Dental Therapists at The Natural Smile

What does a Dental Therapist do?

You can think of a Dental Therapist role as being somewhere between a Hygienist and a Dentist.  They can do all of the treatments that a hygienist can as well as some treatments that dentists undertake. 

Dental Therapists are not new, their origins in the UK stretch back to 1917 where they were used to help to alleviate a shortage of school dentists because of the 1st world war [1].  They made a comeback in the UK in the 1960’s and have been increasingly used ever since. They Have been popular in New Zealand and Australia for many years.

I used to see a hygienist to help me look after my gums, what will the the Dental therapist do?

At the Natural Smile we use dental therapist to treat some of the conditions that previously would have been undertaken by dentists, as well as the full scope of Hygiene work.   When you go to see the dental therapist, you may be treated for:

  • Hygiene, advanced cleaning, and oral health advice.
  • Gingivitis a type of gum disease that inflames the gums caused by a build-up of plaque.
  • Periodontitis a more severe condition where the inflammation in the gums over a longer period of time causes the loss of bone surrounding the tooth.
  • Management of tooth wear conditions such as erosion, attrition, and abrasion
  • Tooth whitening
  • Taking impressions for the creation of bite guards gum shields and whitening trays.
  • Some types of fillings.
  • Placing temporary crowns and temporary fillings
  • All children’s appointments and treatments.
  • More in depth Diet lifestyle and nutritional advice.
  • In the future dental therapists may also carryout healthy mouth checks under supervision from the dentists

Stabilisation and prevention

Another way of looking at the way our dental team works is that the dentists will decide the overall treatment goals, the therapist will then work with you stabilise any active conditions and give you the information and ability to prevent it getting worse.

Once the active conditions are under control the dentists (and in some cases the dental therapist) will repair the teeth that are damaged. So that through this you will have the information, equipment, and advice to see us just to help maintain your healthy mouth and natural smile

To keep things simple all treatment appointments with the dental therapist will be costed at the same rate, and will be either single (approximately 30 mins) or double appointments (approximately 60 mins)