Registered Dental Hygienists in Alberta are Primary Healthcare Providers and are able to diagnose oral conditions. We will therefore check for not only gum/periodontal disease but tooth decay (cavities) both visually and by taking and reading radiographs (xrays) and check the head and neck and soft tissues for signs of oral cancer during your teeth cleaning appointment.
If anything concerning should be found, that we can't treat within out scope of practice, we will refer you to a Dentist or Specialist, such as an Oral Pathologist, to investigate further.
Yes, Dental Hygienists need radiographs!
We need these images in order to assess the bone level around your teeth and to look for active and incipient tooth decay between the teeth during your dental hygiene/ teeth cleaning appointment. Seeing these things on an x-ray can enable us to coach you regarding diet, medications, habits, and products that may be contributing to problems and help you to prevent further damage as well as offer up early intervention/treatment.
Radiographs also help us to be able to tell you if you have oral conditions that need to be referred to a Dentist or Specialist such as tooth decay, oral pathology, defects, bone infection around the teeth, and severe bone loss.
Scaling is the removal of the hard deposit we call calculus (tartar)...basically plaque that gets hardened onto the teeth and under the gums by the minerals in your saliva.
Calculus needs to be removed (cleaned off of the teeth) regularly as when it sits under the gum line too long, it will "eat" away at the bone around the teeth leading to something called bone loss/ bone destruction and, in extreme cases, tooth loss.
Once the calculus is removed, the gums send out fibres to the tooth to re-attach and protect the bone from further destruction.
Scaling may be completed by power
scaler, hand instrumentation, or both.
Scaling/teeth cleaning is recommended twice per year for most clients in order to maintain their bone levels. However, if you have gum/periodontal disease, more frequent intervals may be needed in order to improve and then manage your condition.
Root planing is smoothing the root of the tooth, (yep, similar to planing wood) after the deposit is removed.
The outer layer of the root, the cementum, dies off kind of like skin cells.
The gums don't like to re-attach to a "furry" root so, this is how we make the root more "attractive" to the gums so that they can snuggle up to each other again.
Both scaling and rootplaning are billed in "units of time". A "unit" is 15 minutes of time spent carrying out the teeth cleaning procedure.
Polish is usually achieved by rubber cup polisher with a mild abrasive or a powder blast technology involving pressurized air and water with glycinate, sodium bicarbonate, or erythritol powder that allows for removal of surface stain, plaque and biofilm!
Biofilm is that sticky coating that sits on your teeth, loaded with bacteria, it contributes to both tooth decay and gum disease/bleeding. Let's get it out of there!
If you have molars or premolars with deep grooves that love to collect bacteria and plaque you may have increased risk of cavities forming in these areas.
Sealants can be placed on those grooves.
Sealants are like a little coating we sometimes say it's like a "skating rink" placed over the grooves so that those "sugar bugs" (decay causing bacteria) can't get in and start making holes.
Preventive and painless, sealants can be applied during your dental hygiene/teeth cleaning appointment!
It is essential to take even more care of your teeth if you will be undergoing radiation therapy around the head and neck. Oral cancers are on the rise and the treatment can be very hard on your oral health. Your Dental Hygienist is a great resource to help you maintain healthy teeth during this time and to provide extra treatment and advice to help prevent oral health decline during and after cancer treatment. We are here to support you on your journey.
Certain conditions found in the mouth can give us insight to determine if you may be at risk for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Having sleep apnea can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke five fold.
If you are at risk, we may recommend going for a sleep study.
Registered Dental Hygienists have got more than your teeth and gums in mind, we've got your back!
We screen for OSA during every dental hygiene/teeth cleaning appointment.
There are products we use that can help to stop very early decay in it's tracks! Ideal for baby teeth to prevent the decay from spreading but, can also be used on very early decay in Adult teeth. Come chat with us about your options!
ART: early decay is gently removed from the tooth (only decay where no freezing nor drilling is required) and a Glass Ionomer filling material (GIC) is placed to help repair the tooth. GIC is temporary but, can last for years in many instances. Further treatment (restoration) from a Dentist may be required, a referral will be advised.
SMART: Silver diamine fluoride is painted on early decay to "eat up" the soft, diseased tissue and leave healthy, hardened tissue. That tissue is then covered later with glass ionomer (GIC) to fill up and protect the area. GIC is temporary but, can last for years in many instances. Further treatment (restoration) from a Dentist may be required, a referral will be advised.
SDF: sometimes only the painting on of silver diamine fluoride is required to stop decay from progressing, especially in very early stages and in baby teeth so that decay doesn't spread. If SDF is recommended, further evaluation by a Dentist may be warranted.
Many oral medications we take can affect our mouth and cause bothersome side effects.
For those clients who have moderate to severe periodontal disease, dry mouth, oral fungal infections, frequent canker, or cold sores your Independent Registered Dental Hygienist near you can give you some extra tools to help combat these issues, keep you comfortable during dental hygiene/teeth cleaning treatment, as well as advocate for your total health by communicating with other members of your healthcare team to find the best solutions for you!
Do you require antibiotic prophylaxis prior to dental hygiene/teeth cleaning treatment?
For instance, if you have a heart valve replacement, or have a history of endocarditis, you will need to have antibiotics prescribed for you to take before your dental hygiene care appointment. We can help you with that directly!
FREE oral health exam and whitening (age 12 +) at every dental hygiene visit (conditions apply).
We strive to keep our fees as low as possible! All prices are at least 15% below AB Fee guide and exams are always Free (an additional $100 value)!
We work with your budget and immediate need.
Not ready to commit? Come in for a free discussion and estimate. We are all about empowering you to make informed choices!
We Direct Bill your Insurance!
* please note our fees do not change the % deductible of your insurance but will decrease your copay amount accordingly.