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To not see the dental hygienist?

(16 Posts)
BaldricksTrousers Mon 19-Feb-18 12:17:31

So I've just been for a check up at the dentist, all is well. The dentist recommended a scale and polish with the dental hygienist. An appointment with her is £40 and I'm wondering how necessary it is? As far as I can tell my teeth are ok without noticeable build-up, the only thing they could do with is being whiter, but that's not what a hygienist would do anyway. Although the dentist would know best--or puts tinfoil hat on does the surgery get a kickback for each appointment they book?

Happinessisthis Mon 19-Feb-18 12:21:06

The hygienist can get rid of stains etc. I always feel much better after I've seen the hygienist. A dentist just looks for problems. A hygienist makes your mouth so clean and teeth feeling fresh. And I figure £80 a year (once every 6 months) is worth it

earlofhell Mon 19-Feb-18 12:23:35

hyg probably more important when your older as its gum disease that will cause most of us to lose teeth rather than decay when we're older.

PaulCalf Mon 19-Feb-18 12:24:26

I decided not to see the hygienist. I can't really afford it and it isn't strictly necessary. Our dentist doesn't offer hygienist appointments on the NHS so I am a bit suspicious that it is mostly a money making exercise for them.

ConferencePear Mon 19-Feb-18 12:38:13

I would rather miss a dentist's appointment than a hygienist's one. The hygienist will tell you if you need a dentist's appointment.

Thymeout Mon 19-Feb-18 13:23:48

You don't have to be old to get gum disease and some people are more prone to it than others. A visit to the hygienist isn't just cosmetic. The scaling gets to the tartar that builds up below the gumline, loosening the teeth and causing infections, bad breath etc. They'll also tell you which areas you're missing when you clean your teeth yourself.

Just because it's not free doesn't mean it's not necessary. Very few people get free NHS dentistry. Doesn't mean they don't need to go to the dentist.

nothingbutwhitetests Mon 19-Feb-18 13:31:26

You are entitled to a scale and polish if you need it as part of your NHS Band 1 charge (check-up). If your gums are really bad you will see the hygienist for gum treatment as part of your NHS Band 2 charge. £40 is private, cosmetic and optional. Up to you

GiBlues Mon 19-Feb-18 14:05:41

From the which.co.uk consumer rights website.
This really cheeses me off that dentists say they don’t do it under the nhs and you have to see the hygienist, they just want you to pay privately for one.

BaldricksTrousers Mon 19-Feb-18 14:06:39

Clearly they weren't so bad that it was included in my Band 1 charge, but bad enough for the dentist to recommend I do it?

It felt like a hard sale really, I said I would book the appointment later and the receptionist was encouraging me to book it then and there because sometimes it's hard to get through on the phone (?)

meredintofpandiculation Mon 19-Feb-18 14:10:30

Hygienist is good for checking up on current practice for teeth cleaning - it's changed a lot since I was a child. If you have tartar, hygienist will remove it - it's really hard to do it yourself even though our vet seems to have no trouble flicking it off our cats' teach with his thumbnail. Talk to your dentist about it - mine is happy for me to see hygienist only about 1 every 18months-2 years.

BlindLemonAlley Mon 19-Feb-18 14:28:21

I ignored my dentists recommendations to visit the hygienist for the same reason OP and developed gum problems as a result. If you can afford it, my advice would be to go if you can. If you want to try and avoid expensive dental treatment further down the line, it is worth £40 a year for good clean.

FluffyWuffy100 Mon 19-Feb-18 14:42:51

If you can afford it def go. It’s really important to good dental health and they can get at bits you can’t, even if you are brushing with an electric toothbrush and flossing effectivly twice a day...

I go to the hygienist every 4 months and the dentist every 12.

Confusedbeetle Mon 19-Feb-18 14:49:07

Dental hygienists are experts at scale and polish. Most dentists will agree they are better at it, however most dentists will give you a scale under the nhs treatment, they just cannot give you the in depth and time the hygienist will give you. Hygienist will check for vulnerable areas(that we all have ) pocketing and will teach the best methods of maintaining gum health. It is not a rip off or a money making reason. If you have no known probs and the dentist identified no bleeding, by all means ask for an NHS scale. If you can afford it your oral health will thank you. bad breath receding gums and loose teeth are a real issue further down the line. I have been married to a dentist for 40 years and I can tell you he felt lack of oral hygiene was a major problem in our society. Second only to sugar caused decay in children but thats another sad story. It is sad so many people think dentist don't care about your health . It's not an easy job and is high stress. Patients nervousness takes it's toll and they do get a bit down when the public are so negative. "How are you?" " I will be a lot better when I get out of here" on a daily basis. Rarely "Thanks for making my mouth healthier" As for the hygienists, they are not there to give you whiter teeth, but a healthier mouth

DaphneduM Mon 19-Feb-18 14:51:03

Definitely worth going. It's a small price to pay for keeping your teeth. I go every four months, £50 a time and feel £150 a year is so worth it. It helps motivate you with your own dental hygiene discipline too - thorough brushing with electric toothbrush, inter-dental brushes and flossing. I have found it has helped with avoiding gum problems which eventually, if left untreated, can result in loosening teeth and eventual tooth loss. Scary stuff!!!

Iprefercoffeetotea Mon 19-Feb-18 15:27:51

I go every 4 months too. It is expensive, but even once a year is better than no times a year.

I see the dentist twice a year but the only problems I tend to have these days are old fillings falling out or chipping. I think I was a victim of the drill and bill culture as a child. My son is a lazy so and so about cleaning his teeth but has no fillings at all, which makes me wonder how many of mine were actually necessary.

I think once you get to a certain age you've more or less had all the decay you are going to get as long as you clean your teeth properly and therefore looking after the gums is the priority.

Iprefercoffeetotea Mon 19-Feb-18 15:30:21

I've had one tiny surface filling since I was 18. But had about 8 fillings before that, one of which caused an abscess when I was 18 and I eventually lost that tooth.

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