Calling all dental hygienists and dental therapists

Colgate explains how hygienists and therapists can help to put anxious patients at ease during their hygiene appointment.

A reason for this anxiety can be the fear of pain from sensitive teeth during their hygiene appointment. This is a barrier to dental care. Those who suffer with the pain of sensitive teeth are less likely to make or attend a dental hygiene appointment.

Every dental hygienist and therapist (DH/DT) has patients who present with sensitive teeth. They are a challenge to treat because they are often tense and anxious. They present with statements like ‘Don’t touch that tooth! Don’t use that machine, can’t you warm up the water? Can you numb me up? Do you have to blow air on my teeth?’.

This in turn can create a stressful appointment for not only the patient but also the DH/DT. They need to focus on patients’ needs, whilst balancing a busy schedule and cope with the physical demands of the job.

How can we break this cycle?

The aim of any DH/DT is to create a comfortable appointment for their patients.

They can achieve this by addressing the pain of dentine hypersensitivity during treatment in a different way. Providing non-invasive personalised care may remove the need for a more invasive pain control management.

Therefore, it is essential to be able to recommend an effective treatment for dentine hypersensitivity both to use within surgery prior to treatment and for use at home.

Colgate Sensitive Instant* Relief

Colgate Sensitive Instant* Relief provides instant* and long-lasting§ relief from the pain of sensitive teeth (Nathoo et al, 2009; Docimo et al, 2009). It is readily available and can help prevent pain from sensitivity by rubbing it into sensitive areas for one minute prior to any treatment (Ayad et al, 2018).

By massaging Colgate Sensitive Instant* Relief onto the sensitive areas of the patients’ teeth prior to professional mechanical plaque removal, you can help reduce pain due to sensitivity making your patient more comfortable during treatment.

By sharing what you are doing and why with your patient, they will feel more relaxed leading to an easier appointment without the need to stop due to the discomfort from sensitive teeth.

Talk to the patient about modifying their behaviour to help prevent dental hypersensitivity. Recommend using Colgate Sensitive Instant* Relief as part of their daily home care routine for long-term (Docimo et al, 2009)§ sensitivity relief.

Providing a more comfortable hygiene appointment can increase confidence, build trust, and create grateful patients and fanatic followers for life.

At the end of a long busy day, a happy patient equals a happy DH/DT – that’s a win win.

Apply chairside and recommend Colgate Sensitive Instant* Relief with Pro-Argin technology.

*For instant relief, apply as directed to the sensitive tooth and directly massage for one minute.

§ Lasting relief with twice-daily continued brushing.

† T&Cs apply.


Ayad F, Ayad N, Vazquez J, Zhang Y, Mateo L and Cummins D (2018) Use of a toothpaste containing 8% arginine and calcium carbonate for immediate and lasting relief of dentin hypersensitivity: A simple and effective in-office procedure. Am J Dent 31: 135-40

Docimo R, Montesani L, Maturo P, Costacurta, Bartolino M, DeVizio W, Zhang Y, Cummins D, Dibart S and Mateo L (2009) Clinical efficacy of Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Toothpaste. J Clin Dent 20 (Spec Iss): 17-22

Nathoo S, Delgado E, Zhang Y, DeVizio W, Cummins D and Mateo L (2009) Comparing the efficacy in providing instant relief of dentin hypersensitivity of a new toothpaste containing 8.0% arginine, calcium carbonate, and 1450 ppm fluoride relative to a benchmark desensitizing toothpaste containing 2% potassium ion and 1450 ppm fluoride, and to a control toothpaste with 1450 ppm fluoride: a three-day clinical study in New Jersey, USA. J Clin Dent 20 (Spec Iss): 123-30

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