Avril Johnston and Melissa Hewitt are our hygienists here at Colm Smith Dental in Cootehill, Co. Cavan. Avril and Melissa are an integral part of the dental team. They also plays a very important role in maintaining oral hygiene in patients undergoing implant, orthodontic or crown and bridge treatment, where immaculate oral hygiene is essential, as well as in those patients that have a history of gum disease to prevent any relapse of the disease.

The main areas that the hygienist is responsible for includes:

Complete cleaning of the teeth

This includes cleaning below the gum line to remove plaque and tartar that can cause gum disease, cavities, bad breath and other problems. The teeth and gums may be numbed for this procedure to make it more comfortable.

Oral Hygiene Instruction

Demonstration and advice on a variety of techniques, with each patient until they understand the importance and develop good oral hygiene skills of their own as it is the patient’s daily care that maintains good gums and dental health in the long term.

Airflow Abrasion

A gentle way to remove staining from teeth, ideal before weddings and other big occasions.


The dentist will refer some patients to the hygienist who will require deep cleaning (root surface debridement) carried out with Local anaesthetic. This can be done through several appointments or a Detox of the mouth can be carried out in one day. A Detox is a total mouth disinfection, first appointment in the morning and again in the afternoon. This is mainly for patients with active periodontal disease. These patients will also need to be put on a continuous oral hygiene maintenance programme.

Hygiene visits are typically 30 – 45 minute appointments depending on the patient’s oral hygiene status. Our patients have enjoyed their visits to our hygienist and we have built up a good three and six monthly recall systems to suit their needs.