We have had a number of enquiries recently regarding certain protocols so we thought an email with some explanations would help!
Why are the hygiene recall appointments made in the surgery before I’ve even left the practice?
We want to be able to offer you the day and time that is preferable to you and for you to see your chosen clinician as the hygiene diary gets booked 8 weeks in advance. This will also ensure you keep your regular recall whether that’s 3, 4 or 6 monthly. For those having 45 minute appointments it also ensures the correct time is allocated.
Why does the hygienist no longer use gritty polishing paste?
We use a system called AirFlow, the gold standard in dental hygiene, for effectively removing biofilm and surface staining. The bonus, it is pain free! The EMS AirFlow provides patient comfort by warming the water to up to 40 degrees so it feels more like a tooth spa than a dental appointment.
We use 2 different powders for our AirFlow treatments. One is a soft powder, so gentle it can be used under the gum line and lifts light stains, the other is slightly more abrasive and great for those stubborn dark stains!
What do these powders do?
The soft powder has a natural sweetener which provides antibacterial properties, it changes the flora under the gumline which prevents biofilm forming as quickly – the ‘dentist clean’ feeling that lasts!
The classic powder (more abrasive) can be used in certain areas of stubborn sticky stain, often smoking. They are more effective at stain removal than conventional polishing.
Why is it good to regularly attend the Hygienist?
Biofilm is the sticky coating that develops on the teeth and contains bacteria and contributes to gum disease and decay. Removing this biofilm regularly decreases your risk factors for BOTH gum disease and tooth decay.
Studies have shown that dental plaque / biofilm can not only cause damage to the teeth and gums, but can also increase the risk of Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, premature birth, respiratory disorders, diabetes and more. Therefore reinforcing why we are so passionate about good oral hygiene care and instruction. We want to increase the longevity and health of your teeth and gums and look after you holistically.
Clean teeth, healthy body!
Why am I not offered a mouthrinse at every appointment?
We try very hard to reduce our plastic consumption and disposables including plastic cups. In the dental field this can be challenging as many items are single use. The cups we use are validated low carbon footprint – the production of bioplastic emits 75% less greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional plastic, and they are made from rapidly renewable starch resources such as tapioca and corn, but are single use and must be disposed of into clinical waste hence us cutting back where we can.
We continually aim to be as environmentally aware as possible. All clinical waste collected from the practice is taken to an energy recovery facility where energy is generated from the incineration process.
We have a recycling hub for patients to recycle any brand of plastic toothbrushes, electric, battery or plastic toothbrush heads, toothpaste tubes and caps, as well as toothbrush and floss packaging. This is located within reception.
Why is my estimate not printed out for me?
Again, we try to reduce our paper consumption so all estimates are emailed. If you don’t receive these we may not have a valid email address for you. For those patients who prefer, we are happy to print estimates to give out at the practice.
Why do the reception team question me about my dental issues when I call to book in?
The reception team triage patients when calling to enable emergency appointments to be prioritised and fit you with the best clinician available, therefore not wasting your valuable time and money. For example if you have lost a filling then all 5 clinicians can provide this service giving more appointment options. If you have pain the well trained reception staff can access your dental history to see if a root treatment has been previously recommended so you can be booked in directly with Emma in her emergency clinics.
Even as a dental practice, we are governed by regulations so we need to gain consent on individual forms which is why we ask you to sign treatment, estimate, consent & medical history forms separately.
Also if you wish any dental information to be shared with your nearest and dearest we do require written consent (email is fine) from that patient to comply with GDC guidelines.
Thanks once again for your continued patronage, it means a lot to us. We are always very happy to receive all feedback and do hold regular team meetings to discuss patients concerns and to discuss policy changes that will improve our patient experience.
Emma and the 5 Dental team.