What Does a Dental Hygienist Do?

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What is a Dental Hygienist?

dental hygieneA dental hygienist is an oral health professional who specialises in preventing and treating a range of oral diseases. Each and every dental hygienist must be licensed and certified. This can be done by several means, most commonly by achieving a foundation degree in oral health science.

What Does a Dental Hygienist Do?

dental hygienist A dental hygienist has several responsibilities.

However, depending on the hygienist’s qualifications and the clinic’s requirements, their responsibilities may change.

In most cases, a hygienist’s basic services and responsibilities are:

  • The application of preventative materials to the teeth (sealants and fluorides)
  • Educating patients on the importance of oral hygiene and nutrition
  • Creating impression designs
  • Office management and documentation tasks
  • Performing dental radiographs
  • Performing screenings, these include:
    • oral health assessments
    • oral health history review
    • oral cancer screenings
    • head and neck analysis
    • vital sign readings

Additionally, alongside the above responsibilities, dentists may allow dental hygienists to perform certain duties under their direct supervision. Such duties may involve the use of nitrous oxides, local anesthesia and soft tissue curettage.

Why Be a Dental Hygienist?

dental hygienist The U.S. News & World Report recently listed Dental Hygienist as the #17 profession in its “100 Best Jobs” list in 2018.

Something many people are unaware of is that dental hygienists commonly spend more time with patients than dentists because of the variety of treatments they perform. Commonly performed treatments include as x-rays, scrub and polishes and fluoride treatments. Patient interaction is arguably one of the biggest benefits of becoming a dental hygienist, but there are several other bonuses, including:

  • The luxury of adopting a flexible schedule.
  • A competitive salary
  • Job stability (due to the increased focus on health and oral hygiene)
  • Advancement opportunities and training courses

What Does it Take to be a Dental Hygienist?

dental hygienist All prospective hygienists will require an associate degree (this is the minimum requirement). This degree takes around two years to complete, with the resulting certification being a clinical internship. This allows students to use their learnt skills and knowledge in a dental care environment through supervision from a qualified dentist.

Once students have achieved their associate’s degree, they will then be able to undertake college or university programs. These programmes offer bachelor’s or master’s degrees in dental hygiene.

However, neither bachelor’s or master’s degrees are required to practice dental hygiene. However, they may be required if you’re considering a career in teaching or medical research.

Why Regular Dental Check-Ups Are Important

dental hygienist The NHS reports that 22.1 million adults were seen by an NHS dentist in the 24-months prior to the 1st of July 2018.

In contrast, 39.2 million courses of treatment were delivered between 2017-2018, a 1.8% decrease from the previous year.

Dental checkups are absolutely essential for maintaining your oral health. Failure to check-in with your dentist and/or hygienist will likely lead to poor oral hygiene (and eventually physical discomfort). Additionally, if certain problems are not addressed, you may end up paying a small fortune for dental intervention that would otherwise have not been necessary.

All dental clinics will state that patients should have a dental checkup every six months. After this time, you will start developing small cavities, which will progressively get worse as time goes on.

After two years, patients will likely be struggling with some form of toothache, or in some cases, will require expensive treatments to fix problems. This is also around the time that a cavity (which would have been relatively simple to fix), may now require a root canal.

Book a Checkup With Your Dental Hygienist Today

Dental check-ups are vital for maintaining your oral health and avoiding the cost of extensive work or dental hygiene problems.

Here at Splash Orthodontics, we advise everyone to have a dental check-up at a professional dental clinic every six months. While there may be some people who require more regular dentist visits, every six months is the average. Regular check-ups such as these will help prevent tooth decay, poor mouth hygiene, oral diseases, and other health-related problems.

Don’t put off going to the dentist. Detecting any oral health problems earlier means they are generally easier to treat and not a severe problem. If you do not go to the dentist regularly, your oral hygiene may decline and lead to damage that is far harder to repair.

