Charlotte

Charlotte originally joined the U Dentistry dental nursing team in 2007 after training at Leeds Dental Institute.  She left the practice in 2009 to pursue further dental training and qualified as a dental hygienist in 2012. We were delighted to welcome Charlotte back to U Dentistry in January 2014. She is particularly empathetic with patients who feel some apprehension about dental appointments.  

Charlotte’s friendly, calm and gentle demeanour added to the dedication that she has for her profession are a perfect combination.  

Routine Hygiene Care

A great smile needs to start with a healthy smile. At U dentistry we take your gum health seriously and our hygienists are always busy with the routine of focusing on prevention and avoidance of problems in the first place. Routine hygiene care covers a range of treatments including the obvious scale and polish but also involving stain removal techniques such as ‘Airflow’ and education - showing you the best ways to care for your teeth and gums at home. Diet is obviously important too and our hygienists have a wealth of experience and knowledge that they are keen to share to keep your teeth and gum health in check and healthy.

Treatment of Gum Conditions

Gum disease is extraordinarily common, broadly speaking it is split into Gingivitis and Periodontitis.

Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gum, it is usually superficial and non destructive. Most people have some degree of gingivitis at some time, it is caused when your gums become inflamed as they try to respond to plaque and food deposits that have not been cleaned away. There is rarely any discomfort associated with gingivitis but patients are often aware of bleeding gums and a malodour (bad breath) or a bad taste, the gums may look slightly swollen with a red band adjacent to the teeth. Gingivitis should be treated as it can lead on to issues of decay or more destructive gum conditions like periodontitis. Treatment aims are to improve plaque control removing the trigger for the gum inflammation.

Periodontitis or periodontal disease is inflammation in the tissues surrounding a tooth (the periodontium) which has progressive bone loss as a major feature. This gum disease is destructive with the irreversible loss of bone and attachment. Features of the disease again rarely include pain but could include some or all of the following:

  • bleeding gums - superficial gingivitis
  • bad taste or bad breath
  • pocket formation in the gums
  • loose teeth
  • gum recession – the gums effectively receed as the underlying bone is lost (note – not all recession is because of periodontal disease)
  • periodontal abscess – an infection that can periodically flare up in a periodontal pocket causing pain
  • tooth loss

Untreated, the end result of periodontitis is tooth loss. At U Dentistry we have a very thorough approach to periodontal disease and we treat a lot of it. Many treatments that patients initially approach us for such as crown and bridge and implants shouldn’t and wont be provided when patients have an underlying active periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is primarily caused by an overgrowth of certain plaque bacteria which is then coupled with influences such as genetic susceptibility and external influencing factors such as smoking.

We routinely perform laboratory tests to check for specific harmful periodontal bacteria and DNA assessment of genotypes which would convey increased risk of future periodontal and peri-implant complications. All of our hygienists are well trained and routinely provide ‘Full Mouth Detox’ (or FMD) therapy to arrest and stabilise periodontitis progression. FMD is a thorough and hard hitting periodontal treatment which involves both a mechanical and antimicrobial attack on the bacteria driving the periodontal destruction.

                                                                  Before                                                                                                 After

Implant Maintenance

Implants require cleaning and maintenance every bit as much as natural teeth. Gum diseases exist around implants such as peri-implant mucositis (similar to gingivitis) and peri-implantitis (similar to periodontitis). Implant care and maintenance is not rocket science but requires special knowledge regarding protocols and techniques and different instrumentation in terms or equipment and tools. All of our hygienists are well trained in this area and provide implant care and maintenance on a daily basis.

Peri-implantitis is a major issue facing dental implantology, it is incredibly hard to treat successfully and it’s detection often signifies the gradual loss of an implant despite best efforts. Pre-implant assessment and screening and correction of any underlying periodontitis concerns is the best position to start from.

Management of peri-implantitis is sometimes possible and again our hygienists are well trained and experienced in non surgical treatment options for failing implants such as Perio Flow. When indicated, Martin Harris also provides surgical options for peri-implantitis treatments, sometimes implant removal is recommended or preferred.

Martin regularly lectures to hygienists from across the country on this very difficult subject.