O'Connell Street Dental Clinic
Dr.Noelene Walsh B.D.S NUI
Dr.Ronan Fox B.D.S NUI

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Good oral hygiene is essential to keeping teeth for life and our hygienist is dedicated to looking after patients oral health.

Plaque is the name given to a film of bacteria, which is constantly forming on all teeth. Plaque causes tooth decay and gum disease. It is a soft colourless substance that is difficult to see until the coating becomes thick. It collects on the surfaces of teeth next to gums and between the teeth. With time residual plaque hardens and is then known as calculus (tartar).

Gum disease is inflammation of the gum caused by plaque and calculus. During the early stages the disease is completely painless although you may notice that your gums bleed when brushing or flossing. Gum disease is the single major cause of tooth loss.

How do I prevent gum disease? A good oral hygiene routine at home is the most important part of prevention. The second most important aspect of prevention is scaling of the teeth, this is carried out by a dentist or dental hygienist to remove any build-up of calculus both above and below the gum line. Calculus can’t be removed by brushing and the most suitably trained member of the dental team to perform scaling is the hygienist. After scaling, it is usual to have the teeth polished which will leave them feeling fresh and clean.

What can a dental hygienist do for me? A hygienists main duty is to prevent and treat gum disease with scaling, polishing and root planning (which may be done under local anaesthetic) to remove the calculus and plaque. Your hygienist will demonstrate flossing and brushing technique as well as interdental cleaning. The hygienist will also give dietary advice. Research has shown that patients who regularly attend the hygienist suffer from less dental problems in the long-term. The hygienist will spend 20-30 minutes thoroughly scaling and cleaning your teeth. Ask your dentist about the availability of the hygienist, the recommended frequency of visits and the cost of treatment. For fresher breath, healthy gums and a brighter smile see the dental hygienist


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