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Dental hygienists

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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Skyfrog
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Joined: August 11th, 2011, 1:36 am

Dental hygienists

#1 Post by Skyfrog » October 7th, 2011, 11:08 pm

Tomorrow I am having a wisdom tooth removed. Please cross your fingers for me (if you are superstitious enough!). :)

About a month ago I had a visit to the dental hygienist, admittedly for the first time in years. It was one of the most painful experiences I have endured. While she was doing whatever it was she was doing to my teeth, I was in agonies of discomfort. By the end, my mouth was full of blood, and even as I was continuing to spit it out, the horrible woman was continuing with her rude chatter at me ("If there's blood, that means you don't wash your teeth properly"). By the end of my treatment, I felt like I could strangle her. She lectured me in minute and patronising detail about how I should brush my teeth, kept telling me off ("I am 60 years old, and I have never had to have this done in 40 years because I brush my teeth in the right way") and did not care how much it hurt ("It can't hurt that much" - it did!!!).

Has anyone else had experiences like this with dental hygienists? Wondering if it is just me...

<whine over!>

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getreal
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Re: Dental hygienists

#2 Post by getreal » October 7th, 2011, 11:21 pm

I feel your pain, skyfrog!

I had extremely painful and unplesant treatment from my dentists hygenist. I'd be spitting blood (litterally!) for ages after I had been. It was HORRIBLE!

Then I changed dentists (not because of the hygenist. I just thought what she did was normal). My new hygenist (though I've now been going to her for about 20 years) told me that I should not have put up with the pain caused by my previous hygenist. Scince moving my gums have NEVER bled, and although it is sometimes uncomfortable (I have a degree of gum recession-like most people over 50) she always stops and tries her best to minimise the pain. She uses a kind of gel which apparently blocks the offending exposed dentine and even suggested that she could give me some LA to prevent further pain (I declined). She has also given me loads of very helpful information (and free stuff!)

Don't stand for it. Change your dentist (or, if brave, complain. I'm a wimp. I rarely complain to individuals).
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

Skyfrog
Posts: 143
Joined: August 11th, 2011, 1:36 am

Re: Dental hygienists

#3 Post by Skyfrog » October 7th, 2011, 11:39 pm

This particular dental hygienist was so savage and so brusque in her manner that I wonder whether she was fed up with her job and directed her frustrations into taking a weird pleasure in subjecting me to pain and rudeness! That does sound like a really crazy thing to say, but that was the genuine impression I was left with.

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Dave B
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Re: Dental hygienists

#4 Post by Dave B » October 8th, 2011, 10:03 am

Go elsewhere, Skyfrog! Unless your teeth and gums are in such a horrible condition that you should really be referred to a hospital dental section for treatment I doubt that there is need for the sort of treatment you report. You have found one of those medical professionals (?) who seem to consider that people are sick due to their own laziness/self-maltreatment or whatever and deserve to suffer because of this.

Care, consideration and as gentle treatment as can be achieved are far more likely to have a lasting beneficial effect. In such cases I have no compunctions about "bad mouthing" such people to all my friends, in an objective way of course, whining never works. If they lose custom and their job that is possibly the best outcome for society as a whole in my book.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

Skyfrog
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Joined: August 11th, 2011, 1:36 am

Re: Dental hygienists

#5 Post by Skyfrog » October 8th, 2011, 12:47 pm

Just got home from having my wisdom tooth removed. The dentist was an Asian man with a strong accent, but he had a lovely manner and was very good at his job. He told me what he was doing as he went along, insisting "There should be no pain" and that I tell him if it hurt. At one point he gave more anaesthetic when the pain was getting too sharp, and that stopped the problem. All in all, this was a much better experience than I feared, and vastly less unpleasant than my visit to the dental hygienist.

Now I have to wait for the anaesthetic to wear off...I guess it will start hurting soon!!

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Dave B
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Re: Dental hygienists

#6 Post by Dave B » October 8th, 2011, 12:53 pm

Best o' luck, Skyfrog, hope it does not hurt too much. How much wisdom does one lose per extraction?
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

Skyfrog
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Joined: August 11th, 2011, 1:36 am

Re: Dental hygienists

#7 Post by Skyfrog » October 8th, 2011, 12:58 pm

Dave B wrote:Best o' luck, Skyfrog, hope it does not hurt too much. How much wisdom does one lose per extraction?
Well, the one they just removed was the last of my four wisdom teeth, so presumably there's not much going for me now :laughter:

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jaywhat
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Re: Dental hygienists

#8 Post by jaywhat » October 8th, 2011, 1:02 pm

What is a dental hygienist? I just have a dentist!