Invisalign Cost Comparison

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Invisalign Cost

orthodontist cost comparison

Invisalign is the most expensive braces option because of its low invasiveness and discrete design. Invisalign treatments vary depending on where your dentist is based and your specific requirements. Some Invisalign costs can start as little as £2,500 if you only require minimal treatment. However, for more complex cases, your Invisalign cost may fall in the region of £3,000 – £6,000 but this will be up to the discretion of your orthodontist.

How Much Does Invisalign Cost?

Your Invisalign cost is determined by a few factors, specifically the extent of the alignment your teeth require and the number of Invisalign aligners you need during your course of treatment. There is never ‘one cost’ for Invisalign, as each patient will require a treatment specific to their current teeth alignment. You may find that typical Invisalign costs are between £2,500 (for minor treatment) and nearing £6,000 for more complex cases. Again, your final Invisalign price will be decided during your consultation with your orthodontist.

Invisalign Cost for Top Teeth Only

Sometimes patients feel as if they only require Invisalign treatment for their top teeth. This treatment is known as Invisalign Express and is often recommended to patients who don’t necessarily require the full Invisalign treatment and are only looking to straighten their top teeth.

Before this Invisalign treatment can be considered, you will need to have a consultation with your orthodontist. Your orthodontist will then assess the alignment of both your top and bottom teeth to see if you qualify for Invisalign Express treatment. The treatment follows the same process as regular Invisalign, the only difference being one mould is made for your top teeth (or bottom, depending on your requirements). If your orthodontist thinks your alignment may be too severe for Invisalign, then fixed braces may be an alternative option.

Common misalignment issues include:

  • Overcrowding of teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crooked teeth

If your alignment problem isn’t severe, then it’s likely you will be an appropriate candidate for both Invisalign treatment and Invisalign Express. Again, you will be given more guidance on your treatment options from your orthodontist during your consultation.

Why Choose Invisalign?

orthodontist cost comparisonInvisalign is currently the most popular teeth straightening treatment in the dental and orthodontic industry. Invisalign’s main advantage over traditional braces is that the treatment is discrete and the Invisalign clear aligners are removable. This means patients are able to eat and drink anything because the invisible aligners can be taken out between meals.

While Invisalign hasn’t been around for as long as fixed braces, Invisalign treatments have seen positive success rates. For more serious or complex tooth straightening cases, some dentists may opt for a fixed braces route, as they have a proven track record. However, while Invisalign is often used to treat ‘minor’ teeth straightening cases, it can be used to treat complex cases if your orthodontist specialises in Invisalign treatments.

Our resident orthodontist Dr Iain Hoeltschi specialises in Invisalign treatments and is, therefore, able to treat even the most complex cases using Invisalign. You may find that other practices won’t attempt to treat certain patients using Invisalign because they aren’t able to create the mould, however, Dr Hoeltschi uses a bespoke moulding technique to ensure that every patient’s aligners are designed to precise measurements.

Invisalign Cost Comparison: London and Brighton

orthodontist cost comparisonInvisalign costs and general dentistry treatment costs in London is more expensive than anywhere else in the UK. From data taken from clinic comparison site What Clinic, the cheapest city to have a dental checkup is Birmingham (£31) followed by Milton Keynes (£62). However, while the average price for a checkup in London is £53, research reveals that private dentists in London are the most expensive, with one clinic charging a staggering £185 for a routine checkup.

For Invisalign, the average cost in London after analysing the prices of 10 different clinics (using What Clinic) was £2,770.9. Brighton’s average Invisalign cost, however, amounted to just £2,004.5.

Splash Orthodontics’ Invisalign costs start from just £1,900 and every patient has the option to repay the cost through weekly or monthly repayments. Additionally, we also offer our Finance 4 Patients scheme, where patients are able to choose how they pay for their Invisalign treatment (or any orthodontic treatment). We offer Invisalign and dental treatment finance packages from £250 to £15,000.

Invisalign Cost for UK Students

orthodontist cost comparisonInvisalign is currently the most popular teeth straightening option for teenagers. This is because Invisalign is the only truly ‘invisible’ braces option on the market. This discreteness is the main reason they’re popular with younger patients; being ‘invisible’ and removable allows them more freedom than with fixed or lingual braces.

Invisalign Discounts for Students

In regards to Invisalign costs for UK students, it’s rare you’ll find an orthodontist that offers a discount for such a service. Students aren’t typically offered discounts or special offers for Invisalign, but clinics usually offer payment plans to help spread your Invisalign cost over weeks, months or years.

We display our Invisalign costs on our treatments page. Invisalign costs can be expensive, which is why dentists and orthodontists are now obliged to display a price list so patients aren’t faced with a nasty surprise post-treatment.

Who Offers Invisalign Discount?

The NHS may offer discount Invisalign costs for UK students under exceptional circumstances (mainly relating to their physical or mental health), but again, this is rare. Visiting or contacting your local NHS will help you understand more about Invisalign costs and any potential discounts you may be eligible for.

Post-Invisalign Costs for Students

If you are considering going down the route of Invisalign, our treatment plan is tailored to ensuring all students receive exceptional service and aftercare plans. We understand that visiting an orthodontist can sometimes be a daunting prospect, which is why our free, no-obligation consultations have been created. Your consultation with our team and resident orthodontist Dr Iain Hoeltschi will be extremely beneficial to the future of your oral health.

You will be able to ask any questions or raise any concerns regarding your Invisalign costs or treatment plan. Together, you and our team will discuss your Invisalign treatment plan and your expectations post-procedure.

You will also be able to arrange a date for the treatment, as well as discuss your Invisalign cost plans. Our team takes pride in their exceptional customer service and experience, and will do everything they can to ensure your visit is informative and relaxed.

Aftercare Cost for Invisalign

When you finish your treatment with traditional braces (fixed and lingual braces) you will be given a retainer to ensure your teeth remain in their new alignment. Retainers are an essential part of the braces process, just because your teeth have a new position, doesn’t mean they’re going to remain in those positions forever. As we age, our physicality changes and the same goes for our teeth, it’s part of the inevitable, natural aging process.

Although Invisalign treatment offers discrete teeth straightening, your aftercare treatment will involve using a retainer. Again, like with any aftercare brace routine, the retainer is to ensure your teeth do not fall back into their previous positions. Just because Invisalign aligners are made from plastic doesn’t mean your teeth won’t shift back into their previous positions over time.

The good news, however, is that you’ll only have to wear your retainer for a short period after your Invisalign treatment has ended. How long you wear the retainer for is up to the discretion of your orthodontist but in most cases, it’s every night for at least one month. In some cases, patients will be able to wear their retainers for just a few nights per week but this depends entirely on your teeth’s previous and current alignment.

There are two main types of retainer:

Fixed retainers: these retainers are not removable, and instead, are fixed to the back of your teeth (the tongue side) and consist of a thin metal wire that is glued to the back of your teeth. These retainers work in a similar way to lingual braces, in that they offer an exceptional degree of control and they’re hidden behind your teeth.

Removable retainers: as their name suggests, these retainers are removable and come in two primary forms: the Hawley retainer (most popular form) and a clear retainer that looks similar to an Invisalign tray. The Hawley retainer looks almost completely plastic aside from the thin, metal wire running throughout its structure. They’re very easy to apply and wear and are preferred by dentists and patients alike. They comfortable and made from an incredibly durable shell, meaning they have a similar effect to traditional fixed or lingual braces.

Insurance Plans Covering Invisalign

If you are already covered by a dental plan or dental insurance, your insurance should cover Invisalign treatment. Of course, we advise you check your insurance’s terms and conditions before going ahead with treatment. You may find that your insurance won’t cover the entire Invisalign treatment plan but they may cover some of the treatment cost. Again, check your insurance policy to ensure you have the necessary Invisalign treatment coverage.

Call Today for an Appointment

orthodontist cost comparisonFor more information on how our Invisalign costs, or how our Invisalign treatment can help you, feel free to get in touch via our contact form or call us today. Our team is happy to discuss monthly payment plans and insurance plans covering Invisalign.