken inside your mouth, and every five years for larger films outside of your mouth. This is because without dental x-rays, we are unable to see in between the teeth, underneath the gums, around the bones or the roots of the teeth – if you had a problem here, we would never know! With your safety in mind, we have invested in the latest x-ray equipment with very low doses of radiation.
Dental Hygiene Instructions – the dreaded moment where we tell you that you need to floss. We want to make looking after the health of your teeth as easy, quick and efficient as possible. A tiny tweak in how you hold your toothbrush, or an alternate way of flossing can make the tediousness of oral hygiene much simpler. Let us share with you some of the behind-the-scenes hygiene tips we have collected over the years!
Treatment Consultation – In the event that you do require further dental treatment, we will ensure a thorough consultation with our dentist and a written treatment plan including costing and time to get you back on the preventative track as soon as possible.
How often will I need these appointments?
For the average patient, a six-monthly preventative care routine is regular enough to detect any new changes in the health of your teeth, gums and mouth. On occasion, we may recommend a three or four monthly schedule for our patients who have a particularly high risk of dental decay or gum disease. Delaying dental check-up and cleans longer than the period recommended by your dentist allows for the possibility of a problem going undetected, which may lead to more extensive treatment in the future.
How long does it take?
For a thorough check-up and clean including all the above services, an average of 45-60 minutes is required. As there is always a natural variation in the length of treatment time, do let us know if you have any time pressures. We will do our best to accommodate without compromising the quality of our care. Please be sure to bring your private health fund card with you to your appointment so a claim can be made on the spot with a gap being all you need to pay.