Hintonburg Dental Hygiene in Ottawa: Frequently asked questions

What is an Independent Dental Hygienist?

An IDH is an experienced Registered Dental Hygienist with an extra qualification that allows him/her to treat patients without a dentist.

Why should I see an Independent Dental Hygienist and how often?

At an Independent Dental Hygiene Clinic, you will receive the same professional preventative treatments that you would at a traditional dental office, with the following added advantages:

  • Appointment time can be flexible to fit your schedule.
  • The Hygienist can spend longer time with you to get to know you and your specific needs.
  • Our fees are generally 15-30% lower.
  • The clinic is comfortable, soothing, relaxing and spa-like without the associated noises and smell of a traditional dental office. We are great for many patients, especially those with dental phobias.

We generally recommend our patients to come for a check up and cleaning every 6 months. Some people can come every 9 months and a few would need to visit more frequently to ensure that their oral health is maintained at an optimal level.

Do I need to see a dentist?

Not necessary every 6 months. A hygienist is able to give you a comprehensive check up before cleaning your teeth for you. We will refer you to a dentist or specialist should it be necessary. At present, we are not permitted to take x-rays (very soon we will be able to, because in other provinces hygienists are already taking them). If you did have x-rays taken within the last year or so, we will be able to request copies from your dentists.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is an infectious condition caused by a complex group of different bacteria. It is one of the most common diseases in human. It is estimated that 75% of adults over the age of 30 may suffer from some degree of gum disease. Signs and symptoms may include the following:

  • Bleeding gum
  • Swollen gum/ abscesses
  • Pain
  • Loose or mobile teeth
  • Bad breath

If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss, poor facial appearance, difficulties in chewing and speaking, resulting in expensive dental treatments for bridges and dentures.

It is now accepted in health care communities that gum diseases may be a risk factor for a number of serious health conditions such as heart disease and stroke; pneumonia and other respiratory diseases; diabetes; and premature or low birth weight babies.

The treatment for gum diseases depends on the severity of the affliction and on the individual patients. Some may just need regular cleaning and maintenance care, while others may need surgeries and medications. Whatever your need is, a visit to your dental hygienist is a good place to start.

Will my insurance company cover for my treatment at an Independent Dental Hygiene Clinic?

Most insurance companies are now accepting claims directly from dental hygienists. We will process all your claims for you. If you are unsure, we would be very happy to make enquiries on your behalf.

Why should I whiten my teeth?

Maybe you've always wanted a beautiful white smile. Or your teeth have yellowed over time. Or you're not happy with the staining that results from drinking coffee, tea or cola. Whatever your reason is for wanting whiter teeth, you're not alone.

Just like we all have different hair and skin color, people also have teeth of different colors. Some teeth are more yellow than others, while others yellow with aging. Your natural tooth color can also be affected by many factors.

Surface stains and internal discoloration can be caused by:

  • The natural aging process
  • Using tobacco (smoked or chewed), drinking coffee, tea, colas or red wine, and eating pigmented foods such as cherries and blueberries
  • Accumulation of plaque and tartar (calculus)
  • Treatment with the antibiotic tetracycline during childhood
  • Trauma to the teeth that may cause a brown, gray or black color

There are many reasons for whitening your teeth, including:

  • The confidence boost and improved self-esteem that comes from a great smile
  • A younger appearance
  • A special event such as a wedding, job interview or class reunion
  • To make a positive first impression
  • To simply reverse years of everyday staining and yellowing

We will gladly give you a free consultation to discuss your needs.

We will always welcome comments and feedback from you, and if you would like to see any other questions answered here, please let us know. We look forward to taking care of you.

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