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Why do I need to see a dental hygienist?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A hygiene appointment is not just a cleaning. Just as an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, the best oral health investment you can make is a regular appointment with one of our highly skilled, knowledgeable and dedicated dental hygienists.

 Our New Jersey-licensed dental professionals are specially trained in preventive dental care. They are here to help you achieve and maintain good oral health. Once you have completed any dental care, from simple fillings or crowns, to implants and  cosmetic dentistry, the hygienist will help you maintain the new restorations for years and years to come.


We are proud to say that each of our hygienists graduated at the top of their class during their professional education. They, like everyone in our practice, are dedicated to continuing education at the highest level. Dr. James Courey encourages each hygienist to attend multiple continuing education courses every year (beyond the minimum required by law) in order to ensure that our patients continue to receive the very best care.


As a patient of Dr. Courey, you may request to see the same hygienist at each visit. A relationship and rapport develops, and the hygienist becomes familiar with your dental history and your individual needs.


Our hygienists spend up to a full hour with each patient ensuring the most comprehensive and thorough cleaning and examination possible. During every appointment with the hygienist, the patient is also examined by a doctor.


What do our hygienists do during your visit?


  • review and assess your overall health history, during the first visit, to determine if there are any existing medical conditions that could have an impact on your treatment

  • assess, at each subsequent visit, your overall oral health and note any changes

  • They are specially trained and qualified to administer local anesthesia and/or nitrous oxide to eliminate both anxiety and discomfort.

  • Screen for oral cancer

  • Look for problems, including cavities and gum disease that can be treated before they become much more serious

  • Screen for oral symptoms of other serious illnesses, including heart disease and diabetes

  • Teach, review and reinforce the techniques of good oral hygiene, including effective brushing and flossing

  • Take digital x-rays

  • Remove hard and soft deposits (calculus and plaque – which contains bacteria) both below and above the gum line

  • Polish teeth

  • Apply cavity-preventative agents, including fluorides wherever needed

  • Apply, when indicated, an antibacterial medication (Arestin which is placed directly beneath the gums of certain patients, to help slow the deterioration of the bone and soft tissues associated with periodontal disease

  • Apply special desensitizing liquids to sensitive teeth

  • Counsel on the link between diet and nutrition and oral health

  • Work with you to develop a personalized oral health plan


Summing up the benefits of regular visits to a hygienist for checkups and cleanings:


  • Many conditions are detected and treated before they can become unpleasant, time-consuming, costly and potentially dangerous problems

  • Studies show that patients who see their hygienist on a scheduled basis are more likely to have healthier bone and gums and to keep their teeth significantly longer.

  • Poor oral health can affect your ability to properly chew and digest your food, leading to serious nutritional and systemic problems.

  • Poor oral health can affect your appearance and your self-esteem.

  • Poor oral health can have serious implications on your general health and well being


We believe our dental hygienists play an essential role in our patients’ oral health and well-being. And our patients agree.




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