Welcome back! This week at Hartwell Dentistry we are continuing on from our last blog, How to choose a dentist.
Prevention – the hygiene department:
A good dental practice should have regular recalls to ensure that you have an exam frequently to detect early problems. Early detection and prevention of problems can help avoid pain and costly, extensive treatment.
Hartwell Dentistry has a Hygiene Department whose main role is to prevent. Hygienists focus on prevention rather than reactive treatment to tooth-problems.
Preventing disease is easier than treating or curing disease. This is why Hartwell Dentistry places an importance in having a separate Hygiene Department that is committed to helping you achieve optimal oral care.
The hygienists at Hartwell Dentistry have trained for 3 years and are given the important role of preventing, treating and maintaining dental disease – especially gum disease. They are able to assess your gums and determine a treatment plan of what you need to do and what treatment is required to achieve the best possible outcome for the health of your gums. In addition, they can answer any questions that you may have.
In addition, we have effective recall systems to remind you of when you are due for a dental appointment.
Infection control standards:
All people who work in the health industry have the duty of care to uphold infection control standards. The Australian Dental Association has a set of infection control standards that are evidence-based on current international best practice. It is important that the dentist that you are seeing adheres to these guidelines and is kept up-to-date with any changes to ensure your safety.
The staff at Hartwell Dentistry constantly attend seminars which review and update us with the current infection control standards. We have state-of-the-art and ADA approve sterilisers which guarantee clean instruments for use. We constantly have meetings to review our infection control practice which allow us to improve and update our standard of care.
The examination appointment:
You want a dentist to complete a thorough comprehensive examination in order for both the dentist and yourself understand what is happening in your entire mouth.
A dental examination should involve looking at your teeth and then a lengthy discussion on the status of your teeth and what treatment needs to be done. This discussion should not only involve the short-term goals, but the long-term goals of your dental health.
The dentist needs to take the time to understand your dental history and your current concerns as well as were you would like to be in the future.
A thorough dentist will set aside at least 60 minutes for an examination and possible spend more time going through your treatment options in an additional consultation.
A dental examination should involve:
- A thorough chat to you about your concerns and expectations. This is very important as your dentist needs to understand exactly what has happened in the past and why, what is happening now and why, as well as what your expectations are for the future.
- Taking digital images (x-rays). A thorough exam is not “thorough” if digital images are not taken. Digital images help that dentist see the “whole picture”.
- A thorough check of each and every one of your teeth is required. This should include charting and noting where your previous restorations are, decays, cracks, erosion etc.
- A check of your bite and jaw function is crucial, to check if your teeth are meeting nicely. They should be able to tell their patients if they have excessive wear and determine why they may be experiencing jaw discomfort/headaches.
- The exam should include and assessment of your gum and bone health. Gum disease is linked to many other health concerns and it is vital that you find a dentist who has extensive knowledge about treating and managing these issues.
- Oral cancer screening: there have been new advancements in technology that allows dentist to check any suspicious lesions and are immediately able to test for cancer and refer you to specialist if any are found.
If you have any questions, or are looking for a new dentist, please contact Hartwell Dentistry. Stay tuned for next months blog.