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Tetenterre
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Re: Dental hygienists

#9 Post by Tetenterre » October 8th, 2011, 5:26 pm

@Skyfrog: BTDTGTTS! Get lots of soup in and prepare to receive "hamster-features" jibes. :D

@jaywhat: It's a very specialised (and vile) species of masochist that scours your teeth and gums if you have plaque, gum disease, etc.
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

Nick
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Re: Dental hygienists

#10 Post by Nick » October 8th, 2011, 5:31 pm

Tetenterre wrote:@Skyfrog: BTDTGTTS!
Huh?

@jaywhat: It's a very specialised (and vile) species of masochist sadist that scours your teeth and gums if you have plaque, gum disease, etc.
:wink:

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Alan C.
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Re: Dental hygienists

#11 Post by Alan C. » October 8th, 2011, 8:36 pm

"Wisdom" teeth, appendix, your little toe et al, are just gods way of having a laugh.
I wonder why the almighty creator couldn't have given us teeth, eyesight, and hearing, that would last a lifetime without the need for scientific assistance?
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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jaywhat
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Re: Dental hygienists

#12 Post by jaywhat » October 9th, 2011, 6:44 am

As for checkups - I go once if not twice a year. One should not leave it for years like Skyfrog said..... and I still do not get the difference between a dentist and a dh. Are they cheaper or summat?

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Tetenterre
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Re: Dental hygienists

#13 Post by Tetenterre » October 9th, 2011, 8:29 am

Nick wrote:
Tetenterre wrote:@Skyfrog: BTDTGTTS!
Huh?
Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt.
@jaywhat: It's a very specialised (and vile) species of masochist sadist that scours your teeth and gums if you have plaque, gum disease, etc.
:wink:
Thank you for correcting my contribution so it says what I meant it to say. :)
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

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animist
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Re: Dental hygienists

#14 Post by animist » October 9th, 2011, 8:39 am

my limited knowledge of DH is that they tend to be female and are presumably paid less than dentists. I almost asked Skyfrog if he lived near me on the basis on his account: one DH dropped some implement on my forehead while she was gassing (not literally) on about religion or East Grinstead or whatever, said I was not "desperately" tall, and, more relevantly, acted as a brutalist on the treatment itself; OTOH, I had one in Luton who was equally female but very gentle. My current dentist acts as his own DH, so not much to say on that

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Dave B
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Re: Dental hygienists

#15 Post by Dave B » October 9th, 2011, 9:32 am

I get the impression that the DH is a super qualified nurse trained to do scraping, polishing and instruction in brushing technique only. Invented to take some of the time load off the more highly qualified dentist. I think they are a bit cheaper, been a time since I saw one. For the last couple of years my dentist has had to take no actions and her only advice has been to brush my tongue as well as my teeth!

Simi, my dentist, is a young Eurasian woman who makes going to the dentist almost a pleasure! She is even kind enough to laugh at my jokes.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

Skyfrog
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Re: Dental hygienists

#16 Post by Skyfrog » October 9th, 2011, 11:54 am

Yesterday I was very groggy for most of the day; the anaesthetic must have had an effect on me. If the dentist hadn't been 5 minutes away from where I live, I would have needed a taxi home. Feeling perkier today, though it hurts where the tooth used to be.
Alan C wrote:"Wisdom" teeth, appendix, your little toe et al, are just gods way of having a laugh.
I wonder why the almighty creator couldn't have given us teeth, eyesight, and hearing, that would last a lifetime without the need for scientific assistance?
Yes, I am thinking exactly the same thing lol! On the other hand, if we were all born with perfect teeth then there would have been no incentive for us to engage our minds with the wonders of dentistry. If it was my choice, I'd still choose perfect teeth though...
animist wrote:my limited knowledge of DH is that they tend to be female and are presumably paid less than dentists. I almost asked Skyfrog if he lived near me on the basis on his account: one DH dropped some implement on my forehead while she was gassing (not literally) on about religion or East Grinstead or whatever, said I was not "desperately" tall, and, more relevantly, acted as a brutalist on the treatment itself
Yes, this could have been the same dental hygienist I had! She also managed to drop one of her implements on her forehead. More bizarrely, she kept asking me to hold various objects for her while she was operating on me.

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animist
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Re: Dental hygienists

#17 Post by animist » October 9th, 2011, 7:42 pm

Alan C. wrote:"Wisdom" teeth, appendix, your little toe et al, are just gods way of having a laugh.
I wonder why the almighty creator couldn't have given us teeth, eyesight, and hearing, that would last a lifetime without the need for scientific assistance?
yes, then we might not be cursing and blaspheming in pain as we sojourn towards the bound twixt this world and the next (God, I am so poetic) and thusly fucking up our promotion chances once we cross said bound

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Dave B
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Re: Dental hygienists

#18 Post by Dave B » October 9th, 2011, 7:46 pm

Wot you on, animist - and can I have some please? :D
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Tetenterre
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Re: Dental hygienists

#19 Post by Tetenterre » October 9th, 2011, 7:52 pm

Dave B wrote:... and her only advice has been to brush my tongue as well as my teeth!
How incredibly fucking stupid! Brushing the tongue is, despite the "knowledge" on the internet, pretty bloody pointless and either does nothing or contributes to "geographic tongue" (depending on the individual.)

AIUI there are essentially two dental problems we need to deal with:
  • Plaque, which is dealt with by brushing, especially of the gum-tooth interface. This is what the sadist DH inexpertly scrapes away.
  • Decay, which is primarily results form acid degradation of the enamel; the acid is produced by bacteria feeding on sugars. Brushing the teeth when they are acidic aids enamel destruction! The saliva is naturally alkaline, and will eventually neutralise acids, but the acids resulting from a sugar overload will not necessarily be dealt with in this way.
Best advice: Reduce your sugar intake and wait at least 3h after a meal before brushing; when brushing, concentrate on the gums.

Disclaimer: IANAD
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

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Dave B
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Re: Dental hygienists

#20 Post by Dave B » October 9th, 2011, 9:08 pm

Tetenterre wrote:
Dave B wrote:... and her only advice has been to brush my tongue as well as my teeth!
How incredibly fucking stupid! Brushing the tongue is, despite the "knowledge" on the internet, pretty bloody pointless and either does nothing or contributes to "geographic tongue" (depending on the individual.)

AIUI there are essentially two dental problems we need to deal with:
  • Plaque, which is dealt with by brushing, especially of the gum-tooth interface. This is what the sadist DH inexpertly scrapes away.
  • Decay, which is primarily results form acid degradation of the enamel; the acid is produced by bacteria feeding on sugars. Brushing the teeth when they are acidic aids enamel destruction! The saliva is naturally alkaline, and will eventually neutralise acids, but the acids resulting from a sugar overload will not necessarily be dealt with in this way.
Best advice: Reduce your sugar intake and wait at least 3h after a meal before brushing; when brushing, concentrate on the gums.

Disclaimer: IANAD
Hmm, interesting. I also had an appointment with a maxilofacial consultant last week, he asked me if I brushed my tongue. I replied that I had just started but found the gag reaction a problem - he advised me on how to reduce that reaction rather than tell me to stop doing that.

Now: do I see some problems with what you said, TT?

I will agree that plaque is only removed by mechanical action, no toothpaste required. Until I improved my brushing tecnique I had a terrible plaque/calculus problem behind my lower front teeth especially. In the past couple tear there has been no need for any scraping at all by the dental staff.

Can't quite work out why brushing teeth when the mouth environment is acidic is a problem. Tooth pastes are alkali surely, the one that I am currently contains sodium hydroxide, another contains sodium bicarbonate. The brushing will help get the paste to all surfaces and disturb any bacteria. Washing the mouth out will dilute any acid surely. On my dentist's advice I am using a "sensitive" toothpaste and was advised not to wash out, just spit, to leave some of the active ingredient in the mouth. I would say that brushing the teeth immediately after eating any kind of fruit is good sense.

Since the "sensitive" stuff is twice the price of ordinary stuff I work a fiddle. I brush with the cheaper stuff first, wash out, then do another quick brush round with a tiny blob of the expensive stuff, which I do not wash out. Seems to work.

Where did you get your advice from, TT? Can't find anything on the net to say that tongue brushing causes geographic tongue, though I can see that over vigorous or over prolonged would do damage to the tongue's surface which might promote that condition. But, as ever, there is a load of crap out there if one is not careful with the sites one chooses!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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