Case Studies

Want to know what people are saying about us              …and what we do besides ‘clean teeth’?

What we did:

 

 

Patient *A and his mum first attended the practice after a referral from a local Orthodontist.

The patient and his mum reported that due to a long waiting list (due to a post-Covid backlog) it had been a relief to finally receive an appointment for the patient’s orthodontic journey to begin.

However, upon examination by the Orthodontist, it was deemed that the patient’s oral hygiene needed work before they could embark on having the braces attached to his teeth. It is always optimal to have a clean healthy mouth before starting treatment to ensure that no further damage from decay would threaten the success of braces being fitted.

The Orthodontist referred them to us to help with this.

We discussed with the pt and his mum that we would assess his general oral hygiene, and see how we could help him be ready to start treatment.

We used the purple dye to identify where the patient wasn’t removing the bacteria successfully, and how this could be improved.

We identified that (as a typical teenager), remembering to clean twice a day with his electric toothbrush was one of the issues so we discussed various options until we solved how to engage the patient with a better brushing routine at home.

Teenage patients need to recognise that they need to start being responsible for these things and that they are the only ones in control of their oral hygiene. This can be tricky as along with an overwhelming urge to ‘do it for themselves’ sometimes teens still lack the motivation to do this effectively.

Sometimes sensory issues need addressing too, as lots of people struggle with vibrations from an electric toothbrush. We helped the patient identify if this was the case and demonstrated a variety of products to find a sensation that was tolerable to start with, which then became an expected and manageable sensation down the line. 

This patient was successfully able to improve his home care, put new routines into place, and begin his Orthodontic journey. The Ortho road is a long one, as the standard of cleaning needs to be a continued effort to have a successful outcome. The patient continues to strive to do his best, and we have regular appointments to help and support him as his teeth move, and new routines need to be embraced. 

Supporting patients is a super important aspect of the job. If we ‘just cleaned their teeth’ without giving them the tools to help themselves, then a lot of brace treatments would need to be abandoned. This is because a brace that isn’t cleaned effectively can lead to decay and unnecessary dental treatment.  

Building a rapport with teenagers, and learning how to help them overcome obstacles is a very rewarding part of our job.

 

 

 

 

What They Said:

*A first met Julie when he embarked on the journey of braces.  He was assessed and it was mentioned that his oral hygiene would have to improve in order for him to have a brace. The orthodontist was very unkind towards myself and my son, however he did give me Julie’s contact details and suggested that Julie was the hygienist that he would recommend. So our journey with Julie began.

Julie has always supported *A, she very quickly worked out what made him tick and she has developed this relationship. My son needs explanations for anything he is being asked. Julie asked him about his electric toothbrush on our first visit. He told her that he did use the toothbrush, but he didn’t switch it on because he didn’t like the sensation.

Julie has continually supported *A and given him the confidence to continue with his braces. Julie builds *A’s self-confidence through answering questions explaining everything, I have witnessed this helping in other areas of his life.  

The journey with the orthodontist has continued to be bumpy, so having Julie in *A’s corner enables *A to continue with his braces. I can’t thank her enough.

*Kate

*names have been changed for patient confidentiality reasons

What we did:

*Emma first attended the practice after being referred from her dentist to us for specialist gum care. They were unable to offer the level of care she required, and we were able to liaise successfully to achieve the best possible outcome for her.  

Emma had been suffering from bleeding gums and some of her teeth had started to feel a bit loose. She was worried she had gum disease and didn’t want to have any extracted.  

On her first visit, we established (through viewing her X-Rays and an in-depth examination) that she did indeed have advanced gum disease. This had resulted in some of her bone being ‘eaten away’ essentially by the destructive bacteria in her mouth that she was struggling to clean away every day. This resulted in some of her teeth feeling loose, and bleeding when she brushed because of the level of inflammation present in her mouth. 

Bacteria in our mouths are a harmless part of our microbiome, until they ‘mature’ after a certain amount of time and then start to become damaging, and even destructive to our gums and bone which hold our teeth in. 

We used the disclosing solution (purple dye) in surgery to show Emma the areas which were eluding her and gave her some purple tablets to use at home for her to monitor this at home too.  

We spent a lot of time cleaning away the bacteria and tarter and helping Emma to change her techniques at home so that once we had removed all the harmful deposits in her mouth, she would be equipped with the knowledge and ability to keep the disease from progressing. We did this by a process called Guided Biofilm Therapy and used local anaesthetic when necessary. 

Sounds simple, but that’s how we like to keep our treatment plans. Our bodies are really good at responding to the right influences, such as simple changes to how she cleaned, when she cleaned and with what products were the key to her ongoing success.  

Empowering Emma to take control of her gum disease by giving her the tools to clean effectively, and knowledge of how to monitor her bleeding on brushing at home, is ESSENTIAL to the success of any gum disease treatment we provide.  

Everyone always think that gum disease is treated in surgery, but really, it’s a team approach- 

          -We did the initial assessment, created a bespoke treatment plan to stop the disease from progressing, reduced the bacterial load, and through assessment at every visit, were able to respond to the rate of inflammation and adjust our response accordingly. 

          -Emma used the information we gave her about her disease, changed her daily routine cleaning her teeth (which in this case specifically meant she didn’t just brush, but used extra products to clean into the harder to reach areas at the back of her mouth), monitored her bleeding areas, and attended for regular maintenance appointments. 

Emma is now in the ‘maintenance’ phase of her disease which means she attends her dentist regularly for her check-ups, and to our practice for ongoing assessment of how active her disease currently is.  

Gum disease is a life-long disease, so it needs life-long care from both the patient and the dental professional. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What They Said:

 

Julie and the girls at The Dental Hygiene Studio are excellent. They are the kindest, friendliest ladies that put you at ease immediately. Julie has literally saved my gums and teeth!

With on-going gum issues which would ordinarily mean having to have teeth extracted, Julie has managed with her amazing expertise to save all my teeth but not only that, they now look and feel the most stable they’ve felt for a long time, and my gums, with regular visits, are under control.
If you’re looking for a hygienist of the highest calibre go see Julie, you won’t be disappointed.

 

*Emma

*names have been changed for patient confidentiality reasons

What we did:

 

 

Patient *C and his mum first attended the practice after other children in school started making comments about the appearance of *C’s teeth. 

He had become very self-conscious, lacked self-confidence, and wouldn’t smile. It was affecting his mental health and his ability to interact with others as he was constantly thinking that others were judging him and his teeth. 

Due to the timing of Covid, he had never sat in a dental chair before, and so this was a brand-new experience. 

Experiencing new things in general is a particular barrier for him due to his autism, and mum had contacted us prior to his appointment to make us aware that this was partly the issue. We sent out a short questionnaire which included space for mum to tell us all about *C before he even walked into the room. This proved invaluable in helping us to learn all about *C and how we could best support him once he arrived at the practice. 

The first visit to the Studio was initially more of a fact-finding mission and getting to know each other as people. 

Neurodivergence presents unique trigger points, (and strengths!) So as clinicians, it’s imperative that we get to know what that particular situation feels like from the patient’s perspective and understand it can change at any moment. We need to be able to be flexible in our expectations and adapt to help and support the patient in front of us at that particular moment. 

We discussed what would be acceptable for this appointment today, and how we could find a solution together. 

*C was super anxious, tearful, scared, and frightened about what was to happen next throughout the appointment.  

His determination to overcome his anxiety, his indomitable spirit and courage to continue despite all of this made for a very emotional experience for all involved! 

*C needed a series of appointments for several reasons: continuity to help with confidence building, to show the improvements (both in his ability to tolerate treatment, and to continually improve his ability to tolerate the sensory load needed at home when he needed to clean his teeth) and improve his oral hygiene. 

*C attended approximately 6 initial appointments over a period of a few months, and now attends regularly to maintain his oral hygiene as he grows and loses baby teeth and new teeth come through.  

He now feels completely at ease in a dental setting, smiles, chats to all of the staff, and confidently completes a full clean, polish and brushing instruction. 

He is now officially ‘a Studio Superhero’ and watching him grow both in confidence (and in height!) is a privilege and one of the reasons we do what we do. His oral health is exemplary, and he no longer chooses not to smile, in fact, he has one of the biggest smiles we have ever had the privilege to witness. 

 

 

 

 

What They Said:

I can’t thank Jules and her team enough for helping my son *C. He is 9 and he is autistic he struggles with sensory issues. *C has never been to the dentist as he was so petrified. He used to struggle with even brushing his teeth and he had quite a bit of plaque because of this. Julie was fantastic with *C, she talked about what she was going to do and what tools she would be using. She reassured him constantly and allowed him to keep taking loads of breaks.

*C was very upset during his first visit but extremely brave and I firmly believe it was Julie’s patience and kindness that helped him to get through. At the end of his first treatment there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

*C has just had his third treatment and there were no tears and he was excited to see Julie again.

Thank you to Julie and her team at The dental hygiene studio for everything you have done and giving *C his smile back again. 

*Kerry

*names have been changed for patient confidentiality reasons

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