Q1: Who is a dental hygienist and what do they do?

A dental hygienist is an oral health professional who has obtained training and completed a degree from a recognised University. A dental hygienist works closely with the dentist to look after your gums and helps you maintain oral hygiene. They examine your gums and other soft tissues in your mouth. Once the examination is completed, a dental hygienist will address all areas of concern by removing plaque or other deposits around your teeth or under your gums. Any stains on the surface of your teeth will be cleaned. Finally, a dental hygienist will also show you the best method to floss your teeth and use your toothbrush.


Q2: I brush twice a day and use a mouth rinse after every meal. Do I need to see a dental hygienist at all?

There are many people who look after their oral hygiene, but maintaining perfect oral hygiene is challenging. It is easy to miss plaque between your teeth. Once plaque calcifies, it leads to tartar and increases the risk of contracting different types of gum disease. Your dental hygienist will look for early signs of gum disease and treat you accordingly.  


Q3: Does every dental surgery in Christchurch have a dental hygienist?

There are many dental surgeries that offer hygienist services. At Smile Concepts, we have been offering dental hygienist services for many years now.


Q4: What is the typical length of a dental hygienist appointment?

For your first appointment with our dental hygienist, you normally start off with an hour to develop an oral health plan. Subsequent appointments with our dental hygienist will take less time.


Q5: I am worried about silver fillings used by dentists. Are they safe?

Extensive worldwide research has been conducted on this issue. As of 2016, there is no direct evidence to suggest that silver fillings (amalgam) used by dentists is detrimental to your oral health or general health.


Q6: I would love to have white and shiny teeth. Can a dentist or dental hygienist help?

Many dentists use professional teeth whitening systems that will help you get whiter and shinier teeth.


Q7: Does your dental surgery do dentures?

Yes, our dentists do both partial and full dentures to help you with both functional needs and aesthetic needs.


Q8: I have heard that many people get their wisdom tooth removed. Is this necessary?

Removal of a wisdom tooth is a subjective decision that is made by your dentist after evaluating the condition of your mouth. Normally, if there is enough room in your mouth, then your dentist will recommend leaving your wisdom tooth as is. If there is limited room in your mouth, then removal is preferred option.


Q9: Can you do anything to improve my smile?

Our dentists will replace any of your old fillings, bleach your teeth and place veneers, if necessary. If your teeth require straightening, our dentists will refer you to a orthodontic specialist. All these procedures together will improve your smile.


Q10: Do dental fillings need to be replaced after a few years?

There is constant pressure on your dental fillings that is caused by chewing and grinding. During your regular check-up, your dentist will examine your teeth and check for weaknesses in the fillings. If the seal between your tooth enamel and the dental filling is broken, then the fillings need to be replaced.



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