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Dental Hygienists

(5 Posts)
Judy54 Fri 12-Jul-19 14:17:23

What can a Hygienist do ant not do? My Husband's NHS Dentist referred him to the Hygienist for a scale and polish. She said he needed a procedure called a gum flap and booked him in with her to have this done at £400. She also wanted to refer him to a private dental hospital for treatment at £1000. My Husband ha cancer at the time (now in remission) and was vulnerable and unclear as to why he needed these treatments. He decided to cancel the appointment for the gum flap and at his next check up asked the Dentist what problems if any had had with his teeth and gums. The Dentist assured him that his teeth and gums were healthy and he did not need to see the Hygienist again.

My Husband did not make a formal complaint because of his ongoing cancer problems at the time. What is concerning is that two Professionals a Dentist and a Hygienist can have such opposing views about what treatment a patient does and does not need.

I have since discovered that a gum flap is a surgical procedure (can a Hygienist really carry out surgery) or should this be done by a Dentist or Specialist Surgeon. The General Dental Council guidelines say that by law a patient must be asked for their consent to such treatment, My Husband never was. I would welcome views especially from any Hygienists out there. Thank you.

clementine Sat 13-Jul-19 18:21:46

The hygienist at my surgery does the scale and polish, nothing else. She is lovely and whilst it's not a pleasant procedure she makes it bearable. I have never heard of gum flap before, but I do know a friend who years ago had to have her gums " burned" as she had some sort of gum disease. it was done by her dentist.

Charleygirl5 Sat 13-Jul-19 18:34:35

I agree, mine does a scale and polish but I do get a lot of practical advice re my receding gums. I would not have thought he/she was trained to do any surgical procedure.

Judy54 Sun 14-Jul-19 16:35:43

Thanks so much for your replies. I just find it concerning that vulnerable people may potentially be being referred for unnecessary treatment.

Franbern Mon 15-Jul-19 09:45:15

I have given up attending the dental hygenist. Last year my NHS dentist told me to make my usual appointment with the one at their surgery. This cost me £50. which I could ill-afford. she was very brusque and as she was causing me a great deal of pain, stopped after less than ten minutes and told me to make a further appointment so I could have this scale and clean with local anaesthetic. This cost me a further £50.
When I attended, she gave me a lot of injections, did this scale, etc. The swelling in my mouth from these injections caused me pain for the next week, and I refuse to pay out money for this to happen again.
For this last year have been really carefully cleaning my teetch - takes me about five minutes each time, and using a good mouthwash. Asked dentist to do cleaning as part of NHS check-up. Was told that my gums have improved a great deal and there is now no sign of any gum disease.
At 78 yrs (and after four pregnancies) I have all but three of my teeth, lots of fillings, but was told no treatment was necessary this time.
Interesting as two years ago, they wanted me to have a tooth taken out as they said it was bad. I did not do this, and that tooth seems to pass muster now.
I can still remember back over thirty years ago, when we were really struggling financially, Hubbie had MS and could not get any job, five young children and a mortgage on benefits. Had to go to dentist due to tooth pain, and he told me that unless I booked in with their (new) Hygienist for treatment at the cost of £25, it was probable that within the next two years I would loose all my teeth due to the dreadful gum disease i had!! I left there in tears, £25 was what I spent on the weeks food bill and no way could I afford this. So I did not go to this hygienist.
That dentist is not there any more, and I did not think of complaining at the time. Still feel so indignant as to how he could frighten someone to this degree and so incorrectly.
Even NHS surgeries these days are part private - and seem to finding more and more ways of getting everyone to spend money with them. The one I go to also does teeth whitening treatment at exhorbitent prices. I do think that Hygienists are just part of this money extracting system.
When I first registered with this practice it was ONLY NHS. The Senior partner would not permit any sort of privatisation. However, when he retired and sold the practice it was taken over by a private company. He had managed to put into the sale agreement a clause saying they had to continue with NHS patients. Often get the feeling they detest this.
The lovely dentist I used to see there refused to stay in any practice that also had private patients, he was Swedish and I think decided then to return to his home country. A great loss to us all.
They spent a lot of money sprucing the place up, made large waiting area with leather sofas, etc. and tried to persuade all their patients to go private. A lot of us resisted and they do still treat us, although we have a different dentist to the private patients.
When I move out of the area, I will be glad to be rid of this practice.