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dentist riccarton, dentist christchurch





It had been a very long time between dental visits! So when my mouth became an absolute mess due to suspected gum disease my girlfriend referred me to Duxton Dental and their hygienist. The presentation of the practice and the friendliness of the staff impressed me.  My hygienist and her chair-side assistant made my appointment as easy as possible with fun and gentle care. The results were immediate, the pain was gone and a week later I was back to my normal self and a lot more aware of my teeth and gums! I now have an ongoing maintenance program.


- Keri Sutton



Skill & Artistry   |   Dental Hygienist 



Why see a Dental Hygienist?


As gum disease is usually insidious and causes no pain, the only hint of a problem can be noticed with bleeding or bad taste / breath.


The fact is, that many people neglect their gums and without healthy gums, perfectly good teeth can be lost. It’s not generally known that after 40 years of age, more teeth are lost through gum disease than through decay. These days most people intend to keep their natural teeth for life, however, without healthy gums, dentures (false teeth) are the likely long term eventuality.




What is a dental hygienist?


A dental hygienist is a dental professional who works together with the dentist and specialises in the detection and prevention of gum disease and tooth decay and the treatment of gum disease.




What is the difference between a dentist and a dental hygienist?


A dental hygienist’s role is to maintain healthy gums and teeth in order to maintain an overall healthy mouth. Hygienists generally have two to three years University education in order to specialise in the area of gum care. A dentist on the other hand, does not receive the same training in gum care.




Why do I need to see a dental hygienist?


If you are not regularly seeing a dental hygienist, your gums will not be as healthy as they could be and you have a build-up of plaque (soft deposits) and tartar (hard deposits) on your teeth. A hygienist is a specialist in removing these deposits, maintaining healthy gums and educating you to maintain a good standard of dental health, so it is important to visit a hygienist on a regular basis. The frequency is based on your individual needs.


Gum disease can also be linked to increased risks of developing stroke, heart conditions, osteoporosis and other systemic conditions like diabetes. If the gums are in poor health, the liver secretes a protein called C-Reactive protein which causes blood clotting. Your hygienist will be able to provide you with more information about the link between these systemic conditions and gum disease.


If you already have diabetes or any of the above conditions, it is especially important to maintain healthy gums.




What will the dental hygienist do at my appointment?


At your hygiene appointment, the hygienist will examine your teeth and gums for signs of disease and assess the severity of the disease. She will assess how much plaque and tartar you have on your teeth and under your gums and then remove the tartar, as well as any stains and left-over plaque that remain by polishing your teeth. When the deposits are completely removed, she will educate you on how to maintain healthy teeth and gums.




Regular visits


Gum disease and incorrect tooth brushing techniques can also lead to gum recession. Gum recession can cause painful sensitivity from exposed root surfaces. Regular visits to Duxton Dental’s hygienists will prevent this by helping you maintain healthy gums and encouraging correct brushing and flossing techniques. In addition to maintaining healthy gums, correct brushing and flossing techniques also reduce the occurrence of tooth decay and promotes general well-being. Often patients are aware that there is something wrong in their mouth but are unsure of what to do.


Your optimal health care is only a phone call away.

To make an appointment, contact us today.




Common Cause


Another common cause of gum problems is pregnancy, as hormonal changes exaggerate any existing gum disease. A Duxton Dental patient wrote this letter about her experience:


During my third pregnancy, I noticed my gums had deteriorated and were causing me great pain when brushing. After one visit to Duxton Dental’s hygienist, the difference was amazing. No more swollen gums, bleeding or pain when cleaning my teeth!



Positive feedback like this and patients referring their friends to us is one of the greatest compliments Duxton Dental can receive.


So whether you are having symptoms of gum disease or your goal is to maintain your gums and teeth in good health for life, the greatest advantage you can give yourself to achieve this is to book yourself in to see one of our hygienists and make dental hygiene a part of your lifestyle.



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