During the lockdown period, most people have had lots of challenges and one of the most common concerns we are hearing about from our patients is gum issues. For some, it may be that cleaning habits have changed and for others, not being able to have their dental hygienist treatment as planned.
We are very pleased that at Brightside Dental we are able to offer dental hygiene appointments for our patients. As with everything we doing at the moment, there are some differences:
- Treatment is being carried out fully with hand instruments followed by polishing (as opposed to previously using both hand instruments and ultrasonic scalers). This is because ultrasonics are what’s know as aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) and these are currently deemed as potential high risk procedures. Also, after an AGP, we have to allow 1 hour (known as fallow time) before the room can be used again and this is not practical or financially viable.
- Appointment times are longer as hand scaling is more manually intensive for our hygienists and also to allow additional cleaning time in between appointments.
- A dental nurse now assists the hygienist throughout the procedure for your protection and to help give the best treatment outcome
- We now have two levels of hygiene treatment (previously 3 options). The fee for the treatment is £99. For patients who need more comprehensive treatment or have advanced gum disease, the fee is as before of £145 per visit.
- We have invested in significant new hand instruments in order compensate for not having the option of using ultrasonics.
Brightside’s principal dentist Ketan gives further advice:
Here are some of the most common questions we have been asked by patients:
- Is hand scaling as effective as ultrasonic scalers? Yes. Studies show that both treatment methods are just as effective. Hand scaling is more manually intensive for the hygienist and can take longer to perform.
- Will the treatment be more painful? No. The treatment should not be more uncomfortable for you. In the 3 weeks we have been working this way, we have had great feedback from patients and some actually prefer this method of treatment.
- When will it be possible to use ultrasonic scalers again and can I wait until then? Yes. You could wait, however at the moment we really don’t know how long this will be for. Currently, we have extended all hygiene visits and 1 hour appointments to allow for treatment and additional cleaning. Previously, many appointments were for half this length. If we introduce AGPS, under the current guidelines this would mean almost 2 hours between each appointment. This would limit the number of patients we can see even more than now and unfortunately, this would not be financially viable for the practice unless treatment fees are significantly increased.
- I usually have airflow treatment for stain removal. Will this be as effective? No. Airflow uses specific equipment for stain removal. Our hygienists will remove as much staining from your teeth as possible, however is you do have significant staining, removal will be limited.
- I am a member of the practice. Will I have to pay more for hygiene? No. If possible, we do not want to increase any fees for our members. You will receive hygiene appointments without additional charge within your membership and if you require any additional visits, you will benefit from a 10% discount.
If you are not currently a member and this is somthing you may wish to consider, you can find more details here: https://www.brightsidedental.co.uk/dental-payment-plan.html
Please remember visiting the hygienist is like having a personal trainer- they will help you get your mouth in the best condition possible but the most important part is the work you put in at home every day!
If you would like to become a member of the practice or need any further assistance, please reply to this email or give our reception team a call on 020 88884401.