I'm always asked by patients, 'Gill what did you have to do to get Hygienist of the year?'
I was nominated by my team and this meant that an award application for the judges needed to be composed. The judges are past and present Presidents of our professional associations. They want to know why you stand out from all the other applicants, what you contribute to your community and profession and what you have done above and beyond your initial training to improve your patient care? This all has to be backed up with proof such as photographic evidence and patient testimonials.
My team nominated me as they know I am very passionate about patient care. I treat a lot of diabetic patients who quite often are unaware that poor oral hygiene can have a devastating effect on a poorly controlled diabetic's health. This can lead to infection and tooth loss much quicker in a diabetic patient. After talking to my patients it became apparent that there was a national shortage of dental health information in the diabetic profession which transpired that the message wasn't being taught to either newly diagnosed diabetics or even existing diabetics, my mission was to change this.
Feedback from the judges after winning Hygienist of the year was that they were impressed that my Work encouraged the two professions, dental and diabetes care to work together to improve communication, resulting in a much better outcome for our shared patients.
Since being recognised as Hygienist of the Year one of the many benefits has been that it enabled me to host an Oral B webinar to encourage other dental hygienist and therapists to look at their diabetic care. Ultimately patient education and care will improve!
Gill Fenwick EDH
National Dental Awards 2016 ‘Dental Hygienist of the Year’
DH&T Recognition of Dental Excellence Award 2016
National DH&T Dental Awards 2015 "Best Dental Hygienist" Highly Commended
Screening for gum disease forms an integral part of your routine examination.
Gum disease describes swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. There are two main forms of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums. This is when the gums around the teeth become very red and swollen. Often the swollen gums bleed when they are brushed during cleaning.
Long-standing gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease. There are a number of types of periodontal disease and they all affect the tissues supporting the teeth. As the disease gets worse the bone anchoring the teeth in the jaw is lost, making the teeth loose. If this is not treated, the teeth may eventually fall out.
All gum diseases are caused by plaque. Plaque is a film of bacteria which forms on the surface of the teeth and gums every day. Many of the bacteria in plaque are completely harmless, but there are some that have been shown to be the main cause of gum disease. To prevent and treat gum disease, you need to make sure you remove all the plaque from your teeth every day. This is done by brushing and flossing.
Unfortunately, gum disease progresses painlessly on the whole so that you do not notice the damage it is doing. However, the bacteria are sometimes more active and this makes your gums sore. This can lead to gum abscesses, and pus may ooze from around the teeth. Over a number of years, the bone supporting the teeth can be lost. If the disease is left untreated for a long time, treatment can become more difficult.
The first sign is blood on the toothbrush or in the rinsing water when you clean your teeth. Your gums may also bleed when you are eating, leaving a bad taste in your mouth. Your breath may also become unpleasant.