Most orthodontic practices rely on their referring dental practices to look after the routine dental hygiene of patients. With many of our patients, this is the norm. But there are some patients who don’t see a hygienist in their practice or who struggle with their hygiene once they are in braces. In these instances, having conferred with their dentist, we like to offer an in-house hygiene service.
When it comes to a routine appointment, a patient will come in to see me, their principal contact at the practice. I will then spend a few minutes checking their teeth and removing wires. For those patients who are signed up to the in-house hygiene, this is the moment when I send them to see one of our friendly hygienists. During their 45 minutes with Gosia or Laura, the patient will have the plaque thoroughly removed from their teeth using ultrasonic scalers with fine tips. After that, it’s back to my chair, where I put new wires in place and eventually conclude their treatment.
Cleaning lingual braces isn’t easy at the best of times, with all the brackets and wires in place at the back of the teeth. The removal of these wires creates an important window of opportunity that we like to take advantage of, and we are happy to offer our patients this as an additional service. Some patients don’t see a hygienist at all and we feel it’s important that they do while they are in treatment here.
Appointments at our clinic are structured so that at the start of a patient’s course of treatment, a new patient will spend equal amounts of time with me and with the rest of the team. Many patients have never seen a hygienist before, and are converted to being more focused on their dental hygiene after their visits due to our hygienist’s encouraging approach.
This combination of orthodontics and dental hygiene is not found in most practices. However, if referring dentists are in agreement, I think some patients need this additional level of care.