Hygienists and Specialist Periodontists
“We all agree that prevention of dental disease is always better than a cure. So I’m talking today with two members of the Smile Solutions team, whose mission it is to make this a reality.
Interviewer: Hi Chatelle.
Chatelle Wehi: Hi Mel.
Interviewer: So you are a hygienist and dental therapist, so I guess you are big on prevention?
Chatelle Wehi: Yes definitely, in fact prevention of oral and dental problems is primary focus at our entire practice, and our team of 8 dental hygienists and therapists play a key role in that focus.
Interviewer: So what sort of issues do you deal with when you see a patient at Smile Solutions?
Chatelle Wehi: We start with an assessment and an evaluation of the patients’ periodontal tissue. In other words their gums and teeth support. This tells us a great deal about the state of oral health. If the patients’ oral health is good, we design a home dental care routine specifically for them. We give them a head start on this in the surgery, by first removing plaque, calculus and general staining, and possibly by applying a decay preventing agent. We also carry out a comprehensive dental examination, including x-rays as required. We work in conjunction with the experienced general dentists to determine the health of the teeth and provide the patient with an itemised treatment plan and quotation before any appointments are scheduled.
Interviewer: Do patients sometimes need to come back to see you in conjunction with the dentist or dental specialist?
Chatelle Wehi: they do especially before restorations or say a teeth whitening procedure, or during and after treatment with porcelain veneers, crowns, implants, and braces. To give the patient the best possible outcome from these treatments, we provide and monitor a revised home care routine for them.
Interviewer: So you really have a before and after role. Prevention comes before or hopefully instead of treatment, and maintenance comes afterwards.
Chatelle Wehi: That’s true. After any hygiene consultation or dental treatment, regular follow up appointments with us in combination with the home care I mentioned, will help maintain the teeth and gums.
Interviewer: and what if a hygienist has concerns beyond the scope of hygiene treatment
Chatelle Wehi: If you require advanced treatment, we refer you internally to one of our registered specialists. In the case of gum related problems, this would be our periodontist Dr. Rory Nolan.
Interviewer: I thought I would come up to level 12, to speak to Dr Rory Nolan, how are you?
Dr Rory Nolan: Thanks Mel, I’m well.
Interviewer: Can you tell me what exactly is the role of a periodontist?
Dr Rory Nolan: a periodontist is a specialist whose primary role is to care for the gums and bones that support teeth. We not only follow up on gum problems identified by our hygienists and general dentists, but we also collaborate with specialists, here in the specialist centre. Such as our team of prosthodontists in preparation for the various tooth replacement options that we have available, which include dental implants.
Interviewer: So collaboration is the word, you really are a complete team here at Smile Solutions, aren’t you?
Dr Rory Nolan: yes, we certainly are, and we believe that’s the way it should be for the ultimate benefit of all our patients.